Young turkey

Young turkey

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Turkey Day

November 27, 2014

Today I quote the words of Benjamin Franklin, who defended the respectability of the turkey in a letter to his daughter Sarah in 1784:

“For my own part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country; he is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly; you may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk; and, when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and takes it from him. With all this injustice he is never in good case; but, like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy. Besides, he is a rank coward; the little kingbird, not bigger than a sparrow, attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. . .

I am, on this account, not displeased that the figure is not known as a bald eagle, but looks more like a turkey. For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours . . .  He is, besides, (though a little vain and silly, it is true, but not the worse emblem for that,) a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards, who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ink sketch of wild turkey

Ink sketch of wild turkey

Watercolor sketch of wild turkey

Watercolor sketch of wild turkey

Ink sketch of domesticated turkey

Ink sketch of domesticated turkey

Watercolor sketch of young turkey (a little vain and silly)

Watercolor sketch of young turkey (a little vain and silly)

 

Of Snoods and Wattles

November 25, 2014

Watercolor and ink sketch of turkey

Watercolor and ink sketch of turkey

Ink and watercolor sketch of turkey snood and wattle

Ink and watercolor sketch of turkey snood and wattle

Turkeys are bizarre creatures with alien-like helmeted heads, weird excrescences like snoods and wattles, and unbelievable blue and red coloring.  But their feathers are quite beautiful, especially when displayed like an elegant fan.  What a bird!

Farm Animal Portraits

March 21, 2013

Romney Marsh ewe

Romney Marsh ewe

I couldn’t resist taking photos of some of the farms animals at Camelot Downs.  They have such distinct faces.  I felt as if I were on E.B. White’s farm in Charlotte’s Web (minus Charlotte the pig).

Dolly, the llama -- one of two llamas that guard the sheep

Dolly, the llama — one of two llamas that guard the sheep

A Toulouse goose

A Toulouse goose

This turkey as a face only a mother could love.

This turkey as a face only a mother could love.

Young turkey

Young turkey

No words necessary

No words necessary

Free-ranging turkey at Camelot Downs

Turkey profile -- love the multi-colored head!

“I like to think of the world
before some genius invented
turkeys with pop-up plastic
thermometers
in their breasts
idiot birds
with no wildness left in them
turkeys that couldn’t run the river
to save their souls.”
— Mary Mackey, from “Turkeys”  (You can read the complete poem on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.)

One of my sister's transferware turkey plates

Ceramic turkeys

Here’s wishing you a seat at a laden harvest table for your Thanksgiving feast this year.

Te Deum
by Charles Reznikoff

Not because of victories
I sing,
having none,
but for the common sunshine,
the breeze,
the largess of the spring.

Not for victory
but for the day’s work done
as well as I was able;
not for a seat upon the dais
but at the common table.

“Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.”
— William Shakespeare

 

Giving Thanks

November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving decorations

Let us prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday with a thankful heart.

Thanksgiving
By Ralph Waldo Emerson

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.