In this part of Massachusetts, its not unusual to see flocks of wild turkeys here and there, and now and then. In our new house, we see them rather more frequently. More here and now, than there and then. A family of them lives nearby, somewhere in the woods around our neighborhood. We started noticing them especially over the summer. There was a group of a few adults, and quite a few chicks. I don’t actually know how many of each there were, but I do know that now we have a group of 8 adults that regularly visit our yard. Especially now that we have put up bird feeders in the back yard. They can’t reach most of the feeders, but the little birds that can are messy enough eaters that there’s usually something to be found pecking at the ground below.
Our family, especially the younger generation, has been enamored with birds in general. So, we tend to enjoy these visitors. The one exception to this was when we had our lawn re-seeded. Then I was rather displeased to see the flock of turkeys out on the front lawn, enjoying the grass seed buffet. There were more than a few times when neighbors may possibly have seen me running across the lawn, waving my fist and shouting, “get off my lawn, you whippersnappers!” Or something like that. I did also enjoy a strategic use of the newly repaired sprinkler system, turning on the sprinklers right where the gang was pecking at the lawn.
Anyhow, here are some photos I took back in July. I know I’ve taken more recent photos of these guys (or gals, really), but it’s fun to look back and see the little chicks. Or the not-so-little chicks. They were cute, in any case.
The turkeys didn’t visit us today, which is Thanksgiving in the United States. Also known as Turkey Day. We figured that they were laying low. But these guys don’t have anything to fear from us: the only turkey on our table was a ceramic salt shaker.
I certainly won’t ever win the Pulitzer Prize, but I think I have a winner with this photo I took a few years ago.
Have you ever come across the term eggcorn? It’s a kind of misheard phrase, much like a mondegreen but not necessarily from a misheard poem or song lyric. A while back, I saw a comment thread on Facebook where a friend of a friend mentioned someone mishearing the Pulitzer Prize as the Pullet Surprise. Naturally, this photo came to mind. And then it makes me want to see if I can find photographic illustrations of some other such misheard phrases. Do you have any favorite misheard phrases?
The happy hen, proudly displaying her award-winning feathers at the country fair.
But wait. What does that say?
What, what, WHAT?
No leaf photos today.
That fuzzy bright blob amidst the branches is the moon. My phone seems to have trouble focusing on objects that are more than 200,000 miles away.
Yup, I’m definitely not done with leaves. Here are 3 very different leaves that caught my eye this fall.
This bright leaf found its trip to the ground interrupted by the grating of a large bird cage. I loved the bold sections of contrasting color, and the way the leaf glowed in the sunlight.
While it doesn’t have vibrant colors, I found the curl of this dry leaf to be quite appealing.
This brightly painted leaf was all the more appealing for having landed itself on a swirling canvas of floating algae.
No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise. (Charlotte Bronte, Villette)
Happiness is not a potato.
Close to 2 years ago, I was preparing to roast some vegetables for dinner. I washed a potato, and started to cut out some of the eyes that looked like they would be a bit tough, when, to my surprise, I had the impression that the potato was looking back at me. Yes, we all know that potatoes have eyes, but they don’t usually have mournful eyes. Further, I realized that the “eye” I was cutting into with the point of my knife was actually more like the potato’s nostril. Filled with remorse, I stopped to take some photos of my sad, sad potato. (And then I continued to cut it up and put it in a roasting pan.)
Some days later, I came across the quote above, by Charlotte Bronte. Indeed, happiness is not a potato, and I had the photographic proof.
If anything, as far as I can tell, sadness is a potato.
Sad potato is sad.¹
While perhaps not with the same frequency as my sharing of leaves, this is far from the first time I’ve shared vegetables with faces. In fact, 3 years ago, a butternut squash and I declared November 21st to be International Day of the Odd Vegetable.² Together, the squash and I reminisced about an eggplant we once knew.
How about you? Have you come across any produce with personality?
¹ That’s what I was imagining I’d call a post about this potato.
² Alternately, The Day of Peculiar Produce.
I’ve said before that I love the patterns produced by rust and weathered paint. The bold compositions produced by the elements working away at metal surfaces covered in their flimsy dressing of paint can rival those of some of the most venerated abstract expressionists. These canvases, however, are not so much the kind you find in museums, but rather on dumpsters, storage containers, parking lot barriers and such. Here are several examples of compositions of rust and weathered pain that caught my eye, several for producing patterns that were almost floral in appearance. (I realize that what these also look like are inkblots. What do you see in the pictures?)
The base of a lamp post in a parking lot in Providence, RI.
This was in Dublin. I think it was some sort of a garage door.
A parking lot barrier post in New York.
A parking lot post of some sort. In Massachusetts.
Some sort of wall at the Völklingen Ironworks, in Germany.