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Monday, September 02, 2013

Why did the Turkey/Duck/Whattheheck, Cross the Road?

Not much to say here other than WHATHEHECK!  First off, I woke in the wee hours before day break because I heard water - I assumed was my neighbor's sprinklers. Nope... it was rain. Rain? Yesterday, Sunday September1st, was a grade A Central Valley summer day, i.e., HOT. Now, a mere one day later, Monday September 2nd and BOOM! Autumn. Rained on and off all danged day.

Now at some point I needed to run errands. So, I was driving up Madison, toward HWY 80, and there was a bit of morning traffic but it wasn't bad at all. Still, suddenly, the cars in front of me began to jam on their breaks. I floored my breaks, sending things on the passenger seat flying. Traffic on the four lane suburban street, with a center divider, were stopped in both directions. I mean, what the heck, you know?

Then I saw the problem - Turkey Jam! Tom Turkey Jam to be exact. I had an fit of the giggles as ten young looking Tom turkeys took their dear sweet time walking from one curb, over the center divider and on to the next sidewalk. I thought how wonderful it is that none of the other drivers pushed the issue or moved as much as an inch as the Toms strutted across the busy street.

It was raining of course, but you can sort of see the ten turkeys which just reached the far sidewalk.

I took these photos just as the cars began to move again, and truly the Earth Mother was with me, in as much as I didn't cause an accident on the wet street, with my one-handed, one eye on the road, one eye on the turkeys, iPhone photo op.

EEK! Drive by shooting in broad daylight!  Turkey photo shoot that is...
Turkeys are crazy birds that seem to go where ever they feel like it, even though in this case they were at least five miles suitable habitat - suitable as I see it, that is. No clue what these birds were doing in this suburban neighborhood. I must say I am quite envious of the people on this street that get to share their yards with such BIG birdies. I'm sure they'd happily let me have their yard turkeys if it could be arranged. Can only imagine how... um... interesting it would be to find turkey sized poo all over your lawn or patio.

Oh, and a good month ago, I was further up this same street about 6 miles farther west, and the same thing happened - much, much busier section of street, near the immensely busy Sunrise Avenue and something similar happened. All cars screeched to a halt, as - get this - a mother Mallard crossed the extraordinarily busy street with her ensie widdle baby ducklings peeping and scrambling behind her.

Not my photo - not my ducks - apparently many
Mallard Mommies take their babies into traffic
I nearly had a heart attack watching those fluff-butted ducklings waddle & peep as they raced to keep up with their Mommy. As Mom raced over the cement center divider (after just passing in front of my car) I held my breath because I thought there was no way the tiny babies were going to make it. I actually turned off my car, prepared to leap out and grab ducklings in my shirt, which I guess I would have had to take off to throw over the babies, what was I thinking????

 Happily, the ducklings saved me from making an ass of myself in public. Adeptly, as each reached the cement, they jumped up like little bouncing balls and crossed the divider behind their mother. Whew!

 May I say, there is not a scrap of wildland near Sunrise and Madison. That mallard must have hatched out her babies on a rooftop, alley or in some shrubbery because the nearest body of water & proper duck habitat is the American River and it maybe four or five miles away from the 'duck' crossing.

 I guess the moral of all this poultry road crossing is first, I wish there was more habitat for these adorable & necessary critters. And secondly, I guess we'll all just have to be patient, and jam on our breaks to let the wildlife cross the roads. They know why they are crossing the roads, and we need to shut up and let them.

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