In my last blog, you read that wild turkeys used to have bright colorful feathers and some thought they were related to peacocks. In fact, I read that Christopher Columbus thought that. I have the answer for how those feathers were so colorful. They ate Indian corn!
There is no research to prove this, but I’m going with it. The settlers saw bright colored turkeys and the Native Americans introduced the settlers to corn. They go together! I think the bright corn kernels created the bright feathers. It’s possible!
Another fact about Indian corn is it can be used for wishing. Shell a handful, hold it in your hands and make a wish. Then toss it into the fire. The white kernels might pop because they can be used for popcorn, but that might enhance your wish! It’s worth a try and you’ll enjoy sitting by a cozy fire at the same time.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving dinner if we didn’t have turkey!
Thanksgiving has been an American holiday since Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation in 1863. Much has been written about the first Thanksgiving and what was eaten. For sure they ate venison and turkeys were likely on the menu because they were in abundance during that time period. My brother has many wild turkeys on his farm and none of us would eat one. They look scrawny to me, but historically they were beautiful, magnificent birds.
Ben Franklin was so impressed by them he wanted to make the turkey America’s national bird. I read they had bright colors and some thought they were related to the peacock. Wild turkeys not only fly; they fly fast! They can fly up to 55 mph. I would have been impressed too, Ben!
I love reading picture books at every holiday and most of the Thanksgiving books involve Tom escaping the farmer’s ax. Our domesticated turkeys are so fat they can’t run and certainly can’t fly. They also have lost their previous thinking ability. Unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of brain cells working for them any more. However, in children’s books they always outwit the farmer. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
My turkey is quite cute and no one would want to eat a turkey that looked that cute. To be honest, I like chicken better than turkey, but it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkey!
People have smiling scarecrows in their yards which I love to see. This one is in my yard and a big black crow actually landed on its head! I read to be effective, a scarecrow should have tin pans tied on it so the sound and shine will scare the birds away.
I wondered what the crow was saying to my scarecrow while sitting on its head. Maybe the crow would ask why the scarecrow was hanging around my yard. I like to think the answer would be because she enjoys the flowers that are still blooming, the bubbling fountain, and the birds that eat at the feeder. It is quite lovely and my scarecrow gets to enjoy it in the warmth of the sun!
October days are the best! The cold nights and warm days with the addition of the leaves changing color makes it a a perfect month. I hope you all make time to be outside and enjoy this season, and give a scarecrow a smile as you pass. They really aren’t scary!
Bram Stoker was the first to write about garlic as a way to ward off vampires. I think it was because garlic made this Irish author sick. Garlic can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It also can make one’s throat itch and constrict. That’s what happens to me because I’m allergic to it.
Garlic was used by the Greeks and Egyptians for medicinal purposes and to ward off evil spirits. Stoker would have drawn upon this information when he decided that it could be used against vampires. I like to think he had a more personal experience with the smelly herb. Hey! It’s possible!
To me, garlic is scary. I react even to the smell of it. I was buying fresh produce at an outdoor stand this summer and there was a small basket of garlic by the cash register. My throat started to itch and I began to cough. The stuff is deadly! I can understand Dracula fleeing from the smell.
I know most people love garlic. I’m aligning myself with Dracula and avoiding it!
Gardeners become well acquainted with the critters who visit their yards. Deer, chipmunks, voles, groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels all enjoy my garden.
Last week I watched a cute little squirrel turning, twisting and chattering on the top of my split rail fence. A rabbit was sitting in the grass watching. The rabbit never moved. It just sat and watched. Its ears did twitch a time or two. The squirrel entertained for ten minutes and then a loud noise scared both the entertainer and audience away. It was unbelievably cute!
Picture books are filled with cute, smart animals that talk and say cute things. I can imagine what the squirrel said to the rabbit. The squirrel asked what the rabbit had enjoyed for breakfast (petunias) and the rabbit asked the same of the squirrel (tulip bulbs). The squirrel then asked if rabbit wanted to see his new routine. He told her a few jokes and then did his fluffy tail dance. All very cute, except they had once again eaten my flowers!
The ground hog likes my green peppers, the deer devours my lilies, Victor Vole eats bulbs and digs tunnels. The chipmunks won in the battle over my strawberry patch, so I no longer have strawberries.
My dad was a farmer and years ago when I complained about all the critters in my yard, he just smiled and said, Plant more, they need to eat too. Besides, they’ll win every time! So I plant more!
The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have left my yard and headed for Mexico.
After frenzied eating, the hummingbirds have begun their long journey southwest. I just returned from Texas and on an airplane it took over two hours.
The trip made me wonder how a little hummingbird could get some relief from that long flight. A fun picture book would show a hummingbird hanging on to a kite, sitting on a hot air balloon, and instead of flying across the Gulf of Mexico, it could rest on the mast of a sailboat.
I am always sad to see my little friends leave, and I eagerly look forward to their return next April. I remember the film The Red Balloon that floated from place to place without popping. Maybe there is a wayward party balloon that will give Henri Hummer a ride.