Thursday, November 15, 2012

If you feed them, they will come!

I often write about the wooded lot next door and the animal life there. I began putting out pans of water this summer during the drought and it attracted so many birds and animals that I've kept it up.

We also have been putting food out and the crowd of wildlife coming to the "dinner table" on the retaining wall by the wooded lot keeps growing. In addition to the dozen or so squirrels, an assortment of birds and the wild turkeys, there are three opossums, several raccoons and a two foxes. There are an occasional couple of freeloading cats, two cottontail rabbits and four or five deer. Someone down the block dumped their Halloween pumpkins in the wooded lot and the deer come to munch on them. The pumpkin seeds are gobbled up by the squirrels. 

My twelve wild turkeys have shrunk to ten. I suspect that someone poached the missing two--although the foxes may have gotten them. With Thanksgiving next Thursday and roast turkey being the traditional meal, I worry about the rest of them. It's illegal to hunt in the city but someone with a crossbow could sneak up on them. They stroll around the neighborhood all day and they're so used to being around people that it wouldn't be hard.
 
The traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner that I cook every year consists of: roast turkey with herb dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato/apple casserole, relish tray with pickles, olives and fresh veggies and dinner rolls. For those who don't eat meat, I also serve salmon (we don't have any vegans). I also make pumpkin pie and another pie. It's a lot of work, but it is sooo good!  

Thanksgiving 2010 (Note dog intently watching platter of turkey!)

16 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

Lovely! Your missing turkeys may show up yet, and if not, the others appreciate the extra rations.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You have a wonderful window onto the world of wildlife, not to mention a great holiday menu!

The Odd Essay said...

I love critters.... but since we've been at our daughter's (about a MONTH now!) have had only 1 goldfinch and 1 housefinch at our feeders. We did see 4 cardinals this morning but they didn't even stop by for a black oiler!!!! I hope your turkeys come back... I will tell you though, that one Thanksgiving (I always had the huge family get-togethers) my niece brought a turkey that her husband had got (bow-hunting) and that damned thing was the toughest bird I EVER tried to chaw down on. It was like jerky ;-) Love your take on the world!!!!

Linda said...

A lovely post. I love animals, their company is so rewarding. Thank you so much for sharing.

Susan said...

I love your thoughts for protecting the turkeys. Your gathering looks so inviting; I miss those times at my mom's. Happy Thanksgiving, XOXO

The Owl Wood said...

Hey Ms Sparrow - nine people, eight place settings ... don't you dare tell me that the cook sits somewhere else after all of that work!

troutbirder said...

Fun! I grew up on the East Side (Daytons Bluff overlooking the airport) but we never had wild turkeys wandering the neighborhood).

Meggie said...

I would be happy to sit at your table on Thanksgiving Day. Your choice of menu fits what my family has cooked for years. By the way, our turkey is store bought...laughing!

Linda Starr said...

In California we had a whole group of turkeys in the country and they strolled around like they owned the town after a while they all disappeared, sorry to say, I hope at least a few of yours make it to carry their family to the future.

Ms Sparrow said...

Joanne: Yes, they are all well-fed!

Blissed: I love having the little woods to watch. Because the lot is lower than street level, it was surrendered to the city by the owner and will remain as woods. I'm thrilled to be so lucky to be next to it!

Essay: I wondered if wild turkey wouldn't be tough. Good to know!

Linda: I agree! I often go to my window to see what birds and animals are there.

Susan: I hope my family all feel that way too. As the grandma/matriarch, I feel like I'm in a privileged position to create memories and traditions. It's kinda humbling, but then, I'm mostly just passing on those traditions from my childhood!

Owl: Aha! You counted! Actually, my roommate Sue chooses to sit by the coffee table and eat. Kind of you to consider that.

Troutbirder: I have been to Dayton's Bluff area. I wouldn't be surprised if there are turkeys down in the Swede Hollow Park nowadays.

Meggie: I sometimes feel like the menu is old-fashioned but my family wouldn't have it any other way. Since we only get to enjoy those foods once a year, that makes it special.

Linda Starr: This morning when the turkeys came around, the boys were getting frisky around the girls. If they all have broods next summer, we will be swamped with turkeys! So far they're a little wary of people and cars.

Rian said...

"If you feed them, they will come"

Truer words were never spoken. Our back yard that borders the creek and a flood plane has proved that. Besides the regulars; 10 feral cats, 17 raccoons, 2 possums,6 box turtles, squirrels and birds, we do get an occasional bobcat, owl, etc... (used to get coyote until we put up the 6ft fence).

Ms Sparrow said...

Rian: What a lot of mouths to feed!
I can't believe you get that many raccoons. I feel sorry for the feral cats but at least you are there to supplement their diet. You are my kind of gal!

Knatolee said...

If it makes you feel any better, we had a local hunter tell us that wild turkeys are incredible difficult to hunt. So hopefully that's not where yours have gone. That said, my neighbours' German Shepherd cross bags them regularly!!!

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely to have so many animals visiting your garden!

sparrow said...

Wow, I wish we had so many wild things visiting! here in NZ, the possum is an introduced pest and virtually decimated the native birds. They are now controlled and the wildlife in our city is prospering. How funny having wild turkeys visit. I thought they were all domesticated these days. Thanks for the window on your world.

LadyCat said...

You have a very kind heart to care for the wildlife and feed them. We don't have a lot of wildlife near our home. We do hear coyotes and actually had 3 runs through our back yard this summer...while we were sitting out there. And we have a bird bath and enjoy watching the birds.