The Same Sight, Different View
Growing up in New Mexico, I was used to being around a certain amount of wildlife. I knew from an early age: Stay away from rodents (bubonic plague), keep off the snakes (bitey) and if you happen across a bear, well, nice knowing you.
Ok, just kidding on that last part. Kind of.
My dad and brother were both avid hunters and I spent more than my fair share of time in the mountains and wilderness of New Mexico. Still some of my best memories.
I live in the Bay Area now, which is a huge urban area (seven million and counting!) that is surrounded by lots and lots of open land and wildlife.
When wildlife happens to wander into areas where a lot of people hang out, insanity ensues. It seems most folks weren’t raised with both a healthy respect and a dose of circumspect when it comes to wild animals.
I got to thinking about this because just two days ago, while running late to a meeting at work and trying to find a spot in a cramped parking lot, I narrowly avoided hitting both a white Honda Civic and a rather grumpy wild turkey.
And I don’t mean the kind of wild turkey that comes in a bottle.
The Honda (who was taking their half out of the middle of the road) just kept going but the turkey gave me a fair piece of its mind. I nodded knowingly and muttered “sorry turkey” and kept rolling.
When this happened, I remembered that about six months ago, we received an all employee bulletin regarding the turkeys that are running a bit rampant on our main facility.
Here is the text of that bulletin, with identifying information redacted:
Recently, an employee got too close to a wild turkey, and the bird flew up and brushed against her. The incident serves as an important reminder that the turkeys are untamed animals and need to be given space. Allow at least 10–15 feet of clearance, try not to turn your back on the birds if they are close, and do not feed them.
It sort of paints a visual picture for me of some lady sneaking up on a turkey and it going all hockey style hip-check on her.
Of course, I laughed my butt off when I got that bulletin because, well, sheeyah! Leave the wild things alone. I quickly emailed it to my best friend who passed it along to her husband and two kids because, coincidentally, they were turkey hunting in New Mexico (and not having much luck).
And since we have so many turkeys and deer and lots of other wildlife here at my place of employ, we also have mountain lions who think a nice turkey dinner and a nap is the right idea.
So while I’m enjoying lunch today and thinking about life, and my coworkers who are batbonkers crazy, I came to some conclusions.
1) People are weird.
2) Not everyone was granted the education I had regarding wild animals or animals in general. Though for the most part I think they mean well.
3) Don’t touch the bitey things.
3a) Most animals will bite, even the tame ones.
4) Turkeys are not very agile. Skinny legs and big old body are all out of proportion. Still, I’m glad I didn’t hit that gobbler. That might have been sad.
5) Man I could go for a turkey sammich right about now. Anyone else?
Ok. Back to work. I’m headed out on foot to the next meeting.
Maybe I’ll have a brush with a turkey?
Not my photo, but taken at my place of work
Photo from the Bay Area Bird Blog.