Tag Archives: Turkey

Annual Migration Conference. Birds Fly In. I Fly Out.

The Mayor was busy. He patrolled the waters between the small islets that served as conference rooms for the annual Migration Conference at the salt marsh.

older great blue heron older great blue heron The crowd was generally well behaved. Apart from the young Great Blue Heron. He was acting up, pretending he’d been promoted to Deputy Mayor. Which of course wasn’t the case. His provoking behavior raised a few eye brows among the guests.

young blue heron and a wood storkwood stork blue heron and roseate spponbill Finally the Mayor decided he had to be managed. And sent him away from the premises amid loud protests.

The oldest Wood Stork started everyone off with a long speech. Some listened intently, others preferred to hold their own side meetings. Or started lining up for the smorgasbord.

papa wood stork wood storks and a snowy egretgreat egrets and wood storks And yet others preferred to explore the marsh during the proceedings, like the Reddish Egret, the Tri-colored Heron and the Snowy Egret. But everyone’s eyes turned to Miss Rosa when she entered the stage in her hot pink dress.

reddish egret tri-colored heron snowy egret She was nothing short of stunning. No competition there.

roseate spoonbill Actually, almost everyone turned to look at her. The Yellow-crowned Night Heron found it difficult to keep his eyes open at all during the meeting. He’d probably been up late. Or just found it plain boring.

yellow-crowned night heronThe little Pied-billed Grebe enjoyed the relative calm at the deep end of the marsh, where also the Moorhens and their friend, the Muscovy Duck, had fled the hubbub.

pied-billed grebe 2 muscovy duck and moorhen Unlike last year, Mama Sandy had declined to participate in the conference. She had gone fishing with Papa Stanley, and they were enjoying an early lunch away from the crowds. Stanley at his resort and Sandy 60 feet away on a lamp post. Both checking on each other, and on me, between the bites.

male osprey eating fish female osprey eats fishI am happy I was invited again this year to document the Migration Conference. But it was completely out of question to get everybody lined up for a group photo. This was the best I could get.

migration conference Now that all these birds have arrived south, it’s my turn to fly north. I’ll see you in about ten days. While away I’ll be very busy, and also won’t have internet connection for several days. But I just might try posting a short greeting from my iPhone. Now that the new editor is so mobile friendly 😉

pelican taking off I’ll catch up with you all on my return.  And Happy Thanksgiving to  friends and visitors celebrating this wonderful holiday on Thursday! I trust you spotted the turkey among the conference participants 🙂 Much love, Tiny

Hey, Where’s My Turkey?

Gratitude is one of the most powerful means of attracting positive energy and good things to our lives. So I try to remember to be thankful all year long for all I’ve received and all I’ve been able to give others. But in the little northern corner of the earth where I was born and raised, we did not celebrate Thanksgiving holiday in the same way it’s done in the US and Canada. That makes me an implant into this strong tradition.

As you may guess, there’s been many trials and tribulations over the years in adapting to this tradition, particularly in regard to the center piece at the dinner table, Mr. Turkey. He’s not always been very cooperative, to say the least.

During the first Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, just a few months after moving here, Mr. Turkey was missing in action in our home. I didn’t realize that he is an invited guest, no matter what. So I made a nice steak dinner. What a mistake! Our son who was in the fifth grade at the time couldn’t believe his eyes – no turkey on the table! He had already picked up this tradition from all his friends, whose mothers had been preparing their turkey the previous night. He was visibly disappointed and I felt really bad. The next day he went to his best friend’s house and had turkey…and I promised we’d have a turkey the following year.

The following year came and to make good on my promise, I bought a huge frozen turkey well in advance. I was extremely busy at work and travelled a lot, so I didn’t take the time to read the instructions. Early on Thanksgiving morning, I took it out to allow a couple of hours for thawing. But the bird didn’t want to be thawed! By the time I had planned to put it into the oven, its skin was just about free from frost. It was solid frozen!

I made all the mistakes described in the turkey cooking books! To cut the long story short, we had a Thanksgiving dinner that night with the turkey on the table. It was about 9 p.m. and the poor turkey was…very dry. Our son was hungry and very kind, he just poured a lot of gravy and ketchup on the turkey. My hubby quietly asked me if it was supposed to be that dry. What did I know? I remember we managed to eat about half of the bird by the time the weekend was over. Luckily I had not invited any friends over to taste my first ever baked whole turkey.

Then, of course, little by little I became a master of the turkey cooking art, and we enjoyed a well prepared turkey for many years. Until one year much later…Our son was away in college and flew home for Thanksgiving. As all mothers know, it’s so wonderful to have them home again! That particular year, I had found a nice whole smoked turkey that would only need to be heated up just before dinner time. It was small, like 6-7 pounds, but it would only be the three of us that year, so that should be fine.

On the night before Thanksgiving, our son went out with a group of his closest friends, all of whom we knew well, and told me that they would be coming back later in the evening to play pool in our basement, like they had done so often in the past. I had prepared the turkey and left it in the kitchen fridge on a plate, so when the guys came back home, our son asked me if they could make some cold sandwiches of the turkey later on. I said why not as it would be only the three of us eating it the next day, and I had plenty of other stuff prepared as well.

In the morning, I came down to the kitchen to make coffee. Everything was nice and tidy, no sign of the guys making sandwiches, no dishes in the sink. Nice, I thought, they are all in college and have finally learned to take care of things. Then I looked into the fridge. No turkey! We had another large fridge as a reserve in the storage area so I ran there. And there it was! The plate with the turkey bones, nicely covered in aluminium foil. It still had the wings. I had to laugh!

Later that morning, our son said he was sorry they ate so much, the turkey had been too delicious! I couldn’t be angry, just went back to my grocery store. I could no longer find a whole smoked turkey so I settled on two large smoked breasts, put them creatively on both sides of the breast bone and heated it all up for dinner.  With some imagination it looked like a turkey. And it was just fine!

A few years ago I met the exactly same group of our son’s friends. They were all grown up now, out of college, and stood there in the church as handsome groomsmen at his wedding. I smiled again, reminded of the disappearing act of the smoked turkey!

I’m all adapted now. And giving thanks for everything in my life, including the turkeys, past, present and future. Gratefully signing off for about a week in the northern wilderness – with no internet connectivity. Take care and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating this wonderful holiday later in the week!