Friday, December 18, 2009

From Pottery to Turkeys and Back

One of the things I love about my home and studio location is the fact that they're both located in an area where the wildlife is still around and part of the scenery.

The first year we moved here my studio was still under construction so I spent most of my time getting the home settled. I was delighted when I saw my first deer wandering across the yard, nipping at the trees, nibbling on the grass. I'd sit up some nights just to see if they'd cross the yard.

Then I saw my first wild turkeys! Wow, that was very cool.

Over the years I've enjoyed watching the turkeys grow, gotten kind of used to their habits and noises. They're pretty stupid birds in many ways. If I walk slow, they'll ignore me. If I make a sudden move they may run at me or run away. Many times I've stood near them for long enough to have wacked 'em all if so inclined (I'm not, I don't eat meat so prefer to watch ;-).

Being a want-to-be-good-photographer, I've taken quite a few photos over the years, popped some YouTube videos out there for the world to enjoy.

This year I was thrilled when Mama turkey first wandered across the yard with eight baby chicks. Off and on she brought them back to enjoy whatever it is they seem to like in our yard. Then they stopped coming. The latter half of the summer I wondered if they were OK, kept an eye peeled for them.

A week or so ago they finally came back, pretty much fully grown I'd guess, but still all together. That in itself is an accomplishment. We have foxes and human predators in the area. Most of the homes around here are on 5-acre or larger lots, all of us back up to wetlands and wooded areas that hopefully will never be developed. I hear guns off and on so know that "my" turkeys sometimes end up on someones dinner table.

For a number of years I had turkeys that would hang out on the front porch of my studio. I'd look up and see one or sometimes two on the porch peering through the glass doors. If you go to my website,, you can see a photo of one looking through the door. I always knew I'd had a visitor or two by the amount of turkey poop waiting for me...

It's a great feeling to be enjoying myself in the studio while also enjoying whatever wildlife happens to end up outside one of the windows. I keep hummingbird feeders around the place, regular bird feeders, plus try to keep flowers and plants growing (but the deer seem to feel that most of my stuff is their personal smorgasbord...). I have chipmunks, squirrels, a couple of foxes and who knows what else. It can get kind of spooky at night when the automatic lights go on and I hear scrambling noises outside the window.

Given that I love to incorporate nature into my work, it's fantastic to have so much of the best of nature around me while I'm creating. Don't know how life could get any better... well, take I that back immediately as I guess I could come up with a huge, long, long list of ways to make it better if I thought about it for a second! However, life is good and I'm grateful for all the blessings.
(Not sure if you can really tell, but there's a turkey flying just to the left of the bird feeder in the tree in that last photo. All of the photos are of "my" nine turkeys, the top two were taken from the vantage point of my studio. I couldn't get them all together long enough to take a good photo.)

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