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Hood's Winks – Surrounding switching to fall styles (Sept. 30, 2015 issue)

Ah, I love changing seasons!
For one thing, women—those lovely creatures—change their attire for every change of seasons, and, oh, don’t they look lovely? I could write an entire column about them, but Wife Gail would get grouchy.
Another seasonal change that I love: migratory birds flying overhead—southbound at the beginning of fall, northbound at the beginning of spring—and I love listening to them as they honk. One morning I could hear them during breakfast—Gail’s delicious from-scratch whole wheat pancakes, BTW. I walked out on the back deck and found the sky to be hidden behind low-lying clouds, but I could still hear the ducks or geese—who can tell the difference?—flying overhead. Beautiful. But how did they get above the clouds? The National Audubon Society and every other source all agree that birds do not fly in clouds (many people say that proves that birds are smarter than human pilots). I can only assume that they climbed in good weather and were flying “on top” of the clouds.
As a teen in South Georgia I spent many happy hours in the woods, hunting squirrels, deer (I never got one, I’m now happy to say), wild boars (I never got one of them, either, but was scared to death by one that charged. I dropped the gun and scaled a tree in record time), raccoons, quail, doves and what have you. During all that wandering I never, ever saw a wild turkey. I guess we just didn’t have any in South Georgia. (We did have the Lewis’ Turkey Farm at which we could see thousands of turkeys, but they weren’t at all wild.)
Wife Gail and I have now lived in Erwin a bit over eight years. We don’t hunt, but have spent some wonderful hours on the trails. Even saw a bear once, but not for long. Tank Dog Hood chased that bear away although the bear was several times Tank’s size. That dog has more courage than brains, thank goodness.
But we never saw a wild turkey up here, either, ‘til this year.
This year, Gail and I have seen at least a dozen wild turkeys in this area.
Five of those wild turkeys were right here in town, in a vacant lot, catty-cornered (there’s a word you won’t hear up nawth) across the street from our house. We have seen them more than a few times, and expect to see them a few more.
Those turkeys are masters at what the insurance industry calls “risk management.” They calmly eat grass seed as a group. I can drive by and they never panic. But if I stop, they slowly move a bit closer to the woods, still eating. After I drive off they ease back to the center of the field.
I gotta admit those wild turkeys aren’t what you’d call pretty. How our ancestors made a meal of them I’ll never know.
Geese, ducks and wild turkeys—all this and the ladies are just beginning to switch into their fall styles. Who could ask for anything more?