Friday, April 17, 2009
Smoke got in my eyes at Madison's Owen Park while I was being led on a wild turkey chase
They've doing some burning at Owen Park. The last couple of days, they've burned some of the underbrush in the oak grove. I enjoyed prowling the periphery, since I love the smell of burning brush. When I asked whether they would burn the prairie this year, they said they didn't know -- it depends on the weather.
Wild turkeys have made themselves at home in Owen Park in recent years, occasionally terrorizing the neighbors during mating season. It seemed to be a bit early for that today. This was the only one I saw. It seemed to be checking out the ashes from the spring burn.
I tried to get closer to the turkey with my camera, because I wanted to get a photo that wasn't obstructed by branches. The turkey started to walk up the path that leads up and around the hill. It seemed to really like the path, and clearly wasn't about to yield it to a mere human. I walked more quickly. The turkey quickened its pace.
It was already starting to pull ahead of me when I was distracted by my first butterfly of the season -- a Mourning Cloak with a slightly damaged wing. Ever wonder why these beauties appear so early in the spring around here? They overwinter here, protected by a natural antifreeze they start to produce as it gets colder in the fall. By the time I had finished meditating on its life history while waiting for the butterfly to light on some leaves for a photo, the turkey was gone.