Sunday, September 14, 2014

Turkeys in the 'Hood

Turkeys in the Grass
Bobbing up the Dirt Road
Bobbing Down the Dirt Road
Turkeys Being Turkeys
Turkey Formation
Following the Flock
Turkeys Head to School
Where Children Once Recessed
Tom, Yes, We See You
Late morning sun filters through the pines on the north-side of the house and my bedroom window is open wide to catch the glorious autumn air. Despite the gathering insects--flies and beetles--this is my favorite time of year.

Like spring, fall has movement and feels vibrant.

The movement of the morning is right outside my bedroom window and both dogs bark at it. It's too late in the day for the moose and most likely it's a feral cat. Turns out there's an entire flock of turkeys in my yard.

Grabbing my camera I head downstairs and out the door. This will be a great close-up, I think. Evidently turkeys are speedy birds on foot. Not one is left in my yard. When I catch their movement, the flock is all the way across the north pasture, ducking under the fence.

Through dry grass I snap shots. The turkeys spread out up and down the dirt road that leads to my neighbors behind our property. Their feathered fannies scuttle like tortoise shells and their blueish heads bob like big chickens. They must be feasting on the insects that cover the ground.

I'm too short for clear shots. My best vantage point would have been the bedroom window. They shuffle up the knoll behind the schoolhouse, the flock fanning in and out of formation. One tom struts his wings in case I didn't catch that he was the male. Show off turkey.

The dogs join me outside, Grenny leashed. The two GSPs strut their stuff, sticking noses to the ground and following the bird scent. According to the dogs the turkeys had been all around our house. Bobo is so intent on following I have to shout her name several times to break her concentration.

It's my neighbor who jumps at the sound of my voice. I'm not normally at the north-side of the pasture with the dogs and she regularly walks the road for exercise. This morning I've caught her with her pants down--literally. She was peeing by my pasture gate. No big deal, really. We all do it around here. Pee outside, that is. I turn away with the dogs, pretending I didn't see.

But it reminds me of other turkeys in the 'hood. The women who come to northern Idaho to camp, trout-fish or hike and who don't know the etiquette of peeing outdoors. I know who you are, Ladies, because you leave a trail of toilet paper wads in your wake.

Todd and I go up the Pack River regularly and nothing annoys me more than people who leave a paper trail. The rule of the forest is "pack out what you pack in." Don't leave me your white flags that show every spot where you dropped your drawers, as if claiming a forest service campsite the way wildlife would. For the turkeys who need some educating, here's some tips:
  1. It's okay to use toilet paper; it's not okay to leave it behind.
  2. If you're squeamish about picking up your own used tp, think about the next visitor!
  3. Bring a few sandwich baggies. Use one like a glove if you're extra prissy, pick it up and wrap it away. But take it with you!
  4. Learn the hanky method or use a squirt bottle to freshen up (no tp to worry about).
The only time men flag with tp is the worst thing to encounter on the trail. Okay. I know bears leave scat on trails, moose too, but listen to me all of humanity who visits the forests--don't poop on the trail! Off-trail, do your business, off-trail. And bury it. Bury the tp if you must, but bury it, man! My dogs will roll in it and that upsets me beyond belief. You may think your man-scat doesn't stink but on the neck of a GSP, it's not cologne.

I like to pee freely outdoors just like my neighbors. I don't mind visitors who discover the freedom (or necessity), but don't be turkeys about it. Spare my dogs, me and the next set of campers.


  1. Oh man! I can't express how this made me laugh. I needed that today. I feel your pain. I have had a few of them encounters of my own. The most recent was my dad mooning me in my own driveway. I didn't dare ask what he was doing. I just turned my head and looked away. Later he told me that the water pills had kicked in. He had the choice of flashing the neighbors or wetting his pants. Well...we know what happened next. I agree wholeheartedly with you...please bury the tp! Great post today!! (As always)

    1. Ha, ha! I can't tell you the times I've looked outside to see my husband mooning me yet again! And he doesn't have a medical excuse. Then the neighbor, and all that tp along the Pack River was getting on my nerves! Thanks laughing with me (and agreeing that it needs to be buried)! :-)

  2. LOL!!! People actually use toilet paper when they pee outside? LOL. Enjoyed your post with my morning java. Thanks for the laughs.

    1. So if you find any toilet paper in your Canada woods, I'm sorry to say you've had American female visitors! I know, it's been on my mind to vent about for a while. The turkeys gave me a push! LOL.