Tag: wild turkeys

Sunday Night Philosophy With Wild Turkeys

The KingI don’t believe in the idea that we have an ultimate purpose in life.  I don’t believe that any of us are here for any reason other than that our parents had unprotected sex (intentionally or not) and we are born and live and breathe and subsequently find ourselves experiencing, at some point, some existential panic.

I have never asked what is the purpose of life.  Not once.  Not seriously.  Not when I was suicidal.  I wasn’t troubled with purpose so much as I was troubled by a willingness to continue feeling so much damn pain.

We exist because we were born.

I understand that it’s not that simple for others.  (To be completely honest I have to rephrase that: I know that others don’t see the simplicity for themselves.)  People want reasons.  Reasons to live.  Reasons to love.  Reasons to recover from trauma.  Reasons to keep creating when it seems completely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things.

People seek answers.  I think they’re all right in front of us.

turkey chicks

The answers are always in front of us but we aren’t always ready to see them.  We aren’t always evolved enough to read them, to understand them.  So some people look for guidance with religion.  Some with meditation.  Some with dangerous recreational drugs.  Some people join communes with megalomaniac leaders.  Some give up meat.  Some become celibate.  We make gestures of humility to the great unknown hoping that the answers will write themselves across a cerulean sky.  We hope this will part the great misunderstandings of our life.  We hope this will tell us what to DO.

not intimidated

I find my meditation with the wild turkeys.  I find it in a lot of places, but right now I am gravitating towards them.  Every chance I get I drive down this road where I have seen them before and hope I’ll see them again.  And I do!  I know how others see them: they’re ugly and scary and ridiculous and dinner.

Not to me though.  To me they’re spirit lifting.  They make me laugh from a pure place which is amazing because I’m not the poster-child for purity.  I think they’re beautiful and funny and weird and wild and ugly and primitive and worldly and fundamental and full of the values of family and community.

Have you ever been warned away from baby turkey chicks by a group of male turkeys?

They connect me back to my primitive humanity.  They make me forget questions about ethics and unemployment and worth and a possibly doomed future.  All I think is that nature is magnificent.  Nature is weird.  Nature is a freak-genius designer!

Turkeys and vultures must be THE top two creatures that only a mother could love.


And me, Angelina.

I’m a mother, after all.  I don’t see myself as separate from the turkeys.  Can you just imagine how turkeys see humans?  What vile devil are we to their primitive eyes?  I know they are drawn to my Vespa against their will – the shine! the wheels!  the noise!

Seeing the wild turkeys of Santa Rosa is the same as meditation to me.  It’s the same as checking in with a pastor or a guru or any interpretation of how life should be and finding that none of it matters more than keeping your eyes open and appreciating the full spectrum of the human experience every chance you get.

Sunday with turkeys

My biggest reasons for living are the inconsequential details that are like mice in a house of kings.  Seeing a big-ass bird parade himself in front of my Vespa in a message of intimidation and warning – it’s nothing and yet at the moment it’s happening it is so magnificent that if you let all your expectations of life go – it will fill you the way no wordy answers can.

The pageant of life is worth everything.

The pageant is our meaning.

The pageant is our language.

The pageant is this minute right now.

It’s breathtakingly simple.

You don’t have to find it in wild turkeys.  You can find it anywhere.  It’s about stripping yourself of grand expectations and accepting that this moment right now – this matters more than anything else ever will.



Angelina Hangs with Wild Turkeys for Fun

wild turkeys 1

Santa Rosa has a large population of wild turkeys that come down from the hills and roam neighborhoods.  Many years ago they came into my garden and I was so excited – too bad I hadn’t yet velcroed a digital camera to my hand.  So the other day I was taking a little back street to the grocery store and I saw a group of four turkeys in the middle of the street and I stopped so I could stare at them.

wild turkeys 4

I texted my sister to tell her about the magnificent and hilarious birds in the street and commented that of course this was one of the rare times I didn’t have my camera with me.  She told me to take a picture with my phone.  That hadn’t occurred to me because my camera phone takes crap pics but I took some anyway because – I really wanted Tara to see what I was seeing.  This one dude came really close to my scooter and strutted his stuff.  He was either sizing me up as a potential threat or a potential meal.  I hung out with them for about ten minutes talking to the dude and observing his huge hard beak and his menacing claws.  Just when I thought he was preparing to come in for a taste of my ankle I decided it was time to split.  I drove down the road laughing with glee and feeling a little breathless the way you do when your lungs fill with excitement instead of air.

They totally made my day.

My sister said they made her day too.

turkeys chasing man

Now I take this little backwater road every time I go in this direction in hopes of seeing the turkeys again.  Yesterday afternoon I was cruising through and thought “That was it.  I’ll never see them again.” and I turned a corner just in time to see three turkeys chasing a man down the street.  The man was pretty unimpressed with the 30 lb dinosaurs trotting after him.


It’s no confession to say I love birds because everyone knows it by now.  I love hanging out with birds.  There are no birds I don’t like.  Birds are weird and wonderful creatures.  Many of you see a turkey and automatically think “Dinner!” or “What stupid birds!” but when I see them I see this incredible creature whose ancestors predate ours by a few million years.  Maybe you don’t have to respect that, but I do.

dont eat him

I love the noise turkeys make.  It makes me so happy to hang out and chat with them.  They are trying to impress me with their struts and I just want to get closer and walk with them all day.


These guys are BIG.  If you’re only used to seeing them plucked and defrosting on your counter or roasting up in your oven then you have no idea.  If you had to fight these birds hand to hand I’m putting my money on them to do you some pretty major damage.  Humans with weapons and tools have an unfair advantage and makes them feel superior.  Sure, you can dispatch a turkey super fast with a shot gun.  A little less fast with an arrow.  It would take a very strong and skilled person to kill one with their bare hands.

magnificent strut

I think that every person who eats a turkey should have to catch and kill one with their bare hands.  Not turkeys raised on a farm but a wild one  You want to eat turkey I think you should have to fight a wild one before you get that privilege.  Or – everyone who eats turkeys could give them a nod of honest respect before cutting into them.  Thanking, not god, but the turkey itself for dying to fill their bellies.

big ass bird

But I feel that way about eating any animals.  Humans are only as tough as the weapons they carry.  Humans without guns are pretty pathetic.  This explains a lot about the state of the world.  The balance of all of nature would be better if humans had never invented firearms.

the sky the turkeys the vespa

I still don’t know if these guys want to eat me or fight me.  I think next time I see them I’m going to actually park my scooter and get off of it and stand around with the birds and see what they do.

dudes being intimidating

These guys are not afraid.  They come within pecking distance of me.

gorgeous feathers

Such gorgeous feathers!

hanging with birds

Every time I see these guys I feel like it’s such a gift that they’re still around.  Such a gift that wild turkeys still exist in spite of humans.  Don’t anyone tell me how dumb turkeys are or I will have to tell you how dumb humans are.  Worth isn’t all about measurable intelligence which humans can only measure against what they interpret as intelligence which is a pretty limited yardstick.  Us humans are destroying our own environment at an alarming rate, destroying our food sources and polluting our water with careless overpopulation and a dumb-ass belief that nothing can stop us because we’re just that rad.

All I’m saying is – give these birds the respect they’re due.

Because they’re just that rad.

P.S. I just put the first recipe post up on The Post Apocalyptic Kitchen – check it out!