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19 November, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner, not on our table

There are the traditional Thanksgiving dinners and there are those dinners that the hunters in the family have influenced. Marty and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Boulder, Colorado with Jeff and his family and at this moment I am not aware of their plans nor do I plan to impose my tastes on them. However, as I toured the ranch over the last couple of days, I was able to capture live and on camera what may end up on someone's table. At least at this time these 3 creatures are not headed for a feast.

The first bird you typically do not find in Montana. They have been brought into the state to provide their importers with something new to hunt. As a result, many have escaped and are now starting their own breeding programs and are showing up in many new places. This rooster made it onto our property, was in a field with 6 horses, and was photographed next to the fence that surrounds our home.
As the hunting season comes to a close there will be many of these critters heading toward the dinner table. As I walked across our pastures, I spotted at least 25 or more of these guys. They must be aware of the season, because as they saw me sauntering along with my camera, they fled the property. But I fooled this one and a couple of her buddies. I got behind a hill, not sure where they had traveled to and as I arrived at the crest, one was taking a nap and two were leisurely grazing. When they saw me, they were very surprised and quickly headed across the nearby fence and field. I was very fortunate to capture her in mid air.
and finally another new face in the neighborhood. It was only a couple of years ago that I observed a few of these birds. Then there were more and now they are all over the place. Obviously they have matured and believe the Grove Creek is their home. I found this guy with at least 15 more at the southern end of our property. Today, he is not headed toward a Thanksgiving dinner table. If you knew his lifestyle, you would hope he didn't turn up at your festivites. They are wild, they fly to avoid other creatures and people, they rest in tree tops . . . . all of which means, they do not have those big plumb breasts that you are used to seeing and there is little if any white meat, as a result of their physical activities. On the other hand, he is a beautiful specimen.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving