Out of Season

Wild Turkey male in the park

It was the first day of Spring and I had put my camera back in my pocket and was walking back to my car, thinking I was done for the day’s visit.  Then I saw what looked like a pink pole sticking up in the grass to my left.  I couldn’t place it, and stopped to look closer.  Suddenly the pole moved and a large shape pushed through the grass with it.  Omigod, a Wild Turkey.

They’re not uncommon on the streets of Berkeley, and I’d seen them on University Avenue outside the Berkeley Meadow months ago, but I’ve never seen them in the park before.

The park seems like a natural spot for them.  They’ll eat just about anything.  The park lacks their favorite items, nuts and berries, but has plenty of nutritious weed roots to dig up like bristly oxtongue, rumex crispus, thistles, wild mustard, wild radish, and others that nobody will miss.

I encountered them walking north on the west side of the park, along the paved perimeter trail, not much concerned with people passing by.  They probably knew that it was the first day of Spring and Thanksgiving is a long way off.


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