Chronicaling the lunacy of taming three acres in Tidewater Virginia, one square foot at a time!

"Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wild Turkeys

Driving down 158 in Currituck I noticed this large flock of wild turkeys. They were actually quite hysterical, running furtively all over the field. Seems funny that Ben Franklin thought this would be a good national symbol!
The idea that Benjamin Franklin preferred the turkey as the national bird of the United States comes from a letter he wrote to his daughter Sarah Bache on January 26, 1784, criticizing the choice of the Bald Eagle as the national bird and suggesting that a turkey would have made a better alternative.

“ For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...
I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.” (Benjamin Franklin to Sarah Bache, January 26, 1784.Library of Congress, Manuscript Division.)

In an early example of Congressional gridlock, it apparently took Congress six years to choose the eagle as the emblem of the newly formed country. It is not apparent that he ever officially advocated the use of the turkey as a national emblem.

The garden is kind of cold and quite.. still I found the Sedum sort of pretty.
The rose is hanging on despite frost damage...
A few rose hips on that bush....

That's it...for a cold southern Sunday.

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