Water, Earth, Sky

Scott Shenk writes about the environment.

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A real turkey in Fredericksburg

The ‘Burg, like most of Virginia’s urban locales, is teeming with wildlife–much of which people see rarely, if at all.  But this morning, a wild critter was out in the open at the intersection of Douglas and William streets for all to see–a wild turkey. It was spotted by my colleague Cathy Dyson, who told me about the encounter as soon as I sat down. “You won’t believe this,” she said, recounting that the bird ran toward LibertyTown Arts Workshop, then flew over the building. I countered with, “Are you sure it wasn’t a [turkey] buzzard?’ She shot me one of those `I’m not an idiot’ looks–she lives in the wilds of Fauquier and her companion Lou is an avid turkey hunter. Then Lisa Clore, who works in an office across the street from the Free Lance-Star, sent her a picture she had snapped. Yup. A turkey, probably a juvenile male.

Then others in the office piped in about their wildlife encounters in the city. Jim Toler, a news editor, reported seeing bald eagles soaring over the Rappahannock, owls and hawks. Cathy Jett, assistant business editor, watched opossums and raccons on her rounds with her dog.

One of my favorites was during an after-work fishing trip to the old Cossey Pond off of Kenmore Avenue. I was fly fishing for stocked trout when a blue heron landed not 20 feet from me and, in less than five minutes, gulpled down three small trout. I watched, amazed that it didn’t fly away as I fished, and thankful to have witnessesed something I’ll always remember. And, on occasional walks along the Canal Path with another colleague, Nancy Moore, who is now retired, I’ve seen small flocks of wood ducks so close their iridescent feathers look almost unreal.

Lisa Clore snapped this picture of a wild turkey this morning along William Street.