Posts Tagged With: Turkeys

OTTER CREEK ON THE BLUE RIDGE

From Mary’s desk:
After a peaceful night at a Moose Club in Vinton, a small town near Roanoke, VA. we got back on the parkway. A morning haze coveredĀ  the peaceful mountain, heavy with leafy trees.

As we rose in elevation the trees changed to more stunted growth; trees are yet to gain full leaf, here. The forecast was for rain, but the day was mostly overcast as we drove along.

Many vistas. So far in the Blue Ridge we have seen deer, turkeys aplenty, squirrels, many birds and butterflies which seem to drift in front of the motor home. Two turtles in the road where we hoped other motorists would miss them as we did. This area backs up to Jefferson National Forest with treed hillsides as far as the eye can see.
The first wild rhododendrons in bloom, not that my through-the-window pictures do them justice. Rocks vary the landscape.

Another beautiful stone bridge, of many.

The park design was deliberately zig-zagged to take advantage of the view, always the views were the foremost consideration. As below, the James River.


At Otter Lake we realized we were at the lowest elevation on the parkway at 649 feet. We stopped to have a bit of lunch and play. Rock climbing and photographing the little plants and flowers about the creek. Noticing a beaver chewed tree.

At Otter Creek Camp Ground, which was unexpectedly open, we found a drive through spot right along the burbling Otter Creek.

We explored, walked, read a bit. No sooner finished, Jim brought in the chairs and boom. The thunder commenced and a heavy downpour enveloped us as we sat safe inside with our dinner cooking on the stove. (Glad we were not in a tent.)
Finally the rain ceased. Neighbors Frank and Diane Wilson came by to chat. They were driving in the downpour and got caught about a quarter mile before the campground by a downed tree. A new ranger, without a chainsaw had just come from a class on learning to use a chainsaw. We had a laugh over that. The tree was cut with a handsaw, with the help of travelers, and all turned out well.

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ABOUT THE GUEST OF HONOR


Modern turkey farms aren’t as bad as they used to be. Our family camped near La Grange when our kids were young and you could smell the turkey farms miles before you came to them. Should have been enough to turn the appetite away from turkey. It didn’t, though.

In the 1980’s I did an article about a turkey ranch on Highway 4 near Farmington. I was impressed at how clean it was. Ranchers feed people economically and turkey raising doesn’t use up the resources that beef and pork do. Except for their feed. Corn raising produces a blight on the earth from the massive amount of fertilizer used to grow corn.

Now I choose to shop my turkey at a free range turkey farm. No smell. The birds are lively, clean and happy, given their short future. I’m sure they are corn fed.
I’m supposedly getting wiser. I know the day is coming, in my lifetime, when population demands and resources, already feeling the strain, are going to produce a new way of living with less meat, or no meat in our diets. My vegan friends are adamant the time to change is NOW.

I’m reminded of two things, when Native Americans hunted, they always thanked the animal for its contribution to their health and blessed its spirit. And, I’m reminded of a man who was way ahead of his time. He said:

The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.
Leonardo da Vinci

I thank my turkey for being the guest of honor at my table tomorrow but I’m also wrestling with my conscience about eating meat and see myself moving closer and closer to vegetarianism.
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