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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Thanksgiving Musing...

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Potpourri

I was raised in a small community in beautiful southwestern Wisconsin named Viroqua.  Not too far from that town was a small crossroads place called Romance on the route to the Mississippi River.  Romance laid claim to a couple of taverns, a general store and a ball diamond in addition to being in the Bad Axe watershed.

What does all this have to do with Thanksgiving?  Well, it all has to do with turkeys.  Romance was the general area where wild turkeys from Missouri were released in Wisconsin in 1976.  There were about a hundred of them as I recall; maybe someone reading this will have a more accurate count.  Missouri traded those turkeys to Wisconsin for some ruffed grouse, and I have no idea of how Missouri made out on that deal.

The turkeys were an experiment since many didn’t think they’d ever survive in Wisconsin where they’d once lived but been eliminated by one thing or another (man probably had quite a hand to play in that).  Those turkey ancestors and their offspring have succeeded in finally populating all 72 counties in Wisconsin.  A story in today’s Sentinel Journal reminded me of this and it seemed appropriate for Thanksgiving Day.  We have had turkey families walk through our yard in Germantown although after the red fox family I blogged about earlier this year was born here there are fewer wild creatures of all types to be seen.

These birds are at the same time beautiful, a bit on the ugly side and intensely territorial when humans think they are in control.  I ponder that the wild turkey was in consideration as our national bird when I look at it as contrasted with the majestic eagle that made the cut.

I remember being surprised when I originally learned that wild turkeys like to roost in trees; it was hard to even imagine them flying for more than a few feet.  But, these birds are very capable and fast a flight.  They are not quite so skilled at the landings though as you’d know if you ever watched one land for the night in a tree.  Those I’ve seen doing that tend to slam into the tree and then fall a branch or two until they’ve found something to hold on to.

Little Romance has had quite an impact on the state. Who’d have thought that would ever be the case, especially if you had ever had the pleasure of driving through Romance.

Now there are feral pigs alive and well in and around Romance.  The grey wolf has made its way down from the north to the Romance area.  Cougars have taken young livestock in the Romance area. Maybe there is something in the water down Romance way.

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