|Nice wild turkey, nice beard|
Hen turkeys will sometimes grow beards, too, but I believe theirs are less impressive. At any rate, the odds are this fine fellow really is a fellow and that’s what I will call him. Mr. Turkey has been fairly predictable this week. He calmly shows up at about the same time each morning, often accompanied by several of the local deer. He forages his way slowly across the field, sometimes in one direction, sometimes the other. He isn’t quick to mind when a car comes by or, in my case, when I stop the car to take a better look at him. He’s a lot more intent on breakfast than on me. Of course, I don’t attempt to get out of the car either, which would likely send him dashing off towards the woods.
On an entirely different note, this is the week the black raspberries are ripe. They are my favorite berry, perhaps even my favorite fruit. They have one disadvantage: the berries are ripe for only about 7-10 days out of 365 and then they are gone, so there’s little time to gather or buy them or to put them up. A neighbor makes black raspberry jelly or preserves, and I am usually able to get a jar or two from her. That helps me survive the 355 days of the year when I don’t have black raspberries. I hoard the jelly like gold or perhaps diamonds. I plan entire seasons of the year around my jars of black raspberry jelly.
I will eat fresh berries until there are no more. Then, perhaps in September, I might break into one of my frozen pints of the berries. Perhaps in October, I will open a jar of the jelly, and I will do my best to make it last. After that, perhaps it will be time for another frozen pint. The second jar of jelly will probably be opened on Christmas or perhaps New Year’s. After that it may well be February, on some cold and raw day when I am in need of comfort food, before I pull another pint from the freezer.
After that, my store of black raspberries will be pretty thin. I might have a pint or so left. In a good year, I might have one more jar of jelly. But one thing is sure. It will be long, cold spring until the new black raspberries are ripe again.