Thursday, February 28, 2013

WHAT A BUNCH OF TURKEYS…

In our “new to me” old home, the Navigator and I are still acquainting ourselves with the road habits and mores of the neighborhood. In the last couple of days, we’ve been getting some early morning visits from our new neighbors. Fortunately, they are quiet when they go on their early morning walk…

They do tend to stay a while. So far, they aren’t eating us out of house and home with their voracious appetites. They all seem to be “clean platers” as my first grade teacher used to insist we all become.

Morning visitors

(Our sunrise visitors…)

This particular flock numbers 19 thus far. There is one obvious alpha Tom and several smaller males (jakes) and, of course, many jennies. It isn’t too long in the timing of things when the jakes will be separated from the jennies by Tom as he masters his brood. Then, he too, will depart for some “alone time” while the hens give birth and nurture the newborn.

So far, the turkeys have been fun to sit and watch while having morning coffee. They also make a return lap or two around the house in the evening. They are much more pleasant neighbors to have than the skunk that apparently has a regular route through our backyard.

As March roars in “like a lion”, we have several days of moisture ranging from wet cold rain to light snow accumulations. I prefer the snow at this point as walking in our yard is like stepping on a sponge when the grounds thaws out even slightly. We’ve had no appreciable snow fall at our house this year and certainly nothing like is hitting the Midwest and Northeast over the past weeks. We have had many inches of rain. No drought here!

After reading this, I’m going to avoid complaining about bad winter riding conditions. (Thanks to The Path Less Pedaled for the link.)  The wet winter weather in my home community has really created a lot of damage to our local roads with the constant freezing and thawing cycles. While out scouting a new route for the Metric Century of our 2013 Blue Ridge Breakaway, I found numerous areas where road banks and road beds have given way. It would be a good time to have stock in the orange barrel and orange cone industries!

With gasoline prices up yet again, that also means the income from gas taxes are likely to go up unless citizens reduce their gasoline purchases. It will be interesting to see if any of that money finds its way to Western North Carolina for timely road repair. Given my home state’s current legislative agenda, one doesn’t know what to expect anymore. These aren’t exactly roads that move a lot of commerce so they probably won’t be high up on a priority list to fix.

While doing some Google searches on bicycle advocacy efforts in North Carolina, I landed on the N.C. Department of Transportation site. More specifically, I ended up on D.O.T.’s page dedicated to bicycling in N.C. Part of their offering is this poster of safe riding tips.

It appears my coffee cup is empty again and calling for a refill…

Until later,

- Zeke

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