2013 already, can you believe it? I’ve practically been making this little comic for nearly a year now… but not quite. Next month is the big one-year anniversary, so you can expect me to toot the horn about that in a few weeks. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, that’s Dad’s turkey call up there in panel 2; he doesn’t just roam around the yard making noises like that for the heck of it. Usually.

When I was younger, there were no turkeys anywhere near our house, despite our home’s proximity to a wildlife refuge. I think this was true for much of the valley, in fact, although I think there was a flock that would show up near Lolo during the winters when I was in high school. These days, it’s pretty much as described in the comic. One showed up five or so years ago, stuck around, had a family, and now there’s a seemingly healthy population of them roaming amidst the fields and hanging out in the yard when the weather is cold.

From a scientific standpoint, I find myself wondering what’s changed. Has development in the valley lead to less predator habitat, allowing populations of turkeys to thrive? Is it related to the use of less or different pesticides, in the same way that the DDT ban has lead to a now-pretty-good Bald Eagle population in the valley? Were they simply introduced or transplanted several decades ago, and have now reached a perceptible population threshold? Have spay and neuter programs successfully reduced the number of stray cats roaming the fields, allowing turkey chicks to thrive? I’m not really sure why conditions seem to suddenly support turkeys, but I’d kind of like to know. It’s strange to see the wildlife around the house change over the last several decades, since things have mostly been the same for thirty years around my folks‘ house, at least in regards to a one-mile radius. I’m glad, however, that I’ve seen several (presumably non-invasive) species of birds appear in the area without any apparent loses of species– it seems to be an overall positive environmental indicator.

Oh, and speaking of turkeys, I made and posted a little video about them last week that’s over on the Journal portion of this site. It’s just a short one, but hopefully good for a laugh. In the meantime, have a Happy New Year, and start 2013 off by doing something fun and creative!