Embrace the now


By Johnny Sain

Turkeys… That word is muttered with respect, whispered with urgency and grumbled with frustration more than any other word in my vocabulary come springtime. Turkeys are on my mind with the first chorus frog serenades in February until late spring’s bugs and humidity close the chapter on another season. To say they are an obsession is an understatement, but I haven’t really figured out the reason.

They are, of course, beautiful birds, and gobblers in particular. This isn’t a slight toward the hens. Hens are beautiful in a different way. The contrast in physical appearance is all about ensuring another generation of turkeys. Hens are a mottled buff coloration. It’s a pattern geared toward concealment because hens are tasked with incubating a clutch of eggs right on the forest floor. The best defense against predation is to disappear, and if you’ve ever

Big green waste of space


By Johnny Sain

Man versus nature is a common theme in America. The idea that Europeans whittled a civilization out of wilderness is one of the tired old narratives crammed full of erroneous assumptions and misinformation that has reinforced this idea. Even an education can’t turn back the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, message pumped into our brains from an early age that we are supposed to subdue nature; bend it to our will. Sometimes we don’t even have a solid reason for battling nature. Let’s take lawns for instance.

I hate mowing the lawn. Hate it. As the intoxicating smell of chlorophyll and other chemicals from fresh cut grass fill my nose (mowing’s only saving grace) my body goes on autopilot as my brain tries to figure a way out of ever doing this again. The mower follows the line separating clipped grass from unclipped — right wheels just to the right of the line so the full width of the deck is working for me — and I make another pass around the yard while asking why.

It’s a legitimate question. Why do we spend so much money and work so hard for what amounts to a biological wasteland around our house?