I’ve been thinking about turkeys. No, not the ones many people ate yesterday, rather, the ones I saw scuttling through the woods all the years of my childhood. The ones I see now running across the road, traveling through meadows, and huddling together in the farms as we drive over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house. When I came across Jim Arnosky’s All About Turkeys, I thought it would be a timely read.
Arnosky has so many books and so much experience that it was impossible to expect anything but the best from this book. And he didn’t fail to deliver. His illustrations are beautiful, accurate and colorful depictions of wild turkeys. He shows some actual size parts of the birds, as well as enlarged images with a great depth of detail. Readers can learn much from the illustrations alone.
All About Turkeys is not the most original title for a book, but it does indeed tell us all about turkeys. Arnosky offers numerous facts about wild turkeys, both in the main text, as well as in small tidbits thrown around the pages. We learn that turkeys have binocular as well as monocular vision. We see the actual size of turkey feet and heads. And we discover how turkeys got the name gobblers. My favorite fact, however, was something I did not know: A turkey’s head can change color. It is featherless and when calm, it is grayish violet. When the bird gets worked up about something, the head turns red, white and blue! This change can happen in less than a minute.
The ability for turkeys to change their coloring is astonishing, but equally astonishing is that I didn’t know this! It reminds me that there is so much left to learn, for me as an individual, but also for the whole of humanity. Scientists know more about our earth than I ever will, and yet there is also so much more to learn that in a hundred or five hundred years, humanity still won’t know it all.
I hope we never stop studying, exploring and seeking to understand the workings of this astonishing planet around us. For me, as I considered turkeys, I was pleased to discover All About Turkeys, which shows me there is always one more wonder of nature to be grateful for.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Copyright © 2014 Amanda K. Jaros All Rights Reserved.