Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the First Day of Christmas

Unexpectedly today, while outside checking the icy rain, I saw a turkey fly about 13-14' high, into what I think is a cottonwood tree. The plump bird remained nicely poised there, balancing with its huge tail slightly wavering up and down. Amused and puzzled, I looked up its scientific name and found this:

"The Phasianidae is a family of birds which consists of the pheasants and partridges . . .; the American Ornithologists' Union includes Tetraonidae (the grouse), Numididae (guineafowls), and Meleagrididae (turkeys) in Phasianidae as subfamilies."

and this:

" . . . grouse and turkeys do not warrant separation as families due to their quite recent origin from partridge- or pheasant-like birds."

Partridge-like bird?

Hmm. Could that be a pear tree? I looked it up and found this:

"Pyrus calleryana . . . or Ornamental Pear, this tree is one of the most frequently planted around cities. This is largely because of its uniform shape, early bloom and colorful fall foliage. The leaves are thick and glossy and very similar to Cottonwood leaves."

Pear-like tree?

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Le Violiniste Bleu, Chagall