Nature’s Thanksgiving

 

By Derek Stoner, Family Programs Coordinator

 

 

A young male Wild Turkey keeps an eye out for danger while feeding in a field.
A young male Wild Turkey keeps an eye out for danger while feeding in a field.

The Native Americans shared the Thanksgiving tradition with the Pilgrims, who could not help but be amazed at the bounty of nature and how much food could be hunted and gathered from the wild.  The Wild Turkey later became the symbol of the holiday, for this regal gamebird was abundant and doubtless provided many meals for our Pilgrim forefathers.

Wild Turkey populations almost disappeared , but conservation efforts have brought their populations back to abundance.
Wild Turkey populations almost disappeared, but conservation efforts have brought their populations back to abundance. Today there are nearly 8 million Wild Turkeys across North America.

As we gather around tables today to celebrate the harvest and the bounty of nature with plates heaped high with food, take time to reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving.  While most of us enjoy easy access to food and the other necessities for survival, the wildlife around spends every day in search for food.  Be glad you don’t have to go outside and gather your food everyday!

A Gray Squirrel devours a wild apple.
A Gray Squirrel devours a wild apple.

The squirrels, the turkeys, and all the other wildlife have a daily challenge to put enough food in their mouths.  When fall arrives and nature’s bounty is laid out, it’s no wonder that the animals feast and gorge– just like us! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Leave a Reply