Even though Valentine’s Day just past love is still in the air! Everyone at the ranch is showing their appreciation for the things they love. We love the moon for lighting up the sky during our night hikes, and the horses for taking students on rides through the beautiful meadow. We show our appreciation for the moon by telling students interesting facts such as the line between the dark and light side of the moon is called “The Terminator.” We show our appreciation for the horses by feeding them their favorite treat, chaffhaye.
What do you love? How can you show your appreciation for the things and people that you love? How about telling your friends and family how much you love them, or writing them a note, or doing something nice for them! We can show our love for nature in a bunch of different ways like picking up trash we find, recycling, stopping to smell the wild flowers, and doing our best to take care of our planet! Hopefully your love and care will be contagious and spread to others around you!
“All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.” -John Lubbock
Don’t forget to show your appreciation for the people and things that you love!
With all our love,
The Pathfinder Ranch Naturalists
Gravy the turkey joined the Pathfinder family last spring when she was hatched in the incubator. From those very first moments onward, Gravy (formerly thought to be a male) has been a favorite among naturalists and students alike. Why do so many people fall in love with Gravy? It probably has something to do with Gravy’s friendliness and her heart-warming tale of confusion and family.
After Gravy hatched, the mama turkey who laid Gravy’s egg had laid and successfully hatched other eggs; with these new poults around, the mama was sure to reject baby Gravy, so she couldn’t live in the same coop. The chickens in the other coop were too big for tiny Gravy to live with safely, so she couldn’t live there, either. She had nowhere to go on the farm. So, Gravy stayed in the Nature Center, where she was hand-raised by naturalists and met many loving students, but no other birds. Naturally, this led Gravy to believe that she, too, was in fact a human, albeit a small and fluffy one.
Gravy grew happily in the company of visiting humans for several months, until one day a new batch of baby chickens arrived at the farm. These chicks were just the right size for Gravy to live with, and she soon moved in with these news chickens. Gravy took to her new chicken family quickly, and soon seemed to decide that despite being significantly taller than her new family perhaps she was, in fact, a chicken, and not a human after all.
Throughout all of this, Gravy’s mother continued to raise her three other poults, all of which were most certainly turkeys. Eventually, all of the farm birds at Pathfinder were allowed out of their coops to free-range around campus. Gravy came into contact with other turkeys for the first time in her life! But, she did not recognize them as her own, and she continued to hang-out with and occasionally defend her adoptive chicken family.
Once in a while, Gravy seems to look longingly at the other turkeys or will follow them around a bit. Other times, she will look in the window of the staff house as if she wants to enter. These are only moments, though, and Gravy always returns to her true home – in the coop with her chicken family.