Sarasota News Leader

11/16/2012

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Sarasota News Leader November 16, 2012 November 2, 2012 Although Wild and Domesticated turkeys abound in Sarasota County, I have never had the pleasure of seeing one. It is M. perma- frosto, the Frozen Turkey subspecies, that rules on Siesta Key. The Frozen Turkey is a headless, tailless, apo- dal breed whose pimpled pale flesh is covered with an inscribed plastic wrap in lieu of feath- ers. Its innards, cryogenically preserved in its cavity, include a long wrinkly neck, a hefty over-sized liver, a tiny heart and gizzard. Take a look at the accompanying photo of a turkey at 7:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. It more resembles a prop on a "Mission Impossible" set than a delectable dinner. But in just a few hours it will be served stuffed, golden-brown and aromatic. How does that happen? Well, from what I have observed, on Thanksgiving Page 74 Day, more than on other holidays, people ex- tend their warm hospitality not only to be- loved family and friends but also to those who might have been left all alone that day. And I see families and children, old and now new friends, all laughing while chipping at the ice in the turkey cavity, yelling encouragements to their favorite football team while setting the microwave's defrost function and help- ing out in every way while having a grand old time. Many guests even stay long enough to help with the cleanup! The Thanksgiving spirit of sharing is amazing, and it makes me proud to be a Native Ameri- can owl — but determined to keep my freshly caught vole all to myself. Otus ABOUT OTUS Otus Rufous, an Eastern Screech-Owl, was born on Sies- ta Key and is a full-time resident there. An avid hunter, accomplished vocalist and genuine night owl, Otus is a keen observer of our local wildlife and knows many of nature's secrets. Otus will answer your questions about our amazing wildlife, but only if you Ask Otus. So please send your questions and photos to askotus@sarasotanews- leader.com. Thank you. Its wild cousins may not be common on Siesta Key, but the Frozen Turkey is an ordinary sight near the latter part of each November. File photo

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