My memories of the St. John’s sideroad open farmed fields are slowly fading away. Less and less I hear from some of my acquaintances, “it used to be such a nice relaxing drive between Bayview and Leslie.” Take a drive, no longer can one feel like that. My memory of the beautiful treed lot on the South East corner of Bayview Avenue and St. John’s sideroad no longer exists. Simply, it’s just a factor of time.
Intermittent activities continue to happen along St. John’s sideroad. It seems like a pattern, developers dig and then they go back to the drawing board, then they dig again and then disappear for a while. Then one day suddenly a builder comes back and houses are growing from the ground up, just like mushrooms after one healthy rainfall.
Someone told me once, “there used to be cows grazing behind my house.” I asked, but it was just wishful thinking, “are they still there?” No, he confirmed; in fact no more grazing cows in Aurora, no more. And if there are, then I don’t know about them. Horses, yes. Chicken coops, maybe. Dogs, cats, don’t ask because we have many.
But if someone asks me, wild turkeys? I’ll say – yes.
“No, he confirmed; in fact no more grazing cows in Aurora, no more.”
It has been a while since I saw wild turkeys here in Aurora. My first encounter was a few years ago near McKenzie Marsh. It was just one curious wild turkey encounter. I know, who wants to remember a moment like that, but this one was a special one; a moment that makes me laugh every time I think about it. No photographs, just a memory of this one still reddish perked up turkey head with a body buried in the tall grass looking right at me. Perfectly still. We both accidentally happened to be face to face at a few meters distance. As soon as I reached for my camera, she was gone. I tried to find her, but she was gone, gone and gone. There was no sign of any other turkeys around either. I often came back to the area to resume my wild turkey chase, but I would leave with nothing every time. Like everything else, eventually with time my ‘turkey romance‘ faded away.
But then recently, my wild turkeys came back to the picture unexpectedly on the last day of 2016 and I was back on my wild turkey chase again. The former Lundy farm on the North East corner of St. John’s sideroad and Leslie Street has been kind of dormant. Last activity I remember was when trees were cut and hydro posts installed. The land is still farmed of what I can see. I understand this is often done to prevent soil erosion or to eliminate field dust.
It was December 31st and it was snowing. We were driving home from Newmarket on Leslie Street. When we arrived at the St. John’s sideroad intersection and almost ran over some road kill, almost killing it again; there they were, a flock of wild turkeys. They were pecking at the snow for seeds on one of the last farm-able pieces of land, the former Lundy’s farm. What happened next when I came back to chase them with my camera is now in pictures below. Enjoy.
Anna Lozyk Romeo