All about Turkey: Kids Corner for the week of 11/23/20
Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn about Eagle County history each week.
Three adventurous, risk-taking men brought the first domestic cattle to Brush Creek in 1880. John Love, a middle-aged farmer who arrived in Colorado during the 1859 gold rush and established a cattle ranch in Park County, financed the operation.
Love soon discovered the Brush Creek valley, southeast of Eagle. The wide mountain meadows and abundant water were perfect ranching country. He claimed a 640-acre homestead on lower Brush Creek, then hired a couple of young cowboys: 24-year-old Webb Frost, and 17-year-old George Wilkinson. They herded 400 cattle from Park County to Brush Creek.
But their timing was bad. The cowboys started out in November and drove the cattle along Turkey Creek (Shrine Pass) all the way to Brush Creek. Then a major snowstorm arrived. The young cowboys sheltered in a small cabin and simply turned the cattle loose. Love thought that Eagle County’s weather was similar the Park County, where a continuous wind blew the snow off the ground, allowing cattle to graze throughout the winter.
However, once the snow arrived on Brush Creek, it stayed. Frost and Wilkinson hunkered down in their cabin for what proved to be a very brutal and lonely winter.
Historical records vary on the fate of those unfortunate cattle. Optimistic accounts suggest that when the spring thaw came, the cowboys rounded up all of their cows which had scattered from Brush Creek to Dotsero, and lost only one animal, which drowned in the Eagle River. Other reports, probably more realistic, indicate that as few as 30 cows survived.
Regardless, Love, Frost and Wilkinson adjusted their methods and established ranches. Others followed, and for the next 80 years, ranching and farming drove the county economy. In the 1960s, cattle ranching in the valley gave way to changing market conditions and the growth of the ski industry. Golf courses, ski runs and condos replaced the ranches.
Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.
Word of the Week
Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.
turkey / el pavo
Riddle me this
Test your wits and smarts with these riddles.
Answers are at the bottom of this article.
Riddle: Why did the turkey cross the road?
Riddle: At Thanksgiving dinner, which hand should you butter your roll with?
Riddle: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like?
Riddle: Where do turkeys go to dance?
Riddle: If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May flowers bring?
Riddle: Can a turkey fly higher than an ostrich?
It’s turkey talk this week with Thanksgiving on Thursday. And you bet there are wild turkey in Colorado. And, lots of them, nearly 35,000 according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Wild turkey can be found in 53 of the state’s 64 counties, including the northern and southwestern portions of Eagle County.
We have two species of wild turkey: Merriam’s Turkey and the Rio Grande Turkey. The Merriam is the more common of the two and is native to Colorado. It lives in open meadows of the mountains. These turkeys make up about 90% of all the wild turkeys here and live at elevations between 6,000 and 9,000 feet.
The Rio Grande Turkey was introduced to Colorado in 1980, and is found east of the mountains because it prefers lower altitudes no more than 6,000 feet above sea level.
Wild turkeys like to feed on nuts, acorns, seeds, fruit, insects, salamanders, lizards and snakes, if given the opportunity. Eagle County’s turkeys like to roost in ponderosa pine trees at night.
Did you know male turkeys are called “toms” or “gobblers” and female turkeys are called “hens?“
How big are wild turkeys?
Males can be taller than four feet in body length with wingspans as large as over five feet.
How much do wild turkeys weigh?
Between 15 and 30 pounds.
When is wild turkey hunting season?
Fall season opens Sept. 1 and runs through approximately Oct. 23.
Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at email@example.com.
Riddle me this answers
Riddle: Why did the turkey cross the road? To prove he wasn’t chicken.
Riddle: At Thanksgiving dinner, which hand should you butter your roll with? Neither – you should use a knife.
Riddle: What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth rock.
Riddle: Where do turkeys go to dance? The Butter Ball.
Riddle: If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims.
Riddle: Can a turkey fly higher than an ostrich? Yes, because ostriches don’t fly.