Wild Turkeys Strut Their Stuff

IT’S TURKEY TIME again. Isn’t it funny how these birds come out to play, just as our attention turns to holiday meats like corned beef (St. Pattys Day) and ham (Easter)? And the way they strut their stuff so bodaciously — without regard to people or predators. It’s as if they’re flaunting their feathers in front of us – just because they can.

Maria Ku had a pack of wild turkeys land on her neighbor’s roof the other day.

“The birds seemed very agitated (happy?) and immediately walked up and down the slanted roof to the next roof and the next, then came down on the driveway and walked further to the green lawn area by the houses,” she reports. There were 14 turkeys, following their leader like little soldiers. At least they weren’t goose stepping.

Meanwhile, reader Laura Thomas says she’s also spotted several flocks of the comical creatures, including two that were strutting down Piedmont Avenue outside BlockBuster Video. A woman was reportedly trying to “herd” them out of the line of traffic toward a little park and creek on Vista. A modern day shepherd, of sorts.

AROUND TOWN: After months on the market, Montclair’s Royal Ground Coffee House has a new owner. It’s the same guy who owns the Montclair Egg Shop — Miguel Barron. Talk about a full plate — Barron just opened the Egg Shop for dinner – the first time an evening meal has been served at the venerable breakfast place since the mid-1980s. Where he’ll find the time to run Royal Ground is anyone’s guess — but then, he’s a young guy with a lot of talent and drive.

CRIME UPDATE: Just days after a fatal hit-and-run in the hills last week, neighbors on Manzanita Drive are talking about an explosive early morning car fire in the parking lot of The Hills Swim and Tennis Club. Police say someone stole a hummer in Fairfield and set it on fire in the Oakland hills, possibly for the insurance money. The burned-out hulk of metal sat ominously in the early morning hours, hardly noticed by the bleary-eyed members who were arriving to exercise.

GREAT NIGHT: The “beautiful people” seem to have a standing date at the Oakland Museum for its monthly First Friday events. The most eclectic and best dressed group I’ve seen in awhile finds the museum a great place to groove with live music, libations, and after hours access to the museum — all for the price of admission. Go in March and you’ll catch the 100th anniversary exhibit of Oakland’s California College of the Arts. It’s a timeline of social influence over the last century, with more than 120 pieces of fascinating (and occasionally eye-popping) student art. It’s especially interesting if you’ve had a cocktail or two at the party first.

MAIL BAG: The Town Crier doesn’t get much snail mail these days, considering the cost of postage. But a concerned reader writes: “please mention in your column for people to pick up their pet p—.” She says enough trouble navigating the uneven sidewalks in Montclair, without having these unwanted dog droppings to boot. Even fellow columnist Dave Newhouse mentioned the problem recently. Come on, dog owners — start scooping what’s yours.

FREEBIE ALERT: Everyone loves something for nothing. That’s why I’m promoting the free plant exchange at 3811 Lakeshore Ave. on Saturday, March 29. Bring your roots and shoots, plants and prunings, to the “grassroots” event from 1-4 pm and swap them for greens you actually want. There’ll be garden accessories, too — even pots and pond fish. For more information, call 510-866-8482.


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