Garden Photo of the Day

A Time for Thanks

Group of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) come to search for tubers, beetles, berries and seeds from our upper rear garden. In the evening they seek shelter in the upper branches of the oak trees.

Irvin and Pauline from Carmichael, California have a special "thanks" for their GPOD family. As the Web Producer here at Fine Gardening, I'm honored to do my best to continue Michelle's work here on the GPOD! ~Susan

"Soon Thanksgiving will be upon us as another year of memories are filed away. Pauline and I wish to thank and acknowledge Michelle for her dedication to excellence while serving as our GPOD guru. She brought together beautiful gardens for visual reward, inspiration, and admiration. And a special thanks to all the gardeners who so willingly shared your glorious landscape creations. Since beginning with the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving in 1621 the wild turkey became the quintessential model of Thanksgiving. Accordingly, it’s featured in this GPOD entry. Our woodland garden setting attracts nature’s wildlife to our doorstep so we shared their photos as well. Best wishes to all for a happy and wonderful Thanksgiving. May we have peace in the world."

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This female, lacking spurs, seeks to join the flock of hens that soon will be entertained by a dancing gobbler. 

A large tom, always flamboyant and occasionally violent, with his chest padded with fat to sustain him through the weeks of courtship, is about to join his waiting flock. 

To attract and hold his harem a gobbler struts with tail fanned and wings dragging on the ground while showing his iridescent plumage in the sun.

A gobbler, his wattles gorged with blood, his head turned bright blue, white and red to excite the hens. 

Each day a mule deer doe brings her young fawn, sporting his changing brownish gray spotted coat, to enjoy a lunch of fresh clover.

This majestic mule deer buck is always a welcome visitor to the garden.

A Crimson Queen Japanese maple shrouds a lantern and row of begonias.

The little boy bronze fountain stature tends to his watering chores.

A black-chinned hummingbird mom feeds her chicks cuddled close in their nest of plant wool and bound by lichens and spider webs. She feeds every ten minutes. 

View Comments


  1. perenniallycrazy 11/24/2015

    We've missed your garden Irvin and Pauline. So glad you are back at the perfect time too. Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the GPOD family.

  2. jeffgoodearth 11/24/2015

    nice to see this year's turkeys in the garden,,,,,,,thanks!

  3. Sunshine111 11/24/2015

    So lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  4. NCYarden 11/24/2015

    Very cool. Love the maples.
    Interesting too to see Thanksgiving dinner live on the lawn.
    Enjoy the holiday, and hopefully some good El Nino rains.

  5. diane_lasauce 11/24/2015

    Splendid images! A real joy as we approach Thanksgiving. And thanks to FG for giving all of us gardeners a platform on which we may share. Peace. Diane

  6. kgamel 11/24/2015

    Beautiful..but what happened to Michelle?

    1. Susan_Jensen_Smith 11/24/2015

      Michelle moved on, but we miss her very much!

    2. perenniallycrazy 11/25/2015

      Michelle: Happy Turkey Kim G.!

      1. foxglove12 11/26/2015

        Thanks for this link to Michelle.

  7. katieerb 11/24/2015

    Such great photos, really shows the beauty of the wildlife. What happened to Michelle?

  8. user-4691082 11/24/2015

    I really enjoyed the photos! Our Creator certainly is imaginative! Unfortunately, Michelle was a product of downsizing. We all hope she has found another creative outlet for her talents. We still miss her. I sent my photos in the week she was let go. I guess I'll try to resend them. Happy Thanksgiving to all GPOD ers!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/24/2015

      To Susan and the rest of FG: thanks for working hard to keep this blog and community going and Happy Thanksgiving this week!

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 11/24/2015

    So great to see your garden and animal visitors again, Irvin and Pauline. Honestly, I was just thinking about your garden this week. The maples and begonias just made my heart sing and I love the hummingbird shot.

  10. wGardens 11/24/2015

    Beautiful photos- and I've always loved your gardens. These wildlife shots are also a treat! Also taught me something- I didn't know the female turkeys could have a beard.
    Love the shape of your Japanese Maple. Thanks so much for sharing these great photos. And to all- Best Wishes for a lovely Thanksgiving with friends and family!

  11. User avater
    meander_michaele 11/24/2015

    Your pictures are so alive and compelling, Irvin and Pauline, I can almost hear a "gobble gobble" jumping off the page. I very much appreciate the closeup portraits of both the males of their species....turkey and majestic. And to go to the opposite end of the spectrum of nature's miracles and see the diminutive hummer tending to her even tinier young...such a treat.
    An extra special sincere Happy Thanksgiving to all who share this ongoing passion for the love of gardening.

  12. greengenes 11/24/2015

    How nice to see these photos of the beautiful wildlife and your gardens. I have never seen turkeys close up and feathered! They really are a beautiful bird! We sure do thank you Susan for stepping in and filling some big shoes! What a wonderful job to have! Michelle has started something for sure! I must say that I sure like the picture of the row of begonias. Hope you both, Irvin and Pauline have a wonderful end of the year and I hope you are getting some rain there! Thanks for sharing once again!

  13. user-7007496 11/24/2015

    Absolutely gorgeous!!!!! Wonderful pictures.

  14. User avater
    user-7007816 11/24/2015

    What a beautiful setting and beautiful photos.

  15. VikkiVA 11/24/2015

    Thank you Irvin & Pauline for the turkey close ups and the beauty that is your garden. Such amazing pictures. I felt like I was flipping the pages of a magazine! Vikki in VA

  16. GrannyMay 11/24/2015

    Irvin and Pauline, it is wonderful to see your beautiful gardens and the wildlife you shelter again. I wish you many many more years in that special place your teamwork has created and hope that the drought is soon over. Your photos are outstanding!

    Thank you for setting an example to the rest of us to enjoy and share what we have. Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. GrannyCC 11/24/2015

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thanks to Irvin and Pauline for these wonderful pictures. The turkey is really an amazing bird.
    Thank you also Susan for taking over and keeping GOPD going.

  18. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 11/24/2015

    Irvin and Pauline, thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Those wild turkeys are so colorful and your shot of the Black Chinned Hummer must have taken some patience:) Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope that you all get to enjoy family and maybe a nice hike in the woods.

  19. schatzi 11/24/2015

    Exquisite photos of wildlife. You have created a Paradise for Man and Beast. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the natural world and for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

  20. Meelianthus 11/24/2015

    ALWAYS enjoyed your gardens Irvin and Pauline and these photos are exquisite. Isn't wildlife just so amazing! It really keeps life in perspective, Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. foxglove12 11/24/2015

    Wow! Amazing. I don't think I've ever seen a Tom strut his wings. Similar to a peacock. Very cool thanks for sharing.

  22. sheila_schultz 11/25/2015

    Irvin and Pauline... your always thoughtful words and beautiful photos never fail to bring a gentle feeling to my soul. Thank you.
    To all of my gardening friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy all the possibilities life and our gardens have in store for us!

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