Weather permitting I will be celebrating Arbor Day my traditional way by dressing up like a tree, making sexy, fowl noises and hoping to seduce the bird that takes center stage in the Nebraska woodlands each spring – the wild gobbler.
To appropriately do so I will rise well before daylight, dream about a hearty breakfast while munching on stale granola bars and drinking bad coffee on the morning commute to the river bottom. Once parked at the field entrance I will stealthily stumble over every downed branch and find the only spot on the creek that is deeper than my boots.
Having found a good cottonwood, oak or maple to sit against (the first two were thorny, locust) I will take my place to listen to the predawn magic that happens in Nebraska spring woodlands. Cardinals, robins, quail and perhaps an owl will be the prelude to what has drawn me to this celebration.
When the light is right and my anticipation has peaked a lone gobble will cut through the rest of the chorus and stir my soul. My first attempt at a turkey-like sound may come out a bit high-pitched because of my enthusiasm, but if its sparks a reply from a tom my morning has been made.
I will do my best to interact and become part of the spring-serenade, but if things don’t go as planned it doesn’t even matter – as long as I have heard that gobble.