Mudcat Café message #1853119 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85316   Message #1853119
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
07-Oct-06 - 11:14 PM
Thread Name: BS: Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Subject: RE: BS: Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
A bright harvest moon outside. Need a different name because harvest here in Alberta was over fairly early last month.

Raised in New Mexico, we didn't get much about the pilgrims in school, but the American thanksgiving holiday pretty well coincided with local harvest festivities of the descendants of the Spanish, and later, Mexican peoples who lost the land to American expansion, and the Indians who before that had lost control of the land to the Spanish.

The Merriam turkey is native to the Southwest and southern Rockies, and often we managed to have a wild bird for the celebration (some males weigh up to 40 pounds). The bird was seen here and described by the Spaniard, Casteñada, the historian with the Coronado Expedition of 1540, who was impressed by the "cocks with great hanging chins." Its meat was appreciated by settlers and Indians here long before those late-comers to America, the pilgrams, landed on their rock.

The central New Mexico area was sufficiently settled by 1610 that a "Historia de la Nueva Mexico" was published that year (A most unusual book, the history is written poetically, in cantos, by Capitan Gaspar de Villagra, and can be found on the web).

Canada once had turkeys in southern Ontario, but I believe that they are extinct in the wild.