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For those of you interested in what the North Florida woods are like, this week PBS Nature repeats a wonderful show called "My Life as a Turkey".  Based on Joe Hutto's 1995 book "Illumination in the Flatwoods", it more or less replicates his backyard science experiment of living with turkeys. Scratch along with the turkeys below the squiggly orange bug and find more delights.

The Flatwoods probably cover half of Florida. Formed during glacial periods as the seas rose and fell depositing sand, what we have now is sandy, poorly drained soil with an overstory of pines and lots of palmettos. Some of it may be wet, fire occurs often and is necessary. It's flat.

North Florida being what it is, development was slow compared to the miles of Flatwoods bulldozed and drained into submission farther south on the peninsula. Joe Hutto was living in the Flatwoods near here when he received a gift of wild turkey eggs.  The Smithsonian has a good review of the book and basic story.

I've watched the recreated documentary before, on YouTube or something and it stays true to Joe's story. The PBS Nature website is currently showcasing additional stories and sidepieces including an interview with Joe. I encourage y'all to stop by, either on TV or the web, spend an hour or so and enjoy this delightful story.  Some of my previous diaries, like this on carnivorous plants, have explored the Flatwoods.

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:13 PM PST.

Also republished by J Town.

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