My Life as a Turkey (Nature–PBS)

My Life as a Turkey premiered on Nature this week.  This is one TV show you won’t want to miss – it’s still being repeated on some PBS stations, and you can watch it online here.   Here’s the preview.

Don’t be fooled by the subject  – I know most people think of turkeys as dumb ugly birds – but this is a brilliant exploration of mind and nature.  The film is based on the 1995 book Illumination in the Flatwoods by Joe Hutto.  Hutto was given 16 wild turkey eggs which he incubated hoping that the hatchlings would imprint on his face – and they did.  He quickly learned that being a mother to the hatchlings required a full time commitment and spend all his waking time with them for six months, and followed them for over a year.

If you’ve seen the wonderful film Fly Away Home, then you’ll know about imprinting.  And even though this story is about how amazing wild turkeys are, and the power of imprinting, what really stands out is what Hutto learns about the conscious mind and living in nature.

Hutto got to integrate himself into the natural world like few people do.  He got to think like a turkey and realized these wild creatures were a whole lot more aware of things than we believed.

We think of humans as the only animal with self-aware consciousness – but new studies are suggesting that consciousness is a spectrum of awareness and even multiple kinds of awareness.  Some people suggest that animals have phenomenal consciousness – awareness of the world around them, and this is what Hutto descends into when he’s with his wild turkeys.  Through long intense observations he learns what the turkeys see in their world, and even learns their language.

This film shows Hutto becoming a Zen like guru of awareness.  Hutto  talks about how most people live in the future, always thinking about what will happen.  The turkeys live in an absolute now.  Like Ram Das teaches – Be Here Now.

But I don’t think I need to say any more.  Watch this show.  You can do it now from here.  I kid you not, you will be amazed.  No words I can say will prepare you.

JWH – 11/20/11

Where one line can make a difference.

Engaging With Aging

As long as we're green, we're growing

A Deep Look by Dave Hook

Thoughts, ramblings and ruminations


A story a day keeps the boredom away: SF and Fantasy story reviews


Pluralism and Individuation in a World of Becoming

the sinister science

sf & critical theory join forces to destroy the present

Short Story Magic Tricks

breaking down why great fiction is great

Xeno Swarm

Multiple Estrangements in Philosophy and Science Fiction

fiction review

(mostly) short reviews of (mostly) short fiction

A Just Recompense

I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

Universes of the Mind

A celebration of stories that, while they may have been invented, are still true

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Make Lists, Not War

The Meta-Lists Website

From Earth to the Stars

The Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Author & Editor Blog

SFF Reviews

Short Reviews of Short SFF

Featured Futures

classic science fiction and more

Sable Aradia, Priestess & Witch

Witchcraft, Magick, Paganism & Metaphysical Matters

Pulp and old Magazines

Pulp and old Magazines

Matthew Wright

Science, writing, reason and stuff

My Colourful Life

Because Life is Colourful

The Astounding Analog Companion

The official Analog Science Fiction and Fact blog.

What's Nonfiction?

Where is your nonfiction section please.

A Commonplace for the Uncommon

Books I want to remember - and why

a rambling collective

Short Fiction by Nicola Humphreys

The Real SciBlog

Articles about riveting topics in science

West Hunter

Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat

The Subway Test

Joe Pitkin's stories, queries, and quibbles regarding the human, the inhuman, the humanesque.

SuchFriends Blog

'...and say my glory was I had such friends.' --- WB Yeats

Neither Kings nor Americans

Reading the American tradition from an anarchist perspective


Speculations on the Future: Science, Technology and Society

I can't believe it!

Problems of today, Ideas for tomorrow


Peter Webscott's travel and photography blog

The Wonderful World of Cinema

Where classic films are very much alive! It's Wonderful!

The Case for Global Film

'in the picture': Films from everywhere and every era

A Sky of Books and Movies

Books & movies, art and thoughts.

Emily Munro

Spinning Tales in the Big Apple


hold a mirror up to life.....are there layers you can see?