A thunderstorm had rattled our ridges, but the clouds over Soco Gap began dissipating just before sunset.

Turkeys and Sunsets

Turkeys and sunsets have nothing in common, unless you find both while wandering through Cataloochee Ranch on a Friday evening.

Wild turkeys are very abundant in the Western North Carolina mountains and the flocks can be quite large.Turkeys will assemble large flocks to enter the winter months but then break into smaller flocks in the spring for mating season. Since a female turkey may lay a dozen or more eggs in the spring, she also has a large family entering the summer months. Thus, large flocks like these, are quite common.

Wild turkeys are a very common sight, even a large flock like this. (By the way, a group of wild turkeys is called a flock, though a group of domestic turkeys is called a rafter).

Wild turkeys are a very common sight, even a large flock like this.

Since it always comes up when using the term flock to refer to turkeys, I will go ahead and mention that a group of domestic turkeys is called a rafter. But the term for wild turkeys is a flock. I don’t attempt to explain the vagaries of the English language.

A short time later, the view to the west was spectacular as the sun set over Soco Gap. The gap is the common path between Maggie Valley and the Cherokee Reservation.

A thunderstorm had rattled our ridges, but the clouds over Soco Gap began dissipating just before sunset.

A thunderstorm had rattled our ridges, but the clouds over Soco Gap began dissipating just before sunset.

The gap is also known as Ahalunun’yi, meaning “Ambush Place.” When the Shawnees attempted an invasion against the Cherokees, the Cherokees established a successful defense in this narrow gap and caught the Shawnee warriors by surprise. A lone Shawnee was allowed to live and return to his tribe in order to communicate the strength of the Cherokee defense forces.

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