Captured in one shot

This wild turkey escaped being part of someone's Thanksgiving dinner. A familiar site in the north woods, these birds move quickly and it takes a combination of luck and timing to get a good photograph. Photo courtesy of Nanci Brosseau.
Nanci Brosseau

Many area residents enjoy the sport of hunting wild turkeys. Nanci Brosseau loves shooting turkeys – but with a camera, not a gun. She took this photo recently when she and her husband were returning to their home north of Park Rapids.

“I usually bring my camera with me because you never know when you might see something exciting,” she said. “There is a mile-long dirt road with forest on both sides to get to our home. We have a rafter of turkeys that live in our area, and one day recently when we were returning from town, we came across the rafter having a snack at a neighbor’s bird feeder. I asked my husband to stop the truck and I started shooting photos. There was a light snow at the time, and the scene was very pretty.

“When I was editing my photos, I noticed that a turkey in one of the photos had a blue head and the others did not, so I did some research and I discovered that the color of a male turkey’s head will change depending on its mood. If the turkey is excited its head will turn blue, and if he is stressed it will turn bright red. I love learning new things about the creatures I capture!”

Brosseau grew up in the Twin Cities area.

“I had always considered myself a city girl until two-and-a-half years ago, when my husband and I made the life-altering decision to give small town country living a try, and we landed in the Park Rapids area,” she said. “We both have always loved nature and the outdoors, so we thought it would be a good fit for us.


“I have always had an interest in photography and capturing special moments, but I started taking photography more seriously when we moved here. I invested in a better camera, lenses and photo editing program, and it was amazing how my love for photography grew once I started taking better photos. I continue to learn as I go, about photography and about wildlife and nature, which is my favorite thing to shoot.

“I am in my element when I am among towering trees or standing on the water’s edge. There is nothing better than being in the right place at the right time and capturing a majestic sunset or spotting a camouflaged owl taking a snooze deep in the pine trees.”

She said that while it only takes one shot to capture the moment, it often takes many shots to get one you really like.

“If people knew what it actually takes to get a decent wildlife photo, they would probably be surprised,” she said. “Lots of time and patience and many times, luck.”

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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