I've seen turkey feathers in the fields and woods around here since day one. The turkeys themselves, though, have been another story.
Wiley and shy, wild turkeys are seldom seen out in the open. Still, I'd heard tales ... "Mom, there were turkeys crossing the road as I drove in today!" ... "Vick, you should have been here this morning. There were twenty turkeys in the front yard!" ... turkeys at the pond ... turkeys in the friggin' trees ... and I hadn't seen a one. Until yesterday. When I didn't have my camera.
There I was, see, checking out the new stove and fridge that had been installed in my absence that day. From the corner of my eye, through the kitchen window, I spotted something large and dark moving at the far end of the pasture. So I grabbed my binoculars and finally caught sight of these turkeys I'd heard so much about. I just had to try to get a closer look.
Now, I'm thinking that turkeys don't fly if they don't have to. They're inside the fence, and there's only one gate. I should be able to just sort of casually sneak up on them. So off I went, strolling toward the pasture and through the gate, hands in pockets, not looking directly at my quarry. I felt like Elmer Fudd stalking a wabbit.
Most of the birds ignored me, but two of them were already watching me intently. I feigned interest in the manure pile for a while, trying to look like a fellow bug browser. They didn't buy it. The flock moved a little further back in the field. Now and then, I'd take a peek at them through the binoculars. Admire the manure. Peek again.
Time for a closer stroll. By the time I got about halfway to the flock, several of them were focused entirely on me. I suddenly realized that these were damn big birds. And I began to question how close I really wanted to get to an angry wild turkey.
While I pondered the possibility of being attacked by turkeys, the birds decided they'd had enough. One by one, they strutted over to the fence and flew up onto a wooden railing. Several of them sat there for a while, looking me over, before drifting down into the woods and melting into the shadows. I would have killed for a camera, but somehow I think I would have missed the moment if I'd had one.
So all you get to see today are the feathers we've collected, as proof that the gobblers are out there. Until now, that's all I had, too.
Longwood Gardens - Part IIII
15 hours ago