Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sunny, With a Chance of Turkeys

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.


Baker Watson said...

That's so cool that you saw that many and they even stayed around long enough for you to get a good look. We have quite a few just north of us (a matter of 1-2 miles) but they would seldom come down around our houses. This year, however, they have been spotted several times. I've seen them twice and others have seen them also. One scared me half to death when it suddenly came flying out from under a footbridge I was walking over. I guess it was down in the small stream getting a drink. And you are right. They are big, lol.

I'm looking forward to seeing some pics of your big birds soon.


Kiva said...

Oh, I hope you get a picture of them soon! I never seem to have a camera when I see them up at my friends cabin in North Carolina. You are right... they are huge.

spookydragonfly said...

I absolutely believe you! They aren't quite as shy in our woods. They're all around the cabin, around the pond and up in our trees. Bacause I'm a nutcase...in the evenings...I, uh, talk to them...in their language! We'll see a few families taking a stroll all together. You'll get that picture as soon as they bcome more familiar with your presence!

Kathy said...

Those wild turkeys are wiley guys and gals. I myself stopped to snap a few shots last week and did manage to get some, but sometimes the fun of the viewing is not being actively involved in anything but that. ;)

MyMaracas said...

Baker, that bird flying up from underfoot must have given you quite a start! I'll bet you looked under that bridge before going across again, didn't you.

Kiva, I hope so too. They don't usually come near the house, but by son has a superzoom on his camera. Sooner or later, I'll catch 'em.

Spooky, I'd give good money to see you talking turkey LOL I talk to everything. And I swear sometimes they understand.

Kathy, you're absolutely right. I've missed more than a few memories trying to capture a picture. It's important to remember to be in the moment.

Rambling Woods said...

I've only seen them here once and I think I read that they may roost in trees....