Nov 27, 2007

Doing the Turkey Trot

With my ducks and chickens all over the yard, you'd think I'd get my bird-lust out of my system and not be at all interested when wild birds stop by for a spell, but you'd be wrong. While I do enjoy song birds and crows (I'd love to have a pet crow like Uncle Billy in It's A Wonderful Life, who my husband is quick to point out is a) a drunk who nearly ruined George Bailey's business and life, and is b) a fictional character besides), it's the more exotic wild birds I can't get enough of. Maybe because I don't get to see them so often, they remain an exciting novelty.

We've had a flock of wild turkeys who've been passing through our yard fairly frequently. Living on such a busy street, I'm always afraid that one or more of them isn't going to make it from the woods across the street over to our yard, but make it they always do (which is no small feat given the fact that turkeys are not the brightest birds in the world). No wild turkey pancakes in the road yet, thank god.

The other day my cat snuck outside and when this happens, if you wait patiently enough, it becomes fairly easy to find her. All it takes is listening for the wildlife that's going berserk nearby. If I give her a few minutes to find something interesting to stalk, then she's easily grab-able. Squirrels loudly scolding, birds freaking out en masse at the top of a group of trees, or should she escape after dark, moles squealing in the grass like tiny pigs going to slaughter, there you'll find Maia Louise basking in the chaos she has wrought. Sure enough, the ruckus in the woods behind my next door neighbor's house led me right to her and while I was picking my way through the underbrush to get to her, I saw a small gray shadow moving off to my right. I stood very still and sure enough, it was one of the wild turkeys. A few steps more and I had to freeze again for another wild turkey followed by several turkey chicks. I was thrilled to know that two of the original flock had splintered off and were raising their family in the safety of the woods back there. When the turkeys saw me they beat quite a hasty retreat further into the swamp, putting as much distance as they possibly could between them, myself, and my delinquent cat.

What a lovely discovery, and just in time for the Thanksgiving season. How wonderful to have turkeys out in our yard to celebrate the day. Gobble, gobble.

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