Even more exciting than the realization that my backyard had been transformed a few weeks ago into a turkey suburbia was the discovery of a Great Horned Owl in one of the trees at the back of the property. She might not be nearly as cute as a turkey (if you even would consider a turkey cute- I do), but she sure is a far rarer sight in this area.
She was there in the early morning when I went out to water my birds and she stayed straight through until dusk. It was amazing to watch all the smaller birds swoop down and dive in regular waves at her tree hour after hour, shouting and calling to drive her away. One little male cardinal was especially driven to scare her away, though he obviously had no luck. Neither did the dozens upon dozens of crows that taunted her and flew at her head for the better part of the day. The noise was extraordinary all day and could be heard clearly and quite loudly even inside the house.
And while there wasn't a single small mammal to be seen anywhere on the ground throughout that entire day, there was one poor, unfortunate little squirrel who was just feet from the owl and who had laid himself flat out on his branch not daring to move so much as a muscle for the full ten hours she was perched there in the tree. Poor thing, caught suddenly in the midst of his morning squirrel business of snacking and burying, he was stranded and paralyzed there for hours. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the terror of that day must have chipped years off of his already brief little life.
Still, the visit from the owl was a simply magnificent gift. I cherish the chance to see such rare and beautiful birds in such close proximity to my home. Nature is a joy. Nature is perfect.