It was 6:00 AM this morning when we took our first look at the garden through the morning mist. Two mother turkeys and and unknown number of babies were right there in the garden walking down the garden path like it was their home. Ed and I watched for a few minutes. Observing the wildlife is one of the best parts of gardening here. Finally I took a chance and went for the camera. I knew I couldn't open the window, but I thought I would do the best I could shooting through the glass. Surely they couldn't hear anything or smell anything, but just that much movement inside the house spooked the turkeys. They didn't fly, but ran, scattering in every direction.
Once they get out of the short grass they are as good as gone even if they are still there. Disappearing in the tall grass is one of their very best defenses. Today, they simply disappeared into the mist.
Confident that the turkeys were still in the garden, Ed went out with the camera to see if he could capture our early morning guests. There, walking atop the shade garden wall, was one of the hens with at least three babies following right behind her in single file.
Ed's presence did move the turkeys in the direction of the tall grass. This time there was some flying. All that commotion drew two young bucks out from the cover behind the locust tree. One of these deer has been behaving in an unusual manner all year. Normally a deer will head for the hills when a person draws near. Rather than turn tail and run, this one squares off, advances and forcefully stamps his front feet into the ground. Following that display he lifts both front feet and makes punching moves in the direction of the person. So far loud noise and a falsely confident approach by the person has sent the deer away a short distance. There is no clear winner. Now the young buck has an impressive display of newly formed velvet covered antlers. These seasonal tools are used to fight. We are not looking forward to the change in his boldness that will surely follow the increase in male hormones. This potential problem requires a creative solution. The second deer in the photo had an even larger set of new antlers. What we need is a poacher for hire.
There is only a brief time when it is possible to work outside now because of the heat. Ed is trying to clean up the mess that followed peas planted here in time for our early hot dry weather. The peas amounted to nearly nothing while the weeds are enjoying a banner year. Two new hills of squash will be planted here when the weeding is finished. This morning our turkeys left bowl shaped depressions where they frolicked in the newly turned soil. The wire cage will be set in place to guard the newly planted squash seeds.
This afternoon from 3:30 on a fawn rested in the shade just above the garden. Mom was nowhere to be seen. Apparently she sees this as a perfectly safe place to leave junior. Later at about 6:00 when the fawn bolted for the tall grass, I knew Ed had arrived home. Later this evening a doe walked through. Perhaps it is the fawn's Mom. One thing for sure when we are not out there, the garden is far from empty!