Monday, August 1, 2016
Rainy Day Visitors
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I'm not sure this picture qualifies for quite that many. Still over the last two days, I have had a wonderful time watching the wild turkeys with their babies and the deer with theirs.
During yesterday morning's light rain, the turkeys arrived first. Four hens in a line walked slowly across Ed's newly mowed grass. I have often seen turkeys walk in single file, but not this time. Behind them were the five babies also in a line. They traveled from east to west eating whatever popped up in their path. When they reached the area behind the shade garden, they stopped. The adults flapped their wings and shook like wet dogs and the babies followed suit. Next they lined up again, but with the babies in front this time. I thought for sure they would disappear into the tall grass, but they stayed in the short grass. One hen stayed with the babies and the others wandered off on their own. The five babies followed what I assume is their mom in a fascinating game of follow the leader. When she ate, they ate. When she hopped up on Ed's stone wall they all managed to climb up there to join her. She flapped her wings and they flapped theirs. She sat up there preened her feathers and they preened too. I got a great look at the babies through my binoculars. Not everyone would say that wild turkeys have a pretty face, but these babies are still cute! When mom took a big hop down to the ground, the babies flew to join her. I enjoyed all this turkey activity so much, but just when I though I should be doing something more productive, a mother deer and her two fawns entered the mowed area from beneath the trees. For a time the deer and turkeys seemed to ignore each other, however one of those twin fawns is rambunctious. He ran at top speed skidding on the wet grass, narrowly missing his mom and the other fawn and jumped, landing right behind one of the turkey hens goosing her with his nose and front feet and making her hop out of the way. This caused all of the turkeys to gather back in a group and the Mother deer seemed to take a dim view of the fawn's behavior herding her family in the other direction away from the turkeys. This was all wonderful fun and I thought the show was over.
After a night of rain, this morning everything in the garden was wet. Ed headed out to the inside of the garden square to try a little weeding. When I looked outside I was surprised to see the turkeys right back here again. The fact that Ed was out there weeding seemed to make no difference to the turkeys. Before I could join him a loud clap of thunder sent Ed inside. It was followed by a period of heavy rain. We could not see the garden for a time, let alone the turkeys. As soon as the rain let up a little the turkeys were back behaving much the same as yesterday. This time they were really wet and when the sun came out all of the turkeys made their way to the top of Ed's stone wall. They flapped and preened. A couple of the babies sat right down there on top of the wall. They were there for some time. One of the hens was facing the woods and it was at that moment that Mother deer and her two fawns emerged from beneath the trees. Remembering yesterday's fun the rambunctious fawn streaked toward the turkeys. As he got close to the birds he realized that they were towering over his head. A turkey hen is a very large bird and is a lot more intimidating when it is facing you. The fawn skidded to a stop just short of the stone wall. He abruptly turned flashing his white tail and headed back to the safety of Mom and the rest of the deer family. The turkeys took their own sweet time getting down from the wall. The hens did not fly!
All during this morning's light drizzle, the turkeys and the deer wandered around in separate groups enjoying the short grass. If any of them went into the garden I never caught them. By this afternoon the drizzle remained, but the visitors were gone. It had been quite a show! I wonder id they will be back for an encore?