Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Visitors in the Heat

The only camera close by when I saw our wild turkey friends was my cellphone.  I snapped pictures, but the pink covering on my cell obscured part of them. This is the best pic I could find which resembles the larger group which visited yesterday.

       When you live on a farm you are closer to the routines of the Earth, and I think, perhaps closer to seeing that our place on the Earth is a fleeting one.  We are here for a short time, and hold a figurative baton for just a while, before passing it off to a successor, sometimes too quickly, I am afraid.   In nature, animals in a place do this too.   For a time, this farm was overrun with black bears. We made all types of adjustments so as not to encourage them here too much.   We moved hummingbird feeders from the porch to a hummingbird feeding station, we put out less birdseed at a time, and we cleared up dry dog food after feeding, as all of these things will attract a hungry black bear.  In time, all of the bears but one moved on.  Now, we rarely see a male yearling, and he tolerates us, as if we are landscape, and occupy a parallel dimension.   For a time we had the era of the rabbits, then the era of the blacksnakes, and last year, the era of the foxes.   We had multiple dens of different colored foxes at different locations in our forested farm.  We had mostly red,  some gray fox, and even a black one.   This year, a red one became aggressive to humans, and had to be shot.  Rabies can be a problem here also.  It is a rarity that we have to shoot something here, but it does happen.
           Yesterday, I think we began a new era.  The harbingers of this new era were three adult turkeys and their fifteen offspring who came to drink out of our eldest son's pond, before exploring another area of our forest.   I hope these creatures stay.   Lately, we have had quite the animal exodus here.   Many different types of animals who do not normally make the farm their home have come here lately.    Guineas and herons were the two most recent which come to mind.

This is what a wild turkey hatchling looks like.

           Yesterday, as I drove up to the farm from the feedstore, and then past the farm gate, I saw three adult wild turkeys, and counted fifteen babies, a bit older than hatchlings.   They has been drinking from our son's pond and were heading over to another area of the forest. In all the years we have been here, I don't think I have seen such a large group of wild turkeys together.  I hope they will stay here.

             The knowledge that this farm is a place where we are guests as much as we are owners, and that the animals come here to use the resources, is one of the things Daniel liked best about it. For a place in the middle of nowhere, there is always something to do, something to watch or something interesting to which to listen.

UPDATE:    May 6, 2013:

The turkeys have indeed stayed.  One of them was startled this week by the truck of the equine vet arrived.


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