Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Gang of 18 - A Close Encounter

Suddenly I was nervous.  Suddenly I was positive I was under scrutiny.  Yanked back by peripheral vision from my world far from here, I stopped typing.   I turned to the window on my left thinking it was just another wee bird stopping by for some bug or taking a moment to tease one of the cats.

It was indeed a bird perched not 3 feet from my window on the edge of the yard cart I left there in what appears to be it's new permanent parking space.   It was not the usual chickadee, cardinal, blue jay or sparrow.  This avian intruder of my space was much larger and it had its head cocked just right so one eye looked right at me.  The eye blinked.  Or winked.  Not sure as the other eye was on the other side.  What that eye might be doing was any one's guess.

What sat on my rusting yard cart not 3 feet from my window was a huge Tom turkey staring me in the eye.  The rest of his gang was busy picking and pecking at whatever it is turkeys pick and peck at when in my yard.   He regarded me.  I regarded him.  We both I am sure were amazed over the short distance that separated us. 

"Good morning Sir Turkey".

His head dipped as only a turkey's can and then another eye blink.

"What brings you to my window this AM?"  I looked past him at his flock romping in the yard.  "A fine brood you have with you this year sir."

Another head dip and then some shuffling of his clawed feet on the edge of the cart as he moved closer to the window.  The wind shifted.  Suddenly the distinct smell of poultry came wafting through the office.  Big Tom turned his head and looked at me with both eyes.  He gobbled once, blinked once and then was silent. 

It was then I noticed Stubby laying in her usual spot under the bushes about six feet away.  She was lost in lala land all stretched out enjoying soft snores and leg tremors as she chased squirrels in her dreams. 

As if on cue, she woke up.  Then all Hell broke loose.  Immediately there were turkeys in the air, turkeys running every which way, with Stubby in the middle of it all barking and having a grand time.  And still the big Tom sat on the yard cart looking at me not moving a muscle.

His flock scattered, I figured I should say something.  "Uh bud, maybe you ought to leave now."

He continued his perching stoically, grandly, just blinking and bobbing his ugly head.    Her job as watch dog having been satisfied, Stubby sat down in the yard and looked back towards my office window. 

Uh oh.  She spotted Big Tom.  Tom's head rotated 180'.  Still he did not move even as Stubby began her charge.  At the last second he turned back to look at me and then in a wonderful display of flight disappeared in an instant.

This happened a couple of weeks ago.  Every day since, the local flock has made my yard part of their daily circuit.  One morning I opened the garage door and the whole gang was circled around my pick up.  This morning, they hung out a few feet from the back door snatching bugs and gobbling loudly.    The brood of younguns are almost full grown now.  They can't fly yet, but damn, they are quick runners.  Stubby has been in dog heaven these past couple of weeks.   And obviously the turkeys don't see her as much of a threat.  Really not what one looks for in a good watch dog.

See Ya..........................


The Blog Fodder said...

That is so cool. Real wild turkeys and no fear of you or the dog. I have never seen a wild turkey other than in pictures. Can you get a video?

Randal Graves said...

Turkeys are one thing, but can he take out terrorists?

David Barber said...

Mike, is this true? I was reading it like it was fiction. Great story either way, mate. :-)

MRMacrum said...

Blog Fodder - You have given me the incentive to figure out how to turn on the video chip in my camera. I'll have to do it soon. Fall hunting season begins for Turkeys around the second week in October.

Randal - All Stubby can do is chase. I am pretty sure if she ever caught something, she would not know what to do with it. But she has fun.

David - Yeah, this happened. I have exchanged looks with several interesting critters through that window over the years. A bobcat once. Some deer more than a few times. At least two or three foxes. And once a hawk who snatched a garter snake 30 or so feet out. But none of them even came close to engaging me like that big tom turkey did.