Wednesday, December 23, 2015

foraging on the verge

foraging on the verge 
five bronze-cloaked wild turkeys blend
with winter's oak leaves

A small flock of five wild turkeys pass through the mowed yard between the cedar fence around our house and the surrounding woods of mixed oak and hickory. They usually appear in early morning or late afternoon, sometimes in single file, sometimes forming a loose circle as they bend their necks to the ground to forage for acorns and nuts.

They showed up after Thanksgiving, as if celebrating their freedom from the fate of their domestic cousin.

One of them appears to be a male, bigger, with a redder head and wattle. From time to time he spreads his beautiful striped wings as if he is herding his harem of hens.

The turkeys forage right up to the lattice fence. I keep expecting them to fly over it, to peck at the black oil sunflower seeds and apple cores I put out for the birds. Big as they are, they are agile flyers, though they usually fly low to the ground. So far they merely peer over the low fence. However, yesterday when I came home, three deer jumped over the fence, from the narrow space next to the house. One after the other, they leapt full out over the barrier and sped off into the woods, white tails held aloft.

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