Monday, December 12, 2005

Wild Turkeys

It’s the middle of the night and its cold and the wind is blowing and the dogs are barking.

They are up there on the road barking at something in the woods.

I think its those turkeys.

Wild turkeys. Something like four dozen of them. They’ve been up on this side of the mountain for at least a week now. Every night they’ve been roosting in a stand of tall oak trees.

And with the daylight they spread out through the forest, gobbling and scratching at the leaves, looking, no doubt, for whatever it is that wild turkeys eat this time of the year.

Now, I don’t actually know for sure that the dogs are in fact barking at those turkeys.

They could be, instead, barking at almost anything.

It could be that bear. The one that’s been knocking over my beehives for the past year.

How about that bobcat that stole several chickens earlier this fall?

An axe murder?

Or maybe its just moving shadows with the moonlight shining through the wind swept trees?

I could get dressed and go out and see. Put on my heavy coat and carrying our most powerful torch. Go outside and see what’s bothering them. Maybe take a dogbone or two. Give them a pet and tell them they are doing a good job of keeping the night honest. Only,

Only its cold out there and I’d rather stay in where its warm.

(I know someone from Norway and she says one of her more pleasant memories of home is cross-country skiing with friends during one of those long, cold Norwegian nights).

So, instead of going out and scaring away a potential bear. I’ll just stay inside.

Anyway, it’s probably the turkeys. Just yesterday afternoon, Wenonah and I went for a quick walk and we saw over a dozen of the turkeys cross the road in front of us. And then when we looked at the tracks in the snow we counted almost fifty sets of tracks. All heading in the same direction. They had been down foraging along the creek and were now going back up the mountain, were they could fly up into the taller oaks and, well out of reach of the ground loving predators, roost for the night.


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