Buck noticed them first. Two wild turkeys swaying, trying to balance themselves on top of the six-foot chain link fence around our back yard. Those two hopped down onto the ground inside the fence. The rest of the flock waddled in through the gate I had left open the other day when I was going to mow one last time for the season but didn’t because some small mow-stopping mechanical thing went wrong with the old John Deere and so I left it sitting where it stopped, outside the gate under an oak tree.
We have been seeing this group two to three times a day for several weeks. They normally circle the clearing between house and woods, darting enthusiastically at seeds and bugs. It’s hilarious to watch them run around on the driveway. I can almost hear the click-click-click of their steps. Yesterday, however, is the first time they’ve come exploring into the fenced area out back. The only reason we have a fence is that county code requires a swimming pool to be enclosed. Seems kind of silly out here on a hundred acres of woods, and looks ugly, too, but in our litigious society, the fence has to stay. Guess I better go close the durn gate, too.
The pool has an automatic vacuum system we call “the blue streak.” It is subject to rear up and spray water in your face or wet your clothes when you’re innocently walking by. Buck and I surmised that big turkey leaning over toward the pool may have seen movement from the blue streak. I’ll bet if it wiggled around and sprayed them, there would have been some kind of squawking, hissing, and flying. Sure would have been fun to watch. Still, we were highly entertained when two hens moved around each other in circular dance steps so lovely and formal I swear I could hear a string quartet accompaniment.
The turkeys spent almost an hour in the backyard exploring what was for them virgin territory. They eventually wound up by my motley assortment of bird feeders near the eastern border of the fence. The feeders draw zippy chickadees, angry-eyed fat doves, cardinals, titmice, goldfinch, and all sorts of tweets my brother Wally (see his gorgeous new blog, Our Florida Journal) could identify.