High winds here and all around me, recently, though not in the destructive forces as experienced by both my neighbors outside of town AND my kin/friends that live south east of me by a good days travel –
Locally – no one feeling lucky to ‘survive’ the tornado – just continual whining and bitching about the wind – and working in it –
Thankfulness for moisture delivered via snow, even while they gripe about the mud as it melts in –
Humans, including me, just don’t change much, overall –
But you started to read about the turkey, right?
Here ya go –
I was finally able to sink into my preferred hibernation status for winter, sometime in February – given my natural inclination & preferences to start doing such things in late October/early November, I rather felt ‘cheated’ over my stolen ‘hibernation’ time.
So, I’ve been taking it as much as I can – however I can – to the point of being rude to some –
What? No one says the bear or the deciduous tree is rude, why must I become rude, just to do what I need to this time of year???
The Smell of Spring arrived on the air, March 15th…
I knew it, could smell it, could feel and smell the change in the air – how it tasted on the back of my tongue – what the ground felt like as I walked across it – in bare feet, or stocking feet –
I surely did, this year, count upon Mother Nature to give the signs, but grant me just a few more weeks of winter – for my own reasons –
She has delivered – – and then some –
There is no holding Her back – not in the landscape around me or within myself –
I’m staying up later and waking on my own earlier – I’m pushing it harder on many fronts, although still not fast enough for some –
The teeny-boppers in my realm are racing around, and griping, too, cuz they don’t know quite yet, what to do with themselves – –
I heard the ‘Gobble- Gobble’ cry yesterday –
It sounded distressed, not a call of “TamrahJo! come out and see the wonders! You’ve been hibernating way too long!” message –
I gazed out the back door – no turkeys in sight –
I returned to my desk, and I realized, “Well, I heard it OR I’m losing my mind, thus, best check the whole property…”
So I opened the door and heard the increasing frantic cries of a turkey – coming from the east side of my home…..
“Mother Nature….hear my prayer….”
“Let me be calm and non-threatening. Let me see if or how I can help. Let me not have to clunk that wildlife in the head or injure it to defend myself….”
Something is scared, distressed or in pain –
If the cause of distress is the running loose, again, neighborhood, aggressive dog? Let my hands be sure and quick to break it’s jaw as it lunges at me…. Thanks….”Sample of me talking to the higher ups – yep, it’s always this coarse and unenlightened –
What to my wondering eyes should appear….
but…in the very eastern corner, of the northern side of home, fencing front, a young, male, tom turkey, calling out for help from his family, who were sorta tracking back and calling to him, to figure out why he wasn’t keeping up – –
The wind had blown just a tad over, a couple of hog-height/hog tight fencing panels I had moved over there, and he wasn’t trapped – per se, or even injured –
He was just freaking out because a narrow ‘move to graze path’ that had been previously open to him, was now closed off (seriously – it was only a foot wide before -the wind just blew the ‘not yet installed panels’ to close that off completely – while, just to his right (north!) he still had about 6 feet of wide open space to get out of the corner he found himself in –
But, sigh – didn’t help – while he was just tootin’ along, doing his own thing, his family flock had moved to the direct south of him and all he could say/do was,
“Don’t leave me! I can’t get out!”(loosely translated turkey talk, by amateur linguist)
Sigh – I THINK I know this turkey – I’m Sure I do!
Not by anything other than spirit – from the first moment he joined his clan in their open range grazing across my place – last spring, to be exact – –
Ahh – during cold weather, he would be nesting up close to the east side, while the rest of the flock ‘moved on’ and he would whine and wail and sound like he was being beaten, cuz they left him while he wasn’t paying attention….
He often came right up to the east side window and would make such a racket, I had to wonder,
“Are you talking to me? What??! Is??? The Problem??” and then, I’d gaze out and see him and think, instead;
“Ah – this growing up and adulting it stuff is rough, sometimes, eh?”
That was then – this is now….
I can’t swear it’s the same one – I don’t GPS/Radio track them, ya know – and unless they have an injury, crooked leg or distinctive coloring? I can’t tell ya for sure, other than my heart recognizes them – all the same – as them –
I slowly approached, even as his family backtracked towards the area where he feared he was trapped – – I moved slowly, scanned the surroundings for predators of him/me (yup, some town dogs around here, are, in my mind, predators worse than the coyotes) and…
My prayer was heard – and answered.
His family just stopped and started a chorus of calming calls – and didn’t charge me for threatening his survival – they just started grazing, while serenading him, waiting for me, to see what I was gonna do –
I didn’t have to risk telling a neighbor, “um, yeah, your dog needed his jaw wired shut and no, I’m not paying the vet bill”….
And all I had to say was,
“You silly thing! all ya gotta do is move to the right instead of insisting you want to go left just now- that way is blocked…..Ya gonna be stubborn? Fine – I can move the panels so your little, narrow way you’re used to traversing is once more open to you….”
All I had to do was grab hold of those long, heavy panels, to get leverage and grip to, try to slide them out the ground they were in (thank goodness they are wire and not solid – the wind was blowing hard!)
The ground, in various areas of their 18 feet of length, made up of mud, ice, melted/refroze snow and frozen in blown dirt and snow (under the shade of the huge ponderosa tree, on the north side area that gets full sunshine less than 4 hours a day – dappled shade the rest of the time, no matter the season) and I didn’t even barely budge them an inch or two …..
What was it? Me? approaching? Maybe I muttered curse words under my breath at how weak I am at things I used to do all by myself and not struggle to even budge….who knows?
But whatever I did, or he realized, or thought, all his survival methods were put into perspective in a moment and he ran like a streak out through the wide open way that had been his for the taking the entire time, but he just hadn’t seen – –
Nothin’ doing but he ran around the entire place zig-zagging north and west, until he got all the way around the house/and other places he’s ranged over in peace, for a long time, and should know by heart and turned back to the east and south, once more, to join his family, who, by this time, had decided he would catch up with them once he figured it out….
(um, yeah, if he had waited just a moment, he could have streaked out and ran about 4 feet to join them – alas, by the time he worked his stress off, they were across the road and more than 30 feet away from the fence line they had come back to keep him company at….I just watched the entire show in utter amazement – wondering just how threatening am I??)
Problem solved, and he didn’t kill/injure himself in fleeing….
Was my initial thought – all while I also thought, “my, how he has filled out this year! He’s going to be big and strong! Look at the brilliant colors the sun catches in his feathers, as he runs pell mell to flee from me…to safety….he’s still sorta, the dunce of the offspring, though, ain’t he….well, if he survives long enough, he’ll become wise enough to go with his growing brawn….time will tell…..”
Maybe it takes one Turkey/dunce/space cadet’ to know one – I can’t say, in all honesty –
But, just in case I was the dunce, overall??
I laid the fence panels down until they can’t be blown over budged/at all by being installed improperly/temporarily.
The turkeys are light enough and nimble enough to roost on top of of them, the deer manage across cattle guards and will survive, the rabbits hop across the spring snow and the local dog?
Not my fault, if he is too stupid to stay on his own place – and freedom of open range means freedom to injure yourself, too, when you choose to waltz in like ya own the place and think ya can do whatever ya want –
Some say I’m Empathic…Some say I’m a hard arse….
Me? I try to do my part where I’m called upon to, and yet, Life is hard – for me, for them, for anyone and well – on my land/in my heart and domain?
Mess with one of mine, you mess with me…. 😀
And bless his little pea pickin’ heart, that turkey, is ‘one of mine’ though he comes and goes freely and would tell ya he don’t know me and no one ‘owns him’.
About The One I swear to you, ‘I know’?
He is getting bigger, more beautiful in plumage every day, louder voice that calls & develops, but still, rather a space cadet and whiner – but that just my opinion – I figure he’ll figure it out, someday – or he’ll show me one day, who, exactly, the ‘turkey’ is in this play – –
That said, I was chased by a Tom Turkey when I was young. My dad fought a couple off with a sewer line sized pipe wrench on a job site, once – Thus, sans a tire iron or one of my dad’s sized pipe wrenches for ‘big jobs’? (now I’m big enough to actually lift AND swing the durn thing without knocking myself out or on my arse?)
I just hope the space cadet recognizes me – over the coming years –
The local dog? He’s rather a teeny bopper too – sorta of a bully and has his own little clique of believers/followers who love the taste of freedom, just until I stand my ground and say, “Go Home! This is NOT your place. Go home!” and they are already tired, hungry and wanting their comfy digs to return to –
He puts on a tough show, but in the end, he still isn’t quite the arse wipe he tries to convince everyone he is – but, he is getting bigger and scarier every once in awhile when we cross paths on my place –
Maybe he’ll get ‘some raising’ at home, or maybe life will teach him the hard knocks – maybe, someday, I will have too – who knows?
But, well, I have more experience staring down or shooting to kill or unhinging/breaking those vulnerable lower canine jaws than I do in herding Tom Turkeys – thus, I talk harshly and sternly to the rogue dog – because I think my odds of surviving him getting pissed are better than my odds of beating a Tom Turkey –
I still am not certain of their calls or body language – and just what they are trying to tell me – just now – –
See? Even while I lay me own human stories over top of those critters around me….
Such observations and interactions, chip away at my bully, space cadet and rough edges, too.
Simply because,even the bully, teeny bopper dog, if I pay attention, and look past his vocals and growing head, chest, paws and swagger…..
….Wags his tail and looks rather dismayed/down- hearted because I ain’t stopping what I am doing to come play with him….and pads away with a pause, every now and again, to gaze back and see if I REALLY did mean, “here is the line on behavior here, in this pack home territory! – straighten up or ship out”.
But he moves on, all the same….until the next time after he’s been babied and spoiled and given free reign to do whatever he wants – –
He is, after all, a teeny-bopper at heart, still – after 3 years –
We shall see how it all plays out….
Observing, hearing their call of the wild and interacting with them, continues to change me – and my stories and the way I interact with the world around me, over and over –
Except for the snakes – rattler’s or otherwise – we have a standing truce “don’t surprise me/scare me and I promise not to hunt you down and kill you whether you were doing anything to me or not. Oh, and if you insist on being here? You BETTER be keeping the rodent population down and not harming the feral cats who do the same job – otherwise? You’re just not part of my inner, close associate, pack, here – and….I will….if you push me….hunt…you …down….
Just until rattlesnakes become a protected species – then? I’ll have to figure out something else – but until then?
Well – pretty much, overall, they do their thing, I do mine and we give each other wide berth – –
Mother Nature sent out the memo, don’t ya know….
Featured image is the picture of the ‘clan’ well before yesterday – February 15th, to be exact – snow has come and snow has melted in, over and over, since that picture taken –