Tonight, Little Fire Faery, Precious, and I went for a walk to check on the blackberries. We went through the woods, as we always do. The difference was that it was already pretty close to sunset when we left. Precious brought a flashlight, which was not necessary but made her feel better. The woods were gloomy and quiet on our way out. About three steps in, Precious asked if she could just turn around and go home. If you ask her now, she might say that she is happy to have gone ... we saw something incredible.
Now, there is no such thing as quiet with them, particularly when they are nervous. The endless stream of chatter pretty much guaranteed that we would not see any animals. Nerves got even a little more edgy whenever I stopped to look at anything ... blueberries, bunch berries, etc. In each clearing, where it was a bit brighter, things calmed a little. Of course, we talked about the animals that might be around at night, especially about those that might eat the chickens and ducks that I offer to the forest when the die ... coyotes, weasels, fishers, etc.
It was a beautiful night and when we reached the field, the girls played. The blackberries on one end of the field were tiny green things ... no where near ready to pick. I wanted to see the others in the field and wandered off toward the opposite end. Surprisingly, I found the stinging nettles had grown some of their leaves back. I guess this is not their first rodeo. I should have known. It is a good thing ... I am staring to run low on stinging nettles for tea. This was certainly a pleasant surprise. Now, I had another reason to go to the other end.
I wandered further out of sight. The girls played lion and gazelle. The gazelle stand on top of a pile of sand on the look out for the lion, who is hiding (stalking, actually) in the tall grass. The object is to see how close the lion can get without being seen. Have I mentioned, lately, that I love my incredibly imaginative family?!
There were clear indications of animal activity - deer beds, track, turkey beds, etc. I reached the opposite end of the field and looked around another dirt pile. This was where I had found a smaller patch of stinging nettles and, in the surrounding area, blackberry brambles. In the steadily decreasing light, I did not find either, but as I rounded the berm, I walked right up on a turkey nestled in the tall grass. Funny, I thought ... turkeys roost. Why is she on the ground? I stepped closer, within arms reach, when I heard a tiny chirp and saw something dart away. It was a mother turkey, sheltering at least two newly hatched poults. I, unfortunately, left my phone and camera at home.
I backed away slowly to avoid disturbing her and her chicks ... I didn't know if she would leave the nest. To hurried back to the girls ... calling for them to come quickly and QUIETLY. Little Fire Faery asked in hushed tones ... is it an animal? A deer? A fisher? A turkey? We approached again ... I was surprised how quiet the girls could be. We got within 2 feet of the mother again. Precious needed to be picked up to see the poults because of the tall grass. Mother Turkey was not really impressed at this point and began hissing at us.
At this point, we left feeling blessed by this rare sight. Of course, by now the sun had all but set. The walk back through the woods was much darker ... nerve that much more tense. But, they each had their stealthy ninja (Japanese Knotweed) sticks. I did note though that as soon as Precious made it to the road, she ran home. Now, how is a dad supposed to tell spooky stories, if the intended audience is running away?
I am indeed grateful to have the honor to see this incredible sight. I am grateful that the Earth is so generous with her gifts. Thank you, Universe / Great Spirit, for once again reaching out to me and sharing this incredible beauty with me.
Here is a video that shows a flock. Remember to read the text to learn some interesting things about turkeys.
I may need to pick up The Wild Turkey: Biology And Management , or something similar to research more about the fascinating beings.