My critter radar was on high alert this week as two and four-legged wildness, determined to fatten up before frost, showed up in nonchalant numbers to peck and graze.
Where the Wild turkeys roam, using the tall kale as cover.
I don’t mind the odd, unannounced visit – maybe they assume they’re part of the Community Supporting Agriculture – but not to gobble-gobble my few, precious raspberries or tender gourmet lettuce. (Thoughts of Thanksgiving dance in my head, “raspberry-sweetened drumstick, anyone?”).
Dim-witted and ungainly, the turkeys lope about in loose coveys, poking the ground with their bobbled, blue heads. Like deer, they were once rarely seen, but the retreat of the usual predators has thrown Darwin’s natural order into chaos. When we did see a few dozen turkey poults in the Spring, they would be whittled down by raccoons or coyotes to a handful come Fall.
Heading for trouble, this young female has spent the week two-stepping through my lettuce.
To be sure, it’s a thrill to live where the wild things are, far from my urban roots where wildness was a rave on the lower East Side, but I’m still adjusting. I’ve come a long way from throwing shoes into the trees at four in the morning because a posse of crows squawked me from my bed, but there are clearly miles to go before I sleep. - M