Friday, June 26, 2009

Are these turkeys after my veggies?

Look closely. Do you see him/her?

Kathleen here. Last week I reported on how my garden grows. My beautiful grandchildren showed off their raised bed project. I mentioned the woodchuck's visit and how I barked at him. "See, Nana? We need a real dog."

Yesterday a whole family of wild turkeys came to call. The kids were down at the lake with Grampa. Oh, they'd love this! I grabbed the camera. It was late afternoon, very shady, and I was trying to sneak up on them--oh! One of the adults just flew way up into the tree outside my office window!--back to my story...frankly, I don't sneak well. When I first spotted them, there were several babies standing on the edge of the box. By the time I got outseide, this guy was herding them down the sidewalk.

Notice the tomato plant in the foreground. They've about doubled in size in the last week. Heat and rain--finally!

So I crept along the sidewalk. There were 3 adults. One led about 7 babies--nobody panicked--across the driveway. Beyond that fence is woods. One of the adults stayed behind, and I soon realized why when an 8th baby flew up and over the driveway to join the rest.

Here's the guy who brought up the rear, making sure everyone got into the woods safely.

The kids have seen our neighborhood turkeys before, but this was the first time I caught them scoping out the garden. We Googled--they eat insects, berries, mostly grass. How about onions, green peppers or tomatoes?

I do worry about having one fly through a window. I read about a local woman who had it happen twice--twice! About a year apart, same picture window. The worst part was the damage done to everything in the house by the large, frantic bird. She called 911, and it took a team of experts to capture the critter.

So Lois has chicks. I have turkeys. Anybody have a wild critter story to share?


lois greiman said...

I read an article recently of moose found in someone's basement. He had gone through the patio doors. In the picture he looked extremely content. Sometimes I love MN, but it's usually between April and October. :)

GunDiva said...

My step-father recently found bear scat in the back of his truck. Apparently the bear crawled onto the flat bed to try to get into the back window to get the tasty food that had inadvertently been left in the back seat. At least, that's what we're speculating since bears are supposed to go in the woods, not the bed of the truck :)

Melissa said...

LOL, I DO!! They are everywhere around here in KY this time of year. I sold my sister my Focus when I bought a new Mariner....I'd had that baby for 5 years, and it was like new. My sister had it for TWO days, and she comes home is like guess what?? I knocked the mirror off on the drivers side. I was like, what did you DO?? She said I hit a damn turkey on the way to work...and it broke the mirror off!! And to make it worse, when she got to work one of the other women was late, and when she finally got to work she said they had held them up at the gate (she works on Ft. Knox) while they cleaned up a turkey someone had hit~~and there were feathers everywhere.

Michele Hauf said...

We have hawks in our yard every year. Broad-tail hawks that sit in the bird bath and splash about. Took a pic of one sitting on my back step once. We also get coons and lots of bunnies.

Weird, only in that we're in the middle of suburbia and very close to a major highway.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Bear in the pickup bed. Thanks, Gun Diva. I needed a pickup scene. Now, how shall I spell the B word ...

Kathleen Eagle said...

Melissa, we're seeing turkeys more often in our 'burbs. It used to be the Canada geese that were the big fowl road hazard. The news that they were rounding them up and gassing them in NY was pretty unsettling. In MN we spent a lot of $ relocating a bunch of them a few years ago. Animal advocates protested that it was cruel to break up families.

I heard that the irony of the NY executions was that they did DNA testing on the remains of the critters found in the plane engines, and they were definitely migrating geese. Next we'll be trying to stop them from migrating.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hey, Lois, here's my new MN state motto:

November through May
Keeps the Burmese python away.

Virginia said...

I have trouble with ground hogs getting into my tomatoes! I live in town but there is an old house next door and they have moved in there. I put my tomatoes out by the deck, then I will put a fence around them and those ground hog will come up on the deck and get the tomatoes. They only take a bite or two out of them and go to another one. I trapped one last year and didn't see anymore but they are back again this year.

Betina Krahn said...

Virginia, doesn't that just frost you when critters do that. . . take a nibble or two and move on to the next tomato or strawberry or whatever? Why can't they show come manners and eat the whole thing and leave the rest alone? I can't imagine what sort of survival value such a feeding practice would have.

Kathy, I share both your interest and your incredulity about the wild turkeys. They're fascinating and far wilier critters than their domesticated cousins. I confess, I didn't mind a little goose poop around the place when I lived in Minnesota. . . because that meant we would get to watch the babies grow up.

We had a couple of racoons in our garage in Minnesota. . . one climbed onto the bicycles we had hung on racks for the winter, and he wouldn't come down. We tried everything. Finally had to leave one garage door open and just go inside and let him find his own way out. It worked. Go figure.

Down here we get armadillos (pesky little tanks!)and possums digging all over our yard. We bought a raccoon-sized Hav-A-Heart trap and regularly have to take the critters out to the country and let them go. . . which is tricky. They hang onto the trap and won't let go. You have to open the door and let them back out in their own time. sigh.