Yesterday afternoon I was out for a run. On my way towards home, on a narrow stretch of class IV road (dirt, minimally maintained, for those of you with only pavement around you), I was startled by a loud blast of noise. It was a fluttering, blustery, croaking flapping. It was a turkey. Some think turkeys can’t fly, but that ain’t so. This turkey flew from the field next to the road up into a maple tree. It sat there hiding, as if I couldn’t see it, although I clearly could. People are called turkeys for nothing.
Out where it came from in the field there was… something. That something was a coyote. Its head was poking out of the tall grass, ears pointing up and listening. It looked at me. I looked at it. It had flushed the turkey, the one that got away. The thing is, there was another turkey there. It was meandering through the grass slowly, just its head above the grass, a short distance from the coyote. The coyote eyed it, followed it a little, but the jig was up. There was a human in the picture, and the turkey still on the ground knew it was being pursued. So the canine turned around and headed into the woods on the field’s far side.
I have to admit I was a little elated to see such an event. Nothing happened, but still, these charismatic fauna were playing out the ancient game of predator and prey. One doesn’t see that every day, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it on one of my usual runs. But there it was. I watched it. I’ll take it.
This afternoon, hanging with my son and a friend of his, I look out and see a bobcat walking down the driveway. It had come out of the woods and walked down to the end. It sat there for a bit and then dashed into the tall grass to hide when a car came down the road. It was way cool, although I was more into it than the boys. I guess others have seen a bobcat, maybe the same one, not too far from here. I guess now would not be the time to get those chickens…
Walking Down the Driveway
Bobcat Tracks After it Disappeared
My wife and I took a trip down to Addison today to see the geese. We have gone down there for the past 14 years to see them. Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area is a stop for thousands of migrating waterfoul and often this time of year the fields and the sky are filled with birds. But no dice today.
Sometimes when we drive near the parking/viewing area we can see the birds from miles away. Sometimes we can hear them long before we get there. Today it looked like we would get little viewing for our efforts. There have been years when the snow geese are lined up against the fence, rising and landing in groups among the larger flock. Today there seemed to be just a few small groups in the far distance. A few would rise and settle again, but we could see only a couple dozen against the tall grass.
If we were quiet enough we could hear them honking. A couple flocks of ducks fluttered in. We sat and listened and watched and talked quietly about the beauty of the place and the times we had visited in the past. We talked about why the birds might gather some times and not others when we have visited on the same weekend every year. Does it have to do with high or low pressure in the atmosphere? Does air temperature affect when they fly? Is climate change a factor? We had no answers.
We may visit again in the next week or two, take the kids down to see if we have better luck. Perhaps, however, we will wait until next year. We like to see them, but we are in no rush. I know they will come back. So we will too.