Friday, October 2, 2009

Game of the Week


We’ve got a new team sport going on in our yard. It’s the Wild Turkeys vs. the Chickens. The front lawn is the playing field.

You may recall from an earlier post this summer that a white rooster, known around here as the Chief, is the Quarterback for the chickens who live across the road. Our yard is their “free range”, and my mother feeds them liberally with all our leftover chips and bagels and grain products. Starting last fall, the wild turkeys discovered our property, and the mother birds enjoy trooping around like Girl Scout leaders with babies of all sizes. They teach them to sit on the fence rails and find goodies in our garden and sleep in the hidden island of our forsythia bushes. This year, they’ve got a new leader, Big Mama, and she is going to give those chickens a run for their chips and bagels.

The wild turkeys are very bold. They come right next to me when I weed the garden without any fear. When the horses are in the pasture, all the turkeys, including the smallest babies, march right around them like they own the place. On sunny days, the ladies like to roost on our fences and work on their tans.

The chickens are not pleased. Since Big Mama and her band are much larger than even the Chief, the skirmishes are few and quick. The turkeys chase them across the front yard, return to their position by the big pine tree and then, the chickens gradually peck their way back to the center of the field. As soon as the turkeys realize that their opponents have gained ground, they race towards them, pushing the chickens back towards the road. Silk and Siete are the official umpires, but if there’s a new flake of hay dropped in the pasture, they let the game run wild while they chow down. Our two cats provide play-by-play coverage, running back and forth between the windows inside the house with their teeth positively chattering with excitement. It keeps my mother entertained endlessly, which is such a good thing.

I’m wondering if ESPN would be interested.

12 comments:

Mikey said...

I LOVE the wild turkeys :) We used to have them in N. CA when I was growing up. Best game ever? Get your mother a turkey call. They're cheap, and then she can talk to them :) That's what I spent a good part of my youth doing, chasing wild turkeys and trying to get them to consider me one of them. Still got my turkey caller somewhere :)
Great pic!

M. C. Valada said...

This is a great picture and what fun for everyone involved! I would second the idea of getting your mom a turkey caller. As I recall, my brother's was a couple of pieces of wood that made a strange noise as you caused one to rub against the other. Lucky birds to have a nice neighborhood to hang in.

detroit dog said...

This is wonderful -- real nature! I have a sudden urge to join your cats or your Mom in peering from the windows at all the action. Much better than ESPN!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like a lot of fun to watch. Never a dull moment at your place with all the wild critters.

Paint Girl said...

Wow! Wild Turkey's! I have never seen a wild Turkey before, in person anyways! Are they mean?

Bill Evertson said...

We've got the turkeys; now we just need to move in a chicken team. Perhaps we need to invest in a stadium coop.

Victoria Cummings said...

I'm getting a turkey caller. What a great idea - although we have so many and they are almost always here, so we don't really need to call them. They are such good mothers. One of the babies strayed away and the moms were frantic. They make a little whistling noise to call the baby. She was in the garden on the other side of the house and her mama chased her right back to the flock. The turkeys are not at all aggressive towards us. They come up to the back door and hang out around me, but they don't like to be photographed. Take out the camera and they run. By the way, we may be having a vegetarian Thanksgiving this year.

deejbrown said...

I love your love and acceptance of wildlife, even when it poses inconveniences. Am also glad you are able to weed the garden without any fear.

Callie said...

OMG! the turkeys are cracking me up!

M. C. Valada said...

Vegetarian Thanksgiving? My son has still not forgiven me for the year I served a stuffed fish because his friend & his friend's family were pescatarians and did Thanksgiving with us. That was 20 years ago.

The fish, by the way, was fabulous and the recipe is in Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian cookbook.

John and Regina Zdravich said...

That is just so neat!! Such great, free entertainment right in your own yard!!!

Esther Garvi said...

Oh, that was hilarious!
Your mother should have some of Sheba and her Seven, they're great for 24 hour entertainment, especially night time! :-)