Yellowstone Reports

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Down time at the cabin

Unexpected Visitors
by Dan Hartman

Nov. 8, 2013

     I'm into my 4th week of being immobile.  The Red Sox wild ride to the World Series occupied my first two weeks.  Then, when things became a little mundane again, something completely unexpected happened.

     I was sitting in an easy chair watching a western when Cindy excitedly called me to the living room window.  I gathered up crutches and hobbled over.  To my amazement, I saw several turkeys strutting down the highway!

     From that day on we've seen the little flock daily.  Eventually, they found where we put seeds out for the winter birds.  Then they figured out  which door these seeds emerge from.  Now, a couple times a day, we find the big birds standing in our yard staring at the door.  Or, if said door opens, they'll come running from the surrounding forests, hoping for a new supply of food.

     We've figured out the flock consists of a hen and three chicks.  In the beginning there were five chicks.  What happened to the other two we don't know.  Maybe they dispersed, maybe they fell prey to a coyote or a fox.

     None the less, these four turkeys have adopted us and for a guy with serious cabin fever, they've been a god send.

      Of course, I've seen turkeys before.  But never day to day just outside my window.  To observe how they inter react with each other and to other species who share the same forests is fascinating.

     The other day our marten returned after a week long absence.  We only spotted him because of all the attention the flock was giving to a spruce.  Presently the marten climbed down to a low branch and a stand off ensued with neither party giving ground.  Finally the marten hopped to the ground and circled wide.

     When a small fox appeared one afternoon, I was surprised to find almost no reaction from the turkeys.  But a few days later, a large fox appeared and sent the big birds up into the trees.

     I've got a feeling they've met before.

     So here we are approaching Thanksgiving.  We already have a 16 lb turkey in the freezer.  We'll roast it and enjoy a fine Holiday feast.  But when we look outside we'll get a better feel for how the first Thanksgiving must have been.


View slide show


Turkeys On The Road

Turkeys In The Yard

Turkeys In The Straw

Turkeys And The Marten

Turkey In The Tree

Yup Thats Me !!