Thursday, September 23, 2010

Turkeys in the canyon

Just another quiet morning on the farm.... I drove down into Sequim to deliver eggs to the Bistro and got back here a little after 9:00. As I was approaching the house (it's about half a mile in from our gate), I noticed one of the turkeys by the side of the road: the canyon side. I didn't think much of it until I got into the yard, parked the car, and realized that something was wrong. Usually when we, or anyone else, drives up, the whole flock of turkeys comes running up to greet us. A quiet morning? It was a bit too quiet!

Part of our property is a canyon. As you drive in from the gate, on the right it drops off 300 feet to Canyon Creek. Quite a lot of it is very steep, like for instance where I saw the turkey when I drove in. As we had lost a number of birds (mostly chickens) earlier this year to bobcats and cougars, it really made me nervous to think of 19 turkeys down in the canyon, where the cats hang out during the day.

And of course this had to happen on a day when David was in Seattle...

I went inside, dropped the mail on the kitchen table, put the teakettle on to boil, and went back out to look for the turkeys. I headed over to the spot where I'd seen the turkey when I drove in; it was no longer there. I walked to the edge of the canyon, looked down, and sure enough, there was the whole bunch of the silly birds. Did I say silly? Suicidal is more like it! Feeling silly myself, I called to them, informing them of the doom that awaited them if they didn't get back up into the yard. Some of the toms gobbled enthusiastically at me, but none of them showed any interest in being obedient. Fine, I thought. I'll just go have my cup of tea.

About 15 minutes later, they all showed up at once in the front yard, with not a bit of remorse among them for all the anxiety they had caused. The good thing about turkeys is they seem to do everything as a group; once one of them decided to leave the canyon, they all did.

So what if my tea is cold? I'm just glad I didn't have to hike down into the canyon to retrieve a bunch of wayward turkeys.

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