Big boys—boastful, bold, and beautiful

Last week, before the weather finally turned warm, CD happened to look out the window and saw that our local flock of turkeys was on the prowl again.  I watched them for a few minutes and decided to see if I could ease myself into their relative confidence for a rather more intimate photo session than I’ve been able to manage so far.  Part of my inspiration was that several of the toms were all fluffed up and strutting, and their wattles were engorged with blood and bright red to impress each not only other but also the hens.

Three toms 8848It was still cold, so I dressed warmly, but in drab colors, and very slowly, without making any eye contact with any of the birds, ambled through and past them, in the general direction in which they were heading.

Two toms 8823I took up a comfortable position sitting near the upper rim of the ravine that I was pretty sure was their intended eventual destination.

Tom the first 8839Frances, my photo angel, was with me yet again, and they slowly made their way toward and around me during the next 20 minutes, passing calmly within ten feet or so, apparently concentrating much more on impressing each other than on my unthreatening proximity, and providing me with my best opportunity yet to study them up close and personal.  What a memorable encounterand happy Easter to you all!

Tom the second 8855

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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29 Responses to Big boys—boastful, bold, and beautiful

  1. Gary, these are absolutely wonderful shots, especially the last one. The detail is spectacular!! Patience and persistance sure paid off for you this time that’s for sure :).

    • krikitarts says:

      It was such an incredible experience to have them approach me so closely and still act so unperturbed by my presence. With me in my sitting position, they were taller than I was. They really are magnificent.

  2. wolke205 says:

    Da kann ich mich nur anschließen, die Fotos sind wunderbar geworden :) Ich wünsche Dir und Deinen Lieben frohe Ostern :)

  3. Frank Wallace says:

    They are dynamically not easy to photograph. You did well!

  4. Emily Gooch says:

    Wow, stunning photos. That first shot looks like a mutated turkey with three heads! Okay, my wild imagination is getting the best of me. :D

    • krikitarts says:

      Emily! How wonderful to see you back again! Now that you mention it, I see what you mean about the Cerberus illusion. I hadn’t looked at them quite that way–that’s part of the value of a new pair of eyes. You made me laugh!

  5. Mike Powell says:

    Wow. These faces have a lot of “character” (“handsome” just doesn’t seem to fit).

    • krikitarts says:

      One would need a rather specialized and definitely avian-oriented eye to call them handsome out-of-hand, but the hens apparently are…um…suitably (sorry) impressed enough to invite the most impressive of the toms keep the genetic lines going in what seems to be, from their perspective at least, the right direction. Good for them–but, personally, I’m glad that I don’t have to rely on blood-engorged wattles.

  6. Angeline M says:

    What gorgeous feathers and bodies they have; their heads/faces…..well, not so much, but extremely interesting. How wonderful to have sat amongst them.

    • krikitarts says:

      Feathers–yes, absolutely gorgeous. Bodies–hard to see because of the feathers, but yes, they must be, under all that magnificence. Heads & faces–guess you have to be one of them to fully appreciate them, but they are indeed remarkable, and I find them endlessly fascinating. It was indescribably special to have them come so close to me!

  7. victoriaaphotography says:

    Spectacular photos. The detail on those turkey heads is amazing. It’s such a wonderful experience getting so close to these wild birds, I can imagine you must feel as i do when I have one of these (rare, in my case) encounters.
    I agree with Emily. That first photo of the ‘three-headed’ turkey looks like something out of a fiction story. Clever angle of the photo, although I guess you didn’t deliberately take it to show that illusion of the 3 heads on the one body.

    • krikitarts says:

      This was rare for me, too, Victoria. It was as if I were part of dreamlike, slow-motion movie being choreographed by someone unknown, and just an accidental player in another’s production. Unforgettable!

  8. WOW! These are amazing and absolutely perfect!

  9. Fantastic shots, Gary! Really impressive!

  10. seekraz says:

    Incredible, Gary…wow! Such crisp detail…and how cool that you were able to be so close to them…while they were distracted with other issues….

  11. krikitarts says:

    It’s a good thing that they were distracted, I’m sure. I would not have wanted to, um, rub any of them the wrong way!

  12. Adrian Lewis says:

    Absolutely grotesque beings! What Nature does get up to! These are excellent pictures, Gary – the bottom one is simply out of this world – it must be a space alien! And I very much like the colours on the bird’s back in the 3rd picture down. Adrian

  13. krikitarts says:

    They really do have a whole spectrum of colors, shades, hues, reflectivity, and iridescence in those feathers, and they seem to know how to use the available light to angle them so as to present them to best advantage, whether for sensational showiness or drab camouflage. Pretty wonderful inventions!

  14. Tintenfisch says:

    Oh, turkeys. So bizarre. Brian Froud must have had them in mind on some level when he developed the Skeksis. MmmmmmMMMMMMMMM!

    • krikitarts says:

      I agree completely. Every time I get the chance to observe them up close and personal, I am drawn back to the Skeksis, and he surely had to have had them in mind on more than one level when he developed their personas. Bizarre? Yes, indeed!

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