Sometimes wishes come true. We have had a months-long dry spell here in eastern Nebraska, the ground cracking visibly. There was a slight dusting of powdery snow a few days ago, but only about an inch, and it pretty quickly disappeared, hardly adding enough moisture to the parched earth to make much difference. I have been wishing fervently for more significant precipitation, and yesterday it finally came to pass. It started around 9:30 in the morning and continued until probably around 3 am today. When I went out to shovel the driveway, I heard the unmistakable chittering and cooing of turkeys calling softly to each other, a sound I haven’t heard for a couple of months. I spied a flock of ten toms slowly working their way in my direction, so I slowly went back into the garage, put the shovel down, hurried inside, grabbed my camera, and slowly made my way back outside, standing very still and very quietly near the foot of the driveway.
These birds are not put off much at all by the proximity of someone who is not too near and not acting in any threatening way, and they continued their progress past me and onward, a few of them actually passing within about eight feet of me.
They didn’t seem to mind the click of my shutter at all, and we watched and studied each other for about 15 minutes before they ambled out of range again. Thank you, Frances!
Just the day before yesterday, my photo buddy Mike Powell out in northern Virginia published a post with a photo of a Mallard standing on one foot on a patch of ice, which he entitled “Cold Duck,” and I’m happy to provide a friendly nod to Mike for his idea, which I’m taking the liberty to borrow, as it seemed quite appropriate here, as well. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted twice in the same day, but I just had to share this with you while it’s fresh. Please click on an individual photo for a higher-resolution image.
I love the sheen on the feathers of the ones up top. Another title possibility: Wild Turkey over ice.
I like the new possibility, though I’m afraid most folks abroad wouldn’t have a clue about the libation. You are so right about their feathers–in the right light they can be almost prismatic!
Great shots, especially the portrait.
What strange facial features the turkeys have.
They really are rather bizarre, aren’t they? They always seem, to me, to be thinking extremely skeptical thoughts.
Send us the shots but keep the snow. Turkeys are best viewed (alive) from a distance, close ups do reveal a strange, even prehistoric, creature. The first shot is a winner.
There is definitely a prehistoric aspect to their appearance. It’s easy to see that birds and dinosaurs had some common ancestors.
I know some folk like that too
Hahaha! So do I!
I’m glad to see that you got your snow, which provided a wonderful backdrop for your turkey shots. As others noted, they are strange looking up close, but, as you commented about my recent vulture shot, beauty is a relative kind of thing.
Strange-looking for sure. I’m certain that, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, they were the inspiration for the Skeksis in the 1982 animated film The Dark Crystal. Have you seen it? It’s still a great achievement and well worth watching (again).
Well captured, Gary! I particularly like the first image as they are negotiating their way across snowy vegetation!
Thanks, M! It was a beautiful snowfall. Not many of the plants had retained much snow in their branches, but these were a happy exception.
Beautiful pictures, Gary, especially the top one – and what incredible birds! Adrian
They certainly are, and I feel really privileged to be able to stand still enough that they will go their ways, accepting me as just another feature in their landscape. I’ve read stories of some Very Agressive turkeys, and I’m so happy that these are not so inclined!
I’ve *never* been able to get that close to a wild turkey. All of them around here are so skittish that they vanish into the undergrowth at the slightest sound. Beautiful shots, especially the last one!
The ones that have settled in here are, at times, surprisingly not at all shy. It’s a very good thing that thy show no tendency to act agressively, as there are children around. We suspect that someone around here feeds them regularly, though this is officially highly discouraged.