Wild Turkey Alert!

I was just outside with Tiegan picking salad for supper. She went inside with the bowl of greens, and I looked up from the herb patch where I was picking some springs of mint to garnish the salad — an excellent springtime flavor, by the way. I look up, and through the driveway gate walks a big wild tom turkey. He was absolutely enormous — easily as tall as Jonas, and twice as big around.

And heading right towards me.

I am not afraid of animals, but this isn't a German shepherd. Wild turkeys are mean. Every fall we are treated to stories about them taking over Cape Cod neighborhoods, attacking postal workers, and generally going berserk in revenge for, you know, Thanksgiving. This (hilarious) video gives you a feel for what it's like when one is coming towards you:

Anyway, I backed away from it pretty fast while simultaneously calling Tiegan to come to the kitchen door and see. But just as I was about to scoot around the berry beds to the side, I came face to face with Mr. Tom's slightly less gigantic wife. So then I hightailed it to the swing set for cover — not in a full-out sprint or anything, but a light speed-walk so as not to alarm my potential attackers.

And wouldn't you know that the lady turkey went straight for our new asparagus shoots? Well, that made me more angry than afraid, so I ran to the house. I thought about stopping for a nice heavy brick, but Tiegan was holding the door open and urgently calling me in (we've had turkeys in the trees before, and warned the kids that if the birds came in the yard the kids should stay inside because they are so mean).

I got my camera instead of the brick, and went back out to take some pictures. By this time, they had made their way to the back fence:

I wish these photos gave a better sense of their size, but I zoomed with the iPhone as much as I could — I was not getting closer, and certainly wasn't going to send a child out there for scale. 

Shortly after I took these, the tom jumped the fence into the neighbor's yard and made his way up the back hill. The female went up the hill as well from her perch on our back fence, and they kind of disappeared into the brush — they are well camouflaged in the wooded area. 

Kirk and Jonas got home just in time to see them before they took off for the hill. Kirk's reaction was to reach for his bow and arrow and nab supper (which of course were in the workshop, the path to which was blocked by the turkeys). I think hunting tips might be in our future just in case, but of course Massachusetts has all kinds of laws about hunting wild turkey. This might be the same pair we saw last year in the trees on the back hill, but I'm not sure if we have just one couple that roams the neighborhood, or if there are several that we've seen around (I had to stop the car on the way home from work they other day to let one cross our street, in fact). 

We'll definitely have our eyes open for them in the future, and hopefully they all stay the hell away from our asparagus. Because that would be grounds for being on our table in November for sure.


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