Springtime loosens winter’s grip gradually: one day warm and sunny the next day cold and snowy. By the calendar, one day it’s Winter and the next day it’s Spring but our weather rarely gets the message. So goes the month of March and so it was this week in the New River Valley. Even so, spring fever is here. You can hear it in the songs of the birds and the chirps of the frogs. The chipmunks have emerged from their burrows, the squirrel population has doubled and the hen turkeys are flocking together to watch the toms vie for their attention.
During the winter, small groups of wild turkeys wonder uninterrupted through my yard: plucking seeds from underneath the bird feeder and warming themselves in the sun at the edge of the woods behind the house. They barely notice the big black thing. The big tom turkeys ignore it completely as it sits quietly there near the front porch. But with the arrival of Springtime things have changed!
Sometimes spring fever does strange things to us all! Here’s some rather comical turkey behavior by one confused tom that I observed through the window of my Nature Haven Studio!
Pretty soon, this normally intelligent, majestic bird gave up trying to intimidate the big black “tom turkey” and went back to courting the hens! I guess my Weber grill must have been just the right size and shape to fool him (not to mention the turkey face reflecting back at him). The grill is ready for the next barbeque (not turkey!). I’m reminded to stand guard while its hot to prevent accidents. You never know when someone might be tempted to come in for a closer look!
“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” Doug Larson
Wishing you a week of springtime joy!