Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Unexpected visitors


A few years ago, many of the wheat fields in this area were planted in native grasses through a government program designed to reduce soil erosion and try to eliminate some of the grain surplus in this country. There were a lot of requirements to qualify, but the land around here is all marginal enough to have been eligible. The result is that instead of being surrounded by wheat fields that alternate between plowed ground and "amber waves of grain," we are now surrounded by fields of native plants. The change has had some unanticipated effects. We see a lot more wildlife, including these turkeys. There is a newly arrived flow of about 30 that is frequenting the area. I've only seen three that seem to be roosting in the trees along the creek-bank just down the road from us. Steve noticed them near the end of the day when he was taking Sarah to swim one day last week. He called me, and I took the camera down for some snap-shots.
They were pretty oblivious to me, so I got some nice photos. I can't say they are a pretty bird, what with that naked head and all, but it was neat to see them. This is one of the things I truly love about being able to live here. I really missed the backyard wildlife when we lived in town. Well, except for the coyotes, but that's a post for another day.