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December 15, 2007

On One Leg

Slowly waddling through the deep snow were the river oaks turkeys. The white powder became trampled, now by turkeys, where the sunflower hulls were sprinkled under the suspended green and yellow seed basket, at least a virtual invitation to feed and roost. As I approached each retreated.

The next day, flying in from across the river, the rather rotund bodies flap to the ground, ambling up the hill to review the food situation to discover the gray squirrels' remnants from my attempt the previous day. Quickly these birds inhale any morsels of ground covering and as we watched from the living-room window. I donned my polar boots and jacket, scarf, gloves and cap, to offer more.

Their skepticism prompted retreat as I approached, but curiously they remained within eye shot. I splash seed again onto the trampled white and do some retreating of my own. They consume, then relish in the bright blue-skied sun that heats their dark thick feathers. Their water supply is the fine white powder they ingest as each flake is a kernel of moisture.

Bitter cold has a regular hokey pokey like action as one claw balances the rotundness, while the other is tucked high into the warmer feathery bush. Two of the five elect to perch four feet higher on the porch railing. It would seem that both our cats and dogs have grown accustomed to these big birds.