The several local family groups of wild turkeys have flocked together in recent weeks and I've seen quite a bit of them, in the woods and fields and even around the house as they pass through on foot, snapping constantly at something – insects? grass and weed seeds? They're notoriously wary creatures, so it's been a rare pleasure to have so many up-close viewing experiences.
The hens lay large clutches of eggs, as shown in this image of a nest I stumbled upon last spring, but evidently not many survive.
The flock at the largest I've seen lately consists of four hens, nine juveniles, and a tom.
They roost high above in old growth hickory and oak trees. Beneath these trees, and in lesser numbers along the trails in the woods and around the fields, I've found lots of feathers and have been assembling these into a totem at one of the lane gate posts.
Speaking of rare experiences, yesterday I came upon a whitetail doe resting in tall grass in a clearing in the woods that did not startle until I was just ten feet away. She bounded off but only to a distance of about 60 feet, then turned and came several steps back toward me. We considered one another for about five minutes in which time she came forward several more steps before finally turning aside to be lost from view behind a bramble of blackberries.