Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Close encounter

(This photo taken in April.)

I had the coolest experience yesterday.

I went outside to check on the pasture, to see if the burdocks were flowering yet. (Their flower is the burr that gets stuck in the fiber.)

I was standing by the barn, by the gate that goes to that pasture. I saw something out by the old elevator that sits in that pasture. Pretty soon it moved. It was a deer. It was ignoring me, and it was behind the elevator, so I walked closer. I walked about half the distance, and stood by a fence post that is sort of in the middle of the pasture.

As I was standing there, she was eating behind the elevator, but every once in a while I could see her tail swish, so I knew she was still there, and moving from behind the elevator. In the meantime, pretty soon I saw a head pop up out of the grasses that were closer to me. A turkey head. So I stood there watching the turkey looking at me. The doe mosied out from behind the elevator, saw me, but kept eating along the fence. The fence makes a turn and heads back to me, and she followed it. During this time the turkey is walking around, head bobbing. The llamas and alpacas are eating near me, not paying any attention to the deer. When the deer is about 50 feet away, she takes more notice of me. The llamas had since left, so I was standing out there alone, next to the fence post, in plain sight. I was wishing I had my camera with me, but I know if I were taking pictures she would have run off from the sound.

She starts walking toward me. I stand as still as I can, and barely breathe. At about 30 feet away, she veers off to my right, so I watch out of the corner of my eye, not wanting to turn my head while she is watching me. When I saw her stop and scratch herself, I turned my head toward her. As she reached the point where the wind was carrying my scent, about 20 feet away from me now, but to the side, she turned and ran away. She didn't go far though, just back to around 30 feet, but upwind of me again. I could almost see the wheels churning in her head. She was close enough that I could see a scar on her right shoulder. She went back and forth, moving closer, then catching wind of me and running back again. After several minutes of doing this, she finally decided enough was enough and ran off, bounding over the fence like it was nothing.

I lost track of the turkey.


rilera said...

Very cool. This morning there were 2 deer on the field (I think it's soybeans) near my house, grazing. It was very pastoral.

Turtle said...

Very cool indeed! We have not noticed any wildlife in the yard lately, well aside from those ducks that show up from time to time. The coyotes, raccoons and rabbits have been quiet lately. Lucky you!