As mentioned in my previous post, our mountain campsite was in a secluded area of William Heise County Park, where we were close to nature. We spent 5 days here and it seemed like the surrounding wildlife became more comfortable with us as each day passed.
On our fourth day, late in the afternoon, I decided to do some reading and writing on the picnic table in back of the trailer. I scattered some wild bird seed on a nearby log and rock wall and had my camera with me just in case some interesting birds came by, such as the Steller’s jay seen in my last post. After about 15 minutes, I looked up and was surprised by an appearance of a Rio Grande tom (male) turkey, who gave me the hairy eye ball.
His front displayed an impressive beard and a set of bright red caruncles to attract females. He saw me and decided to come around the log for a closer look. This profile view revealed the vibrant array of glistening feather colors and the snood, the fleshy protuberance just above the beak.
I continued to sit still while holding my Nikon D40 as we continued to stare at each other just a few feet apart.
Tom finally decided that it was safe to feed, which began a wonderful 40-minute photo opportunity.
After a few minutes, I was doubly surprised when Tom’s two hens came out from the bushes and started feeding on the seed by the log and nearby wall.
Tom hopped up on the log and we both had a feeling of being on top of the world.*
A happy time was had by all as the turkeys feasted while I photographed. After 100 photos, I just set the camera down and admired them… it was a very special moment.
Tom finally nodded his head to me, as if to say, “Goodbye,” and led his entourage of hens away into the bushes.
*This is a link to a YouTube video.