A Rio Grande turkey interlude

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.

DSC_0068 Our mountain campsite

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.

DSC_0220 Gave me the hairy eyeball

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.

DSC_0221 coming to check me out

I continued to sit still while holding my Nikon D40 as we continued to stare at each other just a few feet apart.

DSC_0223 One more hairy eyeball

Tom finally decided that it was safe to feed, which began a wonderful 40-minute photo opportunity.

DSC_0247 Feeding time

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.

DSC_0272 Tom's two hens

Tom hopped up on the log and we both had a feeling of being on top of the world.*

DSC_0282 Tom on the log

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.

DSC_0393 Turkeys foraging for seed

Tom finally nodded his head to me, as if to say, “Goodbye,” and led his entourage of hens away into the bushes.

DSC_0420 Tom led hens away

This left me with a feeling of awe and reminded me that there is something very special about turkeys* and all of nature, which reminds me to chill out and enjoy the moment.*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

About Bill D.

Bill is a retired RN who has enjoyed working as a docent in a well-known historic house museum, and now is a proud volunteer in San Diego's newest state-of-the-art hospital, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center. He enjoys reading, writing, and meditating, especially about mindfulness as discussed by Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh. (Photo credit: Jokie Tolentino)
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2 Responses to A Rio Grande turkey interlude

  1. tnkbuzan says:

    Bill, I’m glad that I rediscovered you on WordPress! You are living life and I love experiencing a different part of the country through your eyes! Fabulous photos and you have inspired me to carry a bit of wild birdseed with me next time we’re out on an adventure!


  2. Bill D. says:

    Thanks, tnkbuzan, for your kind comments.

    I invite my readers to discover your beautiful photos on your WordPress website, The Small Small Trailer. As you know, I especially love your waterfalls photos, such as those seen in your post, Glacier Park…St. Mary’s Falls and Victoria Falls Hike.

    Hugs to you and family!


    Liked by 1 person

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