Lately, at the fringe of the mornings,
when the wild creatures are not afraid to congregate near the house,
we've been seeing a family of turkeys.
It's easy to spot the mother. She watches over her clutch of poults with great vigilance.
The little ones run over the ground in a smooth, synchronized motion, like a school of small fish,
turning and pivoting for the pure joy of movement, anticipating the day they will fly.
It won't be long.
When we saw them first just over a week ago, they were earth bound,
but this morning out on Don's loading ramp a few of them were flapping their wings,
and graduating from small hops to tiny flights.
I'm counting on them to grow up and eat lots of grasshoppers out of the garden.
We certainly get the other kind of help.
This year the daylilies were beautiful, and I thought the big, bossy doe we call Lily
had seen the error of her ways or had found greener pasture,
but she's back, and she has her technique down to a science.
She stretches out into her giraffe pose until she has located the right stem...
...and when it's in reach, it only takes one or two bites before it's out of sight.
Judging from the hoof prints in the green beans, the daylilies must have been desert.
At least the rabbits are smart enough to look in the window and see if we're home
before they raid the garden.
By the time the first light slants down through the trees,
rabbits have hunkered down out of sight to sleep until evening
and deer and turkeys browse in the shade of the woods.
And that's the news from the Ozarks,
where the deer are well fed, the turkeys are vigilant,
and the rabbits are way above average.
Linking with Saturday's Critters