So things are moving along. G Dude has one plate rail in. Junk is being tossed. Treasures of all kinds are being bagged and taken to the landfill. It's hard being a family of packrats. I cleaned the dining room table of E's artwork from camp accumulated while I was in Denver and assorted construction bits and polished it yesterday. The next thing I knew the Dude and E were spreading battleship across it. "NO!" I cried. "Not the dining room table!" Empty surfaces in this house attract clutter. I sat looking at the mantelpiece this morning and it looked pretty good devoid of artwork and candles. Sort of like a mantel should.
Ok, so I was talking about turkeys. Turkey wrangling, to be exact. My leg was killing me last night and it may again today, but the 12 hour stuff hasn't worn off yet.
Yesterday, G Dude asked me what kind of white birds were in a (far) neighbor's yard. He wondered if they were swans, which is highly unlikely without a decent-sized pond. Not to mention that swans are Not Nice. Swans live in RI with the Dude's parents on the shore. I've never met this neighbor because their property doesn't actually touch ours, but it's a visual thing. Because they're on the way to and from school (the Big One Mile), I've watched them build a sheep pen and we all "enjoy" their rooster, which is another reason I don't have one. But I didn't know they had white birds.
Later, G Dude calls E and myself outside to see what is in the cow neighbor's yard. A large flock of large white birds. Which, when you get close enough to see through the pines, turn out to be turkeys. Granted, I've called a lot of homo sapiens turkeys in my time, but these were the real thing. And they were headed south at a fast waddle-gobble.
Weatherdude got home about 10 minutes later and the turkeys were still on the other side of the fence, but headed beyond our property line, still south. I had called this (far) neighbor and left a message that if she had turkeys, they were on walkabout and moving fast. (Had to use the real estate tax database to find their name so I could look it up in the phone book..ain't technology grand?)
The neighbor, Irene, phoned a bit later, just as E and the Dude were settling down to that game of battleship I mentioned. We organized a turkey posse, which means I delegated the Dude to go climb fences and meet her on the neighbor's property like any wife does. We know these neighbors, at least, though usually no one goes hopping fences without calling first. But this was a Turkey Emergency. The Irene neighbor arrived by car, which makes more sense than going cross-country. I set dinner on simmer and put on my pink Wellies to go fence-hopping as well. The turkeys were discovered circling around the neighbors house and were turned back towards home with some difficulty and a lot of turkey noises. Sixteen white turkeys.
Irene said the tom had been "eaten" by something, presumably the fox or two we have in the area. There were four hens who were 2 years old and 12 babies out of 30 surviving. Which was sort of what had hatched. I say sort of because Irene casually admitted that they had eaten one of the turkeys a week ago and it was quite tasty.
OzConners will have a pretty good idea of where the fences are and that the idea was to get the turkeys onto our driveway so the humans didn't have to climb fences. Which is easier said than done. Turkeys can fly, but they forget. (Dumber than chickens) So we had a heck of a time convincing them to go over or under the fence rails. By that time, E was herding the turkeys too.
We got them on the driveway finally. The Dude is a master at turkey wrangling, having a couple of years of chicken wrangling experience under his belt. I was the rear guard to keep them from wandering across the cow pastures and "encouraged" them to climb the fences. Thank goodness none of the Angus and none of the bulls from those two neighbors were in those pastures yesterday. That would have been a bit too much excitement.
So the Dude and Irene are chatting away and I'm watching the turkeys turn right down the access road while they chat. I yelled for them to head off the turkeys and someone else had a car in the middle of the road to discourage them from heading for what is a fairly busy road. They were convinced to duck into the (poison-ivy'd) underbrush instead. Irene and I followed. Mostly brambles in there. I'm hoping the poison ivy was primarily on the tree trunks and not the ground, but only my arms and a small space around my knees were exposes. Irene and I bushwhacked our way through the undergrowth and finally the turkeys turned left again towards home. No more fences, thank goodness, just 3 curious horses. One last property crossed.
Irene's last comment was that she probably wasn't going to let them free range tomorrow.
Home for me and strip off my clothes, rub Teknu on the exposed parts, and shower heavily (poison ivy, remember?). My leg was killing me from hopping fences and moving through undergrowth across several properties. I was begging the pain killer to kick in so I could sleep last night. And today I still can't tell if I'm well enough to drive 10 hours to Boston. Because it's the 12 hour kind of pain killer and it hasn't been 12 hours yet.
Oh the excitement!