What Nature Teaches You


Sunlight shimmered, streaking through white window panes of my kitchen patio doors this morning.  Brightness woke my limbs from further slumber.  Six o’clock.  A smiling face of walnut wood from the clock on the wall told me so.  Scents of lemon oil drifted beneath my nose.  Time to wake-up!

“Doodle” dog nudged my feet of bare, signaling his readiness to go out into the world, to sniff wheat-colored plumes of grasses nearby, and to check invisible boundaries for any possible intruders.  My hand was on the door’s bronze lever, seconds from pushing it down to open it up.  Outside, a ruffle of feathers caught the corner of my eye.

Only a few feet from garden bricks was a new ‘family’ for me to see!  Beneath our bird feeder, the one where bright red Cardinals, Blue Jays and Sparrows of speckled brown rest on perches near, five Turkeys pecked leftover seeds on the ground below.

I have often seen one or two before.  The Hen, of course, who feeds for the invisible brood she hides safely away.  And once or twice in the last six years, I’ve witnessed a large Tom waddling up and over our backyard hill, his long turkey neck of reddish-blue wobbling back and forth within the breeze.  This morning, it was a true gift from God for me.  To see this sight of such rarity!

As the large Tom bobbed his head, pecking for seeds within the earth of clay, the Hen spread her wide wings, revealing three tiny babies, “Poults.”  Not much larger than the eggs of a goose, they were covered in brown and white downy feathers that glistened in the sun.  Their small eyes were dark black the color of wet ink.   Darting this way and that, they were already keenly aware of any possible danger.

Just as I was about to grab my camera, a doe and her fawn scampered by, spooking my new backyard ‘family.’  WOOSH went the Tom who flew straight up into the nearest, tallest tree!  I never saw a turkey fly, but most definitely they do.  The noise is shockingly loud, like thunder clouds of flapping feathers.  The Tom flew straight up into the bright blue sky, rather than soaring side-to-side, like most birds do.

As for ‘Tom’s’ family who were left quite skittish in my back yard, they took off very quickly.  The Hen tried to gather her poults, spreading her wings while running toward the forest.  Being ‘babies,’ the feathered toddlers waddled in different directions while ‘Mama’ yelped her loudest, trying to keep them close to her.

Like little wind-up toys zipping towards the woods, three baby ‘poult’s carried a lesson for me today.  Life moves forward in a flash, often unexpectedly.  Don’t wait to pocket a picture of your dream.  Catch it before something surprises you.