I really need to start carrying a small digital camera with me when I run. No one is going to believe this story and I am sure that I will never get a chance to repeat it.
Last Saturday I went for a 12 mile run on the trails of the northern Kettle-Moraine State Forest near our home. It was beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed the sights and aroma of the lush green woods. There were numerous Red Admiral butterflies that flew up as I jogged through the meadows. We are having a ten year population explosion and there are hundreds more than usual this year. As long I kept my pace up, the cloud of mosquitoes following me never caught up. Yet another reason to run through the woods instead of walk/hike.
As I ran through one small opening in the forest, I spied a brown clump of feathers in the tall grass next to the trail. Then I saw it drop down and attempt to hide from me! I saw a bumpy featherless back of a neck but her eyes and head were hidden underneath a large burdock leaf.
It was a turkey!
She must’ve thought that because she couldn’t see me, I must not be able to see her!
Not taking even a split second to think about what I was doing, I jumped and grabbed her before she could get away. She struggled, made a fuss and was definitely NOT happy about this. A few other turkeys jumped up out of the grass and weeds and flew away. After several moments, she calmed down and was as quiet as a barnyard hen. I could have brought her home if I had wanted to though I am sure there are laws against that.
So after a few moments of gently stroking her feathers and telling her what a silly bird she was, I let her go so she could join the others. Hopefully, she has learned a valuable lesson and will be more cautious when avoiding predators in the future.
So what kind of nut runs through the woods and catches a wild turkey by hand?
Me, I do.
Like I said, I am sure that no one will believe this story. I promise that in the future I will draw the line and not try to catch skunks by hand.