We would call this definitely a rainy day. You don’t get very wet when you run around in it, but on the other hand, it never quits.

The woods are smiling from the rain. Everything looks lush and fresh. It not only waters the roots but it washes any dust from the leaves and branches.

A flock of 19 turkeys come strutting by about 20 feet to my left. They see me before I see them, but they don’t seem bothered by my presence as long as I remain still.

They left their sodden bedding ground and seem to prefer to stand out in a little rain. They even occasionally fluff their feathers and catch a little moisture.

Two American crows sail in, apparently to see if the turkeys have discovered anything they’d like to share. They land and strut about doing their own searching by hunt and peck.

I am usually in the Walker area at this time in the summer but I happen to be back along the Red River for a few days on some errands. When we left lake country early yesterday I noticed a black bear had smashed our bird feeder in the night that I had anchored fairly well with metal poles. I had filled it with fresh black oil sunflower seeds, and that must have been too tempting.

We see far fewer wild turkeys in lake country than here, I expect because predators can’t get at them as easily. We talked of exporting some live turkeys to South Dakota, but somehow that suggestion was tabled.

However around the campfires by Ham Lake we love to tell stories about the turkeys, as they are  constantly entertaining, if you can overlook their occasional intrusiveness. Their size makes them not exactly like having a chickadee in your neighborhood, and I expect their size gives them some protection from predators.

For example, as to the entertainment by turkeys, they will occasionally be strutting across the road as you approach with your car. I was approaching some in this manner one day and naturally I expected them to flee in fright at my approach. Not so.

I slowed down nearly to a  stop and gently tried to nudge them aside by my approach. They not only didn’t nudge but on the contrary, one of the big toms turned and charged the car. There is no question that they have an attitude.

James Alger, who lives in Fargo, N.D., has been a summer resident of the Leech Lake area with his family for over 45 years. Over that time he has grown to love and appreciate the people and the woodlands of this area.


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