It may be hard to imagine, but there can be rewards in staying home and working on taxes.
Or at least rewards for looking out the back window while taking a break from taxes and talking to my sister on the telephone -- which is what I was doing when I first spotted this handsome fellow.
I was unable to get a photo of him then, since he wandered out of range before I could snag my camera and get back to the window. When I had finished my call, I went out back to see if I could spot him anywhere in the woods, but he was long gone. I clucked a few times just for fun, and to see if I could get any reaction from him -- alas, nothing.
So, imagine my delight when I saw him wander back in the other direction an hour or so later, talking turkey and trying to find a sweet hen to woo. I don't know whether or not he heard me when I called earlier, but I got a big grin out of seeing him again. There haven't been any turkeys in the woods here for a number of years. I've seen a small flock about a mile from my house and from a distance across a big field, but not any closer than that.
I was totally amazed just a few minutes ago (these pictures were taken an hour or more ago) I saw a hen -- the very sort of sweet hen Jake had been looking for. She was walking through the woods (sans Jake) to the other side of the hill. She was too far over the edge to get a good picture by the time I realized she was there -- she was clearly intent on getting about her appointed rounds. Still, it was great fun to see that Jake had a potential lady friend.
I was also quite pleased that some of the beautiful golds and greens of his feathers showed up in the photos. It wasn't even sunny, so that made it especially nice to catch a little of the iridescence in his plumage. This guy does have a beard, but it's a pretty short one -- that's why I'm calling him 'Jake' - he's almost certainly one of last year's young. Next year, we'll call him 'Tom'.
I hope you enjoyed seeing him, too. :)