God gave me an amazing gift today. As I pulled into our driveway this afternoon, our female turkey Martha was hanging out in our front yard. I sat quietly in the car, grateful that the dogs were locked inside so that they wouldn't chase her off with enthusiastic greetings. It has been almost two weeks since I last saw her. My emotions ranged from hope that she was just in a safe hiding spot nearby and despair that she had found a better place to live. I watched her for a couple of minutes, enjoying the quiet little sounds she makes. Then, suddenly, I noticed a tiny yellow fluff ball at her feet. TWO little fluff balls at her feet! She successfully hatched out babies without me ever finding her nest or giving her assistance. I watched as the little family stretched out, enjoying a sunny patch. (I can't BELIEVE she hatched them in the dead of winter with temperatures well below freezing at night all this week.) Wait a minute! There's another one!
She has THREE little ones!!!... George is just strutting around doing his best tail dance, gobbling his delight to the world. Whether at the sight of his children, or at the company of Martha, I don't know. He was certainly happy. I quietly tiptoed into the house, took a few pictures, tiptoed out to give her some food and water and just stayed glued to the window most of the afternoon. She is a good mother, keeping an eye out for dangers, fluffing out her feathers and squatting on the ground to allow them to nestle in next to her. The little ones alternated stretching out in the sun with pecking at grass and chasing after Martha each time she moved. By the time the sun was setting, she was gone. I had hoped maybe she would return to the chicken yard, but I have faith that she'll be o.k. She is probably in the crawlspace under the house and I know if she's made it thus far, she'll be fine until the babies are old enough to freely wander the yard. The wonder of baby birds struck my heart anew with the miracle of creation. They are so fragile and beautiful and make my heart sing praise to the God who thought to make the whole process possible.