And she brought her family! This year, we’ve been seeing her, way down about 2½ miles from our place. She had four babies. Slowly, over the course of the summer, she and her family worked closer and closer to “home.” About two weeks ago, I spotted them heading west, toward our place, but still a mile and half away, and we hadn’t seen them since then. Then, two days ago, I was sitting in my chair in the living room, reading mail, when something caught the corner of my eye outside the south-facing windows. It was our turkey mom and her kids! She raised all four and brought them home for the winter. This makes five years in a row she’s done that, although last fall she came alone. We’re so happy she’s back. Now she and the family are coming up to eat piles of grain I leave out for them.

Here’s what I saw out the living room window; our wild turkey family came home for the winter!

While Will’s busy finishing up the haying, I’ve been busy taking seed from various squash, pumpkins, and tomatoes. This year we got a good crop of a new-to-us smaller, two-person squash, Arnie’s Golden Buttercup. Last year we also had a good crop; hundreds to be exact, but the voles ate into every squash but two, which although mouse-chewed, we were able to harvest and try. Yep, the mice were right, this is one sweet squash! So this year we again planted it in an isolation plot and got a nice harvest with no mice. You can be sure we’ll be keeping this one forever. We absolutely hate acorn squash as they have no flavor and don’t keep worth a darn. But this golden gem is super tasty and also keeps quite well, long into winter at least. This year we also have some nice Long Island Cheese squash in our squash pile. I grew these for years and have loved them for both their pretty pumpkin-looks and tasty orange flesh. It’s one C. moschata pumpkin that is early enough for short seasons too.

Long Island Cheese squash is such a pretty heirloom, coming from Native people along the northeastern coast hundreds of years ago.

We’ve got car trouble again. Yesterday, I drove out to get the mail, when I pulled away from the mailbox, there was a horrible grinding noise! Transmission noise. I stopped, then gently drove home. The noise came and went but I got home okay. Will checked and it wasn’t a heat shield, which I’d hoped, rubbing against something. So it looks like it’ll be in for some major work soon. Ish! It seems like vehicles like to keep you crazy and broke! — Jackie


  1. Jackie it’s so awesome God knows and tells all things where to go and what to do!turkeys are so fun to have !
    ? I sent this in earlier but don’t think you replied so please tell me IF you can freeze seeds in your freezer for l g term use?

  2. Our smoke phase hen is from our white tom so I don’t think it’s a true “smoke” but a result of the cross.
    Yeah, I hate the cars. I don’t go many places due to COVID and being a relative “hermit” but I do have to runto town to mail seed packages nearly daily so they’re a “must’. I’m driving David’s Yukon until the Escape gets fixed.

    • Yikes! We had to replace our car recently due to being hit by a truck in the rear (everyone’s fine). Cars are such a money drain!

      Cute turkeys. ☺

  3. Hi Jackie,
    Wondering if you have any ideas on canning up tomatillos beyond tomatillo green salsa. Did you can a lot of it when you lived in the southwest?

    • I made a lot of yellow salsa from my golden tomatillos as well as making preserves, just like you do with tomatoes.

  4. I have had a heck of a time with Vowels for the last couple of years and I live in the middle of a city. I have tried bait traps, snap traps, pellets. They are just too darn smart! They helped themselves to my blackberries, my potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, I think they were even after my cucumbers. Not sure though. I was tempted to sit outside at night with my son’s BB gun but with neighbors fence to fence, I was afraid of that.

    • I think if they got your blackberries you don’t have voles. They usually only eat things in or on the ground; birds usually get the berries. You might try some of the repellants like Liquid Fence. That doesn’t work for us as our vole damage is only during the winter, under the snow.

  5. We have only occasionally over the 34 years we have lived here, seen turkeys. I enjoy them so much. The coyotes are so bad around here that I wonder if they just know it’s not good in this area.

    • We are fortunate as we are in the very north of the wild turkey range (so far) and we, also have lots of coyotes and wolves.

  6. We just saw our turkeys again for the first time this year….4 hens and 9 little ones. We are making sure there is plenty of seed for them. We had always seen one or two over the years but they never hung around the house much even though there is always plenty of birdseed available. About 2 years ago, Kirk was mowing some high grass and nearly ran over a nest. There were about 9 eggs in it and he carefully covered it up. That fall the turkeys started coming up to the house. There was a hen and 9 babies. They had all survived.
    Since he saved that nest, they have practically lived around the house. Guess Momma knew he had saved them. The whole family loves watching them at Christmas time, so have to make sure they hang around for the food, and provide entertainment for the grandkids.
    Sorry to hear about the car troubles….if it isn’t one thing it’s another.

  7. Cool! You have a smoke phase “baby” also. Most likely a female but one never knows. We didn’t have any chicks in the yard this year (bummer). One year we watched a mama with her 11 chicks and nine of them made it. Lost a male and a smoke phase female – both had a bad leg.

    Bummer on the car issue – even for those of us who don’t have to leave the house often, a reliable vehicle is a necessity these days. Drove my last new car 250K miles, planning on this one lasting that long also (15 years on the old one and these days I no longer have to drive into work). I still get to see my “baby”.. new vehicle is easier for not-so-good-knees to drive and get in/out of. But I do miss my “baby”.

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