I haven’t been hiking as much as I’d like to these last few years, what with Covid and all. So today, my husband and I headed out to a trail a few miles from our house west of Denver that I used to hike a lot.
We picked a rotten time to resume hiking — flowers have mostly flowered and gone to seed, and birds are finishing up with their fledglings rather than showing themselves in courtship. And the mid-July heat was intense even at mid morning.
But we were rewarded by seeing some wild turkeys among the ponderosa pines. When I was young, turkeys were unheard of along the Front Range — they had been hunted out long ago. In fact, they had to be reintroduced in the 1980s. But with protection, the reintroduced birds have taken to Colorado like ducks to water — er, or maybe turkeys to shrubby wild lands. The Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife reports that turkeys are now found in the majority of Colorado counties.
These ladies were making their way down the slope, maybe going to water? They were a little frustrating to photograph because of the intense sun shining through the dense pines meant that areas of the photos alternated between washed out or too dark. But birds were fun to see. And their story of successful reintroduction was a nice reminder among all the bad news of the world that sometimes people do try to do the right thing, and sometimes it works.