The abundance of turkeys

two turkeys crossing road

Usually when I ask to see a specific animal as a sign I ask for a hawk, heron, eagle, owl or butterfly. I can honestly say I’ve never asked to see a turkey, but I certainly take it as a sign when I see them. Lately I’ve been seeing quite a few turkeys and this tells me that the universe is trying to send me a message.

There’s a family of turkeys that lives on the farmer’s land behind my house and for the past month or more, I’ve seen them crossing the field almost every day. Sometimes there are two adult turkeys, sometimes there are four, and at last count, there were eight baby turkeys. I enjoy watching them move across the field and often find their feathers when I take Jazzmin on walks up the farmer’s access road.

Outside of the field behind my house, I’ve also been seeing turkeys on my trips to New England. During the July trip with my girls to New England a turkey flew across the road on the drive out in an area where they’d had to blast away rock to make room for the road. On our most recent trip, I saw two turkeys in the shoulder of the expressway just standing in the grass. Then later a male turkey crossed the road right in front of us when we were on our way back from lunch at Friendly’s in Amesbury. He came out of the tree shadows on a sunny day so I almost didn’t see him in time to stop, but when I did stop, he just gave me an unimpressed look and walked nonchalantly across the road.

This past Saturday evening I decided to take Jazzmin for a walk up the farmer’s road and we’d only walk about 50 feet up it when I started hearing rustling in the grass field on the other side of the trees. I stopped to listen and soon heard inquisitive clucking noises. Rising up on my tiptoes, I was just able to see a male turkey’s head looking at me over the slight rise at the edge of the road. Smiling I settled back onto the heels of my feet and decided to stand there and wait quietly for him to continue his journey.

As we stood there listening, I heard the rustling move a bit further down the tree line and within moments, a single male turkey emerged from the trees and crossed the farmer’s road. Two more adult turkeys followed and then the younger turkeys scampered quickly across the road, some of them taking flight because they were unsure if we were going to move toward them. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a turkey fly, but they’re not the most graceful creatures and I always admire their efforts to get airborne.

turkey1 turkey3 turkey4

I was smiling through the whole experience while Jazz whimpered a bit because she wanted to chase the big birds and I wouldn’t let her. Once the turkeys were gone, we turned back down the trail and continued our walk where we saw several butterflies, deer and a hawk. It was certainly one of the most interesting walks I’ve had in a while!

Turkeys are a symbol of abundance and the universe is going to great efforts to remind me of the abundance in my life with all the recent turkey sightings. I know I have many blessings and the universe wants me to remember them all even when I go through tough times. I have two amazing daughters, a great family, good friends, a loving loyal pup, three cats that make my life a daily adventure, my own home and a job as a writer, which is so much more than I ever imagined I’d have. Despite any challenges I face, I will continue to have a good heart, the best intentions, a strong spirit, a vibrant energy and the stubbornly tenacious willpower that’s gotten me this far and that will carry me into whatever the future holds.

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Unexpected Answers

hawk cloud

Soaring hawk cloud in the sky

I don’t ask for signs every day, but I ask for them quite often, especially when I’m struggling with something. Sometimes I receive signs without even asking. For example: last summer (at least I think it was last summer) I was having a bit of a rough day and doubting my self-worth. It was a day I was going to mow so I opened the shed doors, but was too distracted by my thoughts to hook them open. Amid my negative thoughts, the breeze picked up just enough to move the door so it whacked me upside the head. I remember laughing because I realized that it was my father and the universe telling me to snap out of it!

I had a similar experience another time when I was distracted by thoughts of self-doubt as I mowed the lawn. I was going by the shed and one of the many pinecones that fall from the tree there bounced off the shed front and bonked me in the head. Again, I laughed and shook my head at myself as the universe reminded me that I was being silly and that I was worth so much more than I believe sometimes.

Yesterday, I was worried about something and so I asked for a sign to help abolish my worry. I like to keep my options open sometimes so I asked to see a monarch, hawk or heron (three of my spirit guides) and if I did, that would reassure me that I was right in believing in the situation I was currently having doubts about. Alas, I didn’t see any of those three things on the way to or from my mother’s yesterday and my doubts closed in. Even so, I still wanted to believe and so I tried convincing myself that I’d just missed the sign. Nevertheless, one doesn’t miss signs, either I see them or I don’t.

Still filled with uncertainty, I came home and started getting the girls ready for bed. When I returned to the living room I realized that the sky outside seemed an odd pinkish color so I decided to walk out onto the deck. The sky was ablaze with the colors of sunset and I smiled at the clouds swirling across the horizon. As I looked up at the clouds, I realized that one of them strongly resembled a hawk in flight. I smiled as I realized that the universe was giving me my answer, just not in the way I had expected. Sometimes the universe knows that if they don’t show me something in a way that resembles a bright, blinking neon sign, I might miss it. Yesterday was apparently one of those times.

I know that I should just let go of my worries and believe, but I’m not perfect and it’s an ongoing challenge for me. I spent so much of my life feeling secure and confident in so many things that eventually slipped through my grasp that my faith and trust waivers. Yet I always believe in my signs and I know they’ll continue to reveal themselves to me as I continue on the journey to believing in the element of my life I so often ask them about.

Counting Hawks

red tailed hawk in flight

Ever since my father died in 2009, I’ve paid close attention to the sky. I think of him and miss him every time I see the moon because it was special to both of us. Sometimes when I see it in the sky I say, “Hey, Dad” and smile because I know he’s listening.

I also look to the sky for something else: hawks. For me, hawks are a sign that my father, my ancestors, and the universe are watching over me, guiding me, and helping me on my path. I often ask to see a hawk sitting or flying as an answer to a specific question or problem I’m having and quite often, I see the hawk in response. Sometimes I see hawks when I’m feeling especially down and just the sight of their powerful, regal, feathered form is enough to reassure me that the universe hasn’t abandoned me.

While I’ve paid closer attention to seeing hawks and purposely started looking for them over the past few years, it wasn’t until last spring that I decided to start counting how many I see a day. I tend to see more when I’m out driving, but there are days when they fly right over my front yard at the exact moment I look out the window and to me, that’s never coincidence. In the summer when I’m working at my desk, I have the window next to me open and I quite often hear a hawk cry in the sky and I then go dashing out onto my deck. When I look up, I quickly see the hawk (sometimes there’s more than one) and I thank them for making themselves known to me.

In my years of hawk spotting, I’ve learned to tell the difference between hawks, crows, and turkey vultures. They each have a unique shape, size and style of flying. While many people seem to mistake turkey vultures for eagles due to their size, I know by now that most clusters of broad-winged, soaring birds in this region are turkey vultures. It’s amazing what one can learn just by looking up into the sky every day.

I see the highest number of hawks when I’m driving out to New England on my road trips. I’m sure that has to do with it being an almost 7-hour drive over 420 miles, much of it through heavily treed and hilly terrain. Last summer, the most hawks I saw was around 20 during the drive out with my girls in August for our vacation on Plum Island. Seeing 20 hawks felt pretty impressive to me and I figured that was probably the highest number I’d ever see. My most recent trip to New England proved me wrong.

As I headed out last Wednesday morning to drop Jazzmin at the boarders before getting on the thruway, I didn’t see any hawks until I realized I’d forgotten my ticket to the MCNAA Anniversary Dinner and turned around to return home. Shortly after I turned onto my unexpected detour home, I saw a hawk sitting in a tree and I knew that for whatever reason, I was meant to go back home. Later on in that same return trip home I drove by an open field and saw three hawks circling together above it. I’m certain that my unexpected delay happened for a reason and that it was protecting me from something that would’ve happened if I’d remembered the ticket and not had to double back.

Once I had the ticket, I headed back out, dropped Jazzmin off, grabbed my usual Dunkin Donuts coffee and breakfast sandwich, and got onto the thruway heading east. Shortly after I merged into traffic, a great blue heron flew lazily above me and I took that as a good omen that I was heading out at just the right time. Within a half hour of driving, I saw my first hawk and the counting continued.

I drive past Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge on my trip and while I usually see geese, ducks, and perhaps a heron, I’ve never seen anything that I couldn’t see just by looking out my back window at home. As I neared the refuge, I saw a bird with a large wing span fly over the overpass, through the trees and into the refuge area and I thought at first that it was a heron. Driving closer, I realized it didn’t have the long neck of a heron and I could tell by the way that it was flying that it wasn’t a turkey vulture either. Much to my thrilled amazement, I realized by its wing span and shape that it was an eagle of some type, either a golden eagle or a juvenile bald eagle because they look very similar (bald eagles don’t get their full adult plumage including white heads until around 5 years old). It flew majestically over the thruway as I passed under it and I felt truly blessed to have seen it!

With my spirits newly lifted, I continued my hawk counting and by the time I reached my hotel in New Hampshire, the final number was astounding. I’d seen 61 hawks that drive! They’d been sitting on poles, in tree branches, and soaring through the sky throughout the drive, sometimes in groups of up to three hawks. It was a lovely, mostly sunny day so I’m sure it was great for hunting but in all my trips out there since I started counting, I’d never seen so many! I took that number as an extremely positive sign and seeing the eagle was an added bonus!

I continued to count daily hawks while visiting New England and there was only one day when I didn’t see any hawks. It was an especially dreary, snowy day so I don’t blame the hawks for seeking shelter out of sight. I counted hawks on my drive home and I’m sure I missed some while I was navigating Monday morning traffic, but I counted 15 by the time I was almost at the exit for Canandaigua.

When I neared the exit I said aloud “If I see one more hawk that will make it 16, the reverse of the 61 I saw on the way out.” As I entered the exit and began to loop around, I spotted a red-tailed hawk flying up from the ground and just as I neared, he flew up and landed atop one of the directional signs pointing around the bend. If I needed proof that the universe was always listening to me, I received it quite vividly in that moment! I was so grateful and pleased that I smiled, laughed, and thanked the universe for my unfailingly faithful feathered guides and guardians.

Interpreting signs

Blue dragonfly near where I sat at today's Pow-Wow

Blue dragonfly near where I sat at today’s Pow-Wow

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know that I’m a big believer in signs. If you’re new to reading my blog…well now you know that I believe in signs 😉 I always look and ask for positive signs and I do my best to not believe in bad omens. I honestly feel that when you put positive energy out there, positive energy returns! The same applies to negative energy which is why I try so hard to see the bright side of situations.

I consider myself fortunate that the powers that be quite often send me exactly the sign I ask for. Sometimes I’m quite specific in my sign requests and when those are answered on-point I’m sure that’s my dad’s spirit flexing his afterlife muscle to help and reassure his little girl. There have been times when I don’t receive a specific sign and while I like to believe that it hasn’t happened yet or that I missed it, it’s entirely possible that I wasn’t meant to receive that sign because what I was looking for just can’t be accomplished. That can be rather hard for me to accept, especially when I wanted with all my heart to see that sign and be given hope for a particular outcome.

I think there have also been times when I interpret signs incorrectly. Translating signs isn’t an exact science after all and it wouldn’t be any fun if it was. But I do the best I can and continue to believe in positive outcomes. For me personally, it’s important to have faith in something. To be able to hold onto hope for a brighter future even at life’s lowest moments.

Today I saw several positive signs in the forms of dragonflies near where I sat, butterflies along my path and a hawk circling in the sky above the park.

Another dragonfly in the center of the circle.

Another dragonfly in the center of the circle.

Hawk circling above the park.

Hawk circling above the park.

I believe the hawk is one of my most powerful spirit guardians and animal totems as I see one almost every day. I even saw one circling in the sky of Boston! Seeing a hawk reminds me that I’m never alone and tells me that I’m on the right path. Watching a hawk means looking up and as I believe in always looking where you want to go, things will continue to soar upward!

The hawk I saw circling the skies in Boston.

The hawk I saw circling the skies in Boston.

Blessings on Bird Wings Part 3 (conclusion)

Indigo bunting. Such a lovely shade of blue!

Indigo bunting. Such a lovely shade of blue!

There was an indigo bunting at my feeder today and as I’ve never seen one before in my life, I figured that was a sign that I need to write the conclusion to this series of blog entries. I’m not sure what drew the adorable little blue, black and purple indigo bunting to my bird feeder oasis but I’m glad he came! Maybe it was all the pretty violas and petunias I put out or the pear tree or the fountain or the addition of yet another feeder I forgot I owned. Whatever it was, I hope he comes back again and brings lots of family and friends!

indigo bunting2 indigo bunting3 indigo bunting4

When I finished the first stage of my wild bird oasis last week, it was still light enough to take Jazzmin for a walk so we headed out over the hills. As I rounded the curve on the first road, I was reveling in my immense feelings of happiness and contentment. I was thinking how lucky I am to be able to work from home with a flexible schedule that allows me to be outside during the nice weather. I can also use my free time to work on my crafts at my table with the window open to enjoy the breeze and sounds of the birds. It’s a level of peace and fulfillment I never experienced when working outside the home.

As I walked Jazz further along the hills, I took a deep breath and said “I am blessed.” It felt amazing just saying those words and knowing how true they are! We continued along the road and I was looking up into the sky as I always do in search of hawks. I almost always see a hawk when I’m outside or when I’m driving, I just have to keep my eyes peeled. Sure enough, when we topped the next hill, I saw a hawk circling slowly above the trees. I broke out in a smile so bright it would’ve lit up the trees if the sun hadn’t already been shining.

Seeing a hawk is always a positive sign and good omen for me and the sight of this one soaring was further confirmation that I’m finally on the right path in my life. I just have to continue to have faith, trust that life will work out as it’s supposed to and of course keep enjoying the daily blessings on bird wings.

Signs of spring

Roadside stream near my house

Roadside stream near my house

March in the Northeast U.S. is a month full of Mama Nature’s mood swings. She’s not quite ready to let us have warm, sunny days regularly so she tosses one in here and there to tease us amid cold temperatures and scattered snow flurries. That’s okay though because I make sure to enjoy every moment of the nicer days by going outside on walks, while snuggling inside on the less nice  days.

Thursday is the official “First Day of Spring” but truly, that’s an optimistic notion. I’d be extremely pleased if it was suddenly 55 degrees and sunny out and the muddy, snowy bog that is my yard instantly dried up and sprung to life with green grass. No wait, nix the grass, I’m not ready to mow yet. Flowers will do nicely instead! I’m really just tired of being cold and waking up to dark mornings. The dark mornings will slowly get lighter again as the month progresses but wow, the time change makes it hard to get up early all over again!

I took Jazzmin on a pleasant, two-mile walk this afternoon and was happy to discover that I’m not terribly out of shape from being sick and mostly in bed for the past couple weeks. My legs do still have muscles and my lungs still work up to capacity! A grand discovery indeed! We saw a young fox frolicking in the field during our walk and I grinned from ear to ear because foxes are always a sign of good luck! When he saw us he immediately dashed across the road and into the woods out of sight but I thanked the powers that be for sending me such a positive sign.

The fox was a sign of continuing luck and I welcome it with an open heart, mind and spirit. I’ve had several promising changes in my freelance writing career today and it’s a grand boost to my confidence! This blog is where I ramble about whatever I like and it’s very freeing but it’s also nice to know what my professional writing is appreciated and sought after. Spring has sprung with positive omens and soon it will pop and flourish with warmer days, blooming flowers and leaves on trees!

Walking Toward the Unknown

The beautiful feather I found on my walk

The beautiful feather I found on my walk

It was excessively humid yesterday. I took Jazzmin for a short walk in the morning and while it was cool, the air was far too thick with humidity to be comfortable. The air was even hotter and heavier by our evening walk and the moment I stepped out onto the road and felt the heat radiating off the pavement, I decided we’d walk up the farmer’s access road. I knew it wouldn’t be much cooler but the ground is more grass and dirt and the trees lining it provide shade.

Jazzmin is always very excited on the access road because she can smell the deer that frequently travel along it. There’s also no shortage of birds, chipmunks, squirrels and bunnies that like to make the occasional appearance. We made it along the straight part of the path without any major issues and I was quite ready to go home and shower the sweat off! I turned us back around and we started our return trip. I then heard an unfamiliar noise that made me stop.

The noise was coming from the long grove of trees that lay just beyond where the curve in the road starts. It sounded like a crow call but deeper and more ominous than I’d heard before, almost like a bark. Curious, I walked toward the noise wanting to know exactly what animal was making it and why. I suppose there are people who would turn and run from such a haunting sound but I’ve learned that walking toward the unknown can reveal amazing discoveries.

Getting closer to the origin of the noise meant walking off the access road and into the farmer’s recently mowed field. The ground was still a bit soggy from recent rain and all the humidity so Jazz and I had to navigate around a few puddles. Following the continuing noise, I charged on through the field and a few moments later a red-tailed hawk flew out of the trees and to a spot further down in the grove. I love hawks and feel they are a very positive sign and symbol, so whenever I see them I smile. I continued walking toward the small pond in that field and the hawk appeared again, this time flying across the field to a thicker forest of trees. A crow then emerged from the trees near us and followed the hawk across the field where it started making unhappy noises that were more familiar to me. The noise I’d heard was in fact a crow being rather upset that a hawk was near something important to it, a nest or some fallen prey perhaps.

Satisfied that I’d solved that mystery, I led Jazz back toward the road. As we walked along the tree line I saw some fallen branches and I approached them hoping maybe we’d find a deer antler. I didn’t find a deer antler but I did find a rather beautiful feather. I picked it up and was in awe of how it’s copper color reflected the light. I collect feathers and that feather was certainly the largest and nicest I’ve found yet. I didn’t want to put it into Jazz’s backpack and risk damaging it so I tucked it into the top of my ponytail where I knew it’d be safe. If I’d encountered anyone on that walk back they would have probably done a doubletake seeing a feather protruding from my hair.

Proud of my discoveries and my little treasure, I walked Jazzmin back home. Once in the house, I tucked the feather into a spot on my desk-side cork board and then happily showered to feel human again. After my shower I powered up my computer and began searching through images of bird feathers trying to figure out what I’d found. I ruled out red-tailed hawk and owl but among the random images I found an exact match. Clicking on the image I read that it was a wild turkey feather. Sure enough, when I went to the full website, there were more examples of turkey feathers and what I had found matched exactly. I was so happy I’d figured it out! It was fascinating to me that such a beautiful feather could come from creatures that look less than graceful when they attempt to fly.

Once again I learned something new by walking toward the unknown. Nature showed me that being brave brings unique gifts and that sometimes the most beautiful things can come from the most unexpected sources.