Grass Seed Bounty

Late spring with lots of rain equals lots of grass seeds. The seed stalks shoot up tall enough to hide the goats, the turkeys, most animals as many of them harvest this grass seed bounty.

People have eaten grass seeds for millennia. We call these seeds wheat, barley, rye, oats and rice. All are grasses.

pasture expanse of grass seed bounty
My pastures are green expanses of waving grass stalks topped with seeds. Hidden under the grass seed heads are clover blooming in white and red, English plantain, summer grasses and other plants. Snakes, turtles, birds, squirrels and so many other creatures are hidden down below the thigh high grass.

Grass is at its nutritious peak when it blooms, before it sets seed. Books say this is when to cut the grass for hay. Spring Ozark weather laughs at these city people and sweeps the pastures with rain and wind.

Many years ago I read a book called “A Lantern In Her Hand” about a pioneer family crossing the prairie grass. The breeze ripples through it making it bend in a giant wave. The grass stands up again after the wave passes by only to repeat as the wind blows by.

The tall grass seed stalks in my pastures do the same. This wave pattern turns the pastures into green seas almost hypnotic to watch.

goats savor grass seed bounty
The goats love eating grass seeds. They hate not being able to see around them. It makes the herd hard to spot as only backs and ears show over the grass. Kids call all day trying to stay with the herd as they see little more than grass stalks.

My goats are paranoid about going out into these grass seas. They rustle and whisper. They might hide monsters.

Wild turkeys are not so worried. This grass seed bounty comes at a good time for turkey poults. Older tom turkeys get fat on the seeds.

wild turkeys feasting on grass seed bounty
This pair of wild tom turkeys was near the edge of the hill pasture. Even so, they were hard to spot in the tall grass. As they walked up into the pasture, the grass closed in behind them making them seem to vanish except for an occasional head poking up.

I put my chickens into their yard in the afternoon before going to the house. I don’t care much about the deadly game foxes and chickens. A periodic yelp made me stop and listen wondering if I was missing a hen.

A lonely tom turkey was walking along the edge of the hill pasture calling. Another came to join him eating the grass seed bounty as they walked toward the hill to roost high up in one of the trees for the night.

Tomorrow these turkeys and the goats will again go out into the pasture seas to harvest more of the grass seed bounty, a gift of a wet Ozark spring.

Read more about wild turkeys here.