A shot of wild turkey before 9 a.m. …

On weekends, I’ve been taking Xena to the lake early to beat the heat. She’s a Newfie and doesn’t deal well with Tennessee summers. On the way back from Melton Hill Lake yesterday morning, I saw a giant tom turkey a few dozen yards up the road from my truck, across from a horse farm that overlooks the Clinch River. The turkey was scurrying up the road, and I slowed to watch. I swear the sucker was as big as Xena. A fence on the left kept it from escaping, and the turkey finally decided the only way out was to take flight. It was like a C-130 lumbering aloft, clearing the fence and landing in the field on the other side.

Those morning hikes are awesome. No one out that early on weekends, and plent of squirrels, rabbits and geese for Xena to chase. Dew in the grass. And a shot of wild turkey …