After Thursday’s hike, I intended to return to the river area and continue my search for Emma deer while taking in the changing fall colors, but Friday and Saturday turned out to be good days to do a little work in the pecan orchard. Sunshine brought warming temperatures just right for working outdoors, and a light breeze meant we could burn debris from the woods. FD and I noticed the slough was dry on one end so we now had opportunity to cross to that area and begin work on the east side of the orchard. There were plenty of trees and limbs down on the east side, so FD would be running the chainsaw while I gathered wood. But first, we had another problem – the cocklebur plants that I had not been able to eradicate on that side of the slough this summer were now full-grown and dried. Thankfully, they were fairly easy to spot, but there were a lot of them. So Friday I worked at gathering and burning wood, and Saturday FD and I pulled and burned cocklebur plants.
Work did not last all day on Saturday, since FD is dedicated to watching OU football. He quit work by 2:00 and came in to shower before the 3:00 game. I decided to gather and burn one load of wood and then disconnect my trailer and run down to the west end of the property to see if I saw any local deer. We had spotted the doe with her late season triplets several times in the last week. Despite being anxious about gathering and getting a load of wood burned so that I could go west, I found myself enjoying the pretty day, working at a leisurely pace. I did not hurry with my work, knowing cooking a meal awaited me back at the house, and that was my least favorite thing to do.
The sun was already low in the sky by the time I unhitched the trailer. I stopped by the house to collect my camera and binoculars. I always regretted it if I did not at least have the camera’s zoom, but the binoculars allowed me even better vision, and I hoped to scan the soybean field to the west in case I might see some wildlife.
I did not see anything interesting as I traveled in the electric buggy to the west end. I was as quiet as I could be, moving at a slow crawl through the woodlands but, every so often, I would drive under a pecan tree and the ping, pong, boing noises of bursting pecans under the tires, probably alerted any living being in the area anyway. Putting this aside, I parked the buggy along the west fence line and grabbed the binoculars as I walked to the north trying to find an open spot where I could get a better view towards the river.
Before I found a prime location, irritation got the best of me. Over the years, someone had discarded lots of old tires in this area. They were all different sizes, some were very old and weathered, and many were partially buried in the soil. I knew someday we would get those tires picked up and hauled off. There was also a ravine a short distance away, where the previous owner had discarded all sorts of junk material. That would likely have to be buried. I wasn’t sure we could afford to have all of that hauled off. And of course we would have to keep up with trees growing in the fences. It was a big job eradicating young trees on the immediate ten acres where the house sits and adding another fifty-two-and-a-half acres of fence to maintain overwhelmed me. But as I looked over this west boundary fence, I realized the trees were already out of control.
Completely wound up in my thoughts about the work ahead, my peripheral vision caught a small fleck of something orange moving in the distant soybean field. It was a hunter! He was in full camouflage wearing a blaze orange cap, walking to the north carrying some kind of bow and seemed to be talking on a cell phone. I lost sight of him as he rounded the peninsula that juts out from the area I refer to as “the island”. Since it was late in the day, I assumed he was getting set up to hunt that evening. While the entire area from the edge of town to the river is zoned agricultural, it is also within the city limits. As such, one cannot hunt legally in this area. I texted FD, and then I texted the game warden. I had already contacted the game warden earlier in the week when I had heard shots west of our home. Soon I received a text back from the warden, asking for more information.
There was no time for photos, since I was too far from the buggy, where I had left my camera. By the time I reached the buggy the man had disappeared into the trees. I was angry, yet I knew that emotion served no good purpose. I had done all I could do for the moment. And, weather permitting, I knew I would be doing some more investigating the very next day…
© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…