Back in June, we learned that an old friend of FD’s had purchased the farm ground west and south of the pecan orchard. We heard he would be putting in wheat for winter cattle grazing on the upper south fields, and would sprig Bermuda grass on the lower river bottom fields. We were thrilled about this. This man had been an important mentor and good friend to FD since he was a young boy, and he was one of the first people I met when I moved to Oklahoma. I hoped that he would allow me to roam the fields and river area freely. It would be great to have such a vast area to hike with my camera, and maybe if I was able to frequent the area enough, I could keep the deer poachers out of the area as well. With our new neighbor’s blessing, I planned to be the pesky photographer lady roaming the land every chance I got this fall and winter!
A few weeks later, the news was even better – our friend gave us the hunting lease on the property. Of course, since everything west of town to the river is city limits, there is no hunting allowed, but now I would be able to roam the property, drive the buggy to the river, and set up stands where I could sit and watch for wildlife to photograph! Being able to traverse the area with the electric buggy would save my legs, and allow me more time for photography. I could tote my iPad and write while I waited and watched. I could check fences and just keep an eye on things. I wondered if I might manage to run the coyotes off if I frequented the property enough. But mostly, I felt the deer and all wildlife would be better protected.
And so the very first week of our lease agreement, I happened to be at our lower west end of the property on a Monday, and heard water running. The old stock tank that our friend inherited from the previous owner had a horizontal crack running about a foot down from the top rim. Water had been pouring out from the gash maybe a couple of hours when I found it. I quickly went to the breaker box and shut it down and called our neighbor to let him know. He said he would get a new tank out pronto and was glad I called. He had checked on his cattle two days prior and it would have been another week before he would be able to check on them again. He thanked me for being a good neighbor.
FD has since posted “Leased” signs and “No Hunting” signs at the gates to our friend’s property. I make rounds every few days in the buggy to check on our new “neighbors”. Oscar and Lollipop love to ride along, but they are not quite sure what to think of these big, plant-eating beasts now roaming the land next door. Some days I leisurely check fences, picking up trash along the way. Early mornings, I make the rounds on our own property, and I usually see my new friends at the stock tank just on the other side of the fence. This autumn and winter, when the weeds aren’t so tall and invasive, I will walk further to the river boot and do some hiking and investigating in the woodlands.
I remember when we moved to this ten acres, I thought the area was huge and I found wonderment everywhere in the canyon and woods behind our home. When we bought the adjoining pecan orchard, and our property became 62.5 acres, I was elated to have such a diverse area to investigate and roam. I know it all like the back of my hand now. This lease opens up a vast area to explore… and with that, an opportunity to observe and study wildlife in another dimension. I plan to be a good steward of the land, and appreciative and helpful to our friend and neighbor.
© 2018 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…