Above are sixteen pictures taken during a walk in our woods yesterday.
Cliff was working overtime, and Mandy needed to work off some energy. Because the back 1/3 or so of our property is woods, almost every windstorm puts dead branches (and sometimes whole trees) on our fences, so my dog and I "walked the fenceline". Here at the house I have to keep her on a leash or chain so she won't run to the neighbors' yards. But in the woods she can run free to her heart's content.
As you can see in the pictures, there were several trees and branches on the fence. I found some other, smaller ones that I was able to drag off.
I treasure every painful walk up and down those ditches and hollows, because my knees remind me that I won't always be able to navigate the perimeters of my place.
Our house sits on one of the highest spots around, on a hill of windblown soil (at least that's what the county agent said it was, and there's not a rock around that wasn't brought here ... so he must be right). However, the back of our acreage is practically on the River Bottom. In fact, during the flood of '93, our back fence was under water most of the spring and summer. Trains, usually loaded with coal, pass along every 20 to 30 minutes... west to east... just across that fence.
Mandy scared up a deer, which headed in leaps and bounds for the bottoms: then I heard a gunshot nearby and realized I was crazy to be in the woods during deer season (and with no orange vest!). Another shot, and I heard the shell "zing" within 20 or 30 feet of me. "Mandy," says I, "I believe it's time to head to the house." I wonder if the anonymous hunter managed to kill the deer that my dog sent his way. If he did, he owes me some venison I'll never collect.
On the way up the hill along the west fence, Mandy flushed a wild turkey, and as it flew over my head I was, once again, amazed that something THAT BIG can fly. The only reason I don't have pictures of the deer and the turkey is that when I turn on my digital camera, it takes it a few seconds to get ready for a picture; and most wildlife disappears in that few seconds. I've thought about just leaving it turned on and ready when I'm in the woods.
1/3 to 1/2 of our land is totally useless for grazing or farming; and yet it's that part of our place that I love the most.
Oh, I had to give Mandy a bath as soon as we got home, after her roll-in-the-carrion. She acted as though she were being punished; in her opinion, she smelled perfectly divine after her little escapade. Silly dog.