This is theWest border of our property on the way down to Bois 'd Arc Creek. There are lots of large stones and fallen logs across this dried up creek bed. It divides the piney woods from our fence line.
Don gets ahead of me walking back to Bois 'd Arc Creek. The tall, straw colored grasses are very young bamboo shoots. We have more mature bamboo along the Southwestern bank of the creek on the back of the property. We'll get to that picture later. This part of the property is so different from the rest. It is lower in elevation and becomes flooded when we get lots of heavy rain. The trees are a lot younger back here. They are mostly Hackberry, Bois 'd Arc, and Mesquite. As we get closer to the creek, there are mature Pecan and Sycamores along the banks. Squirrels, hogs, and deer love it back here as you will see. There are hog tracks everywhere. The feral hogs do lots of damage to crops and are a big nuisance. The park workers are trapping them this year we hear. We would really like to bag a feral hog or two ourselves.
Can you spot the squirrel in this picture. I never knew this, but when you sneak up on them like this they freeze or play dead or something. I got so close to this one that I thought maybe it was dead. But then when I started moving in for an extreme close up, I could see it breathing more rapidly and then it suddenly bolted out of the tree and ran for cover. Squirrels out here are not like city or suburb squirrels. There is a large population of squirrel hunters out here, myself included, and you won't see a single squirrel if you aren't somewhat quiet and still. Too bad I didn't have my .22 with me this time.
Here are just a few of the hog tracks we saw on our hike. We literally followed the hog trails all day long. There are dozens of trails criss-crossed in all directions. But we must have been too loud or been upwind from the hogs 'cause we didn't see a single one.
Judging by the damage to the trunk of this tree, it is safe to conclude that beavers were here. There are lots of other beaver signs even closer to the creek. They are building a dam under the new fallen tree we use to cross the creek.
In the upper branches of these Sycamores across the creek there are dozens of huge nests. We are not yet sure which birds call these nests home.
In the background of this picture you can see the newly fallen tree that Don and I use to cross Bois 'd Arc creek to get to the back of our property. This is one of our little sections of the creek, too.
We got quite a bit of rain in the last week of November and the beginning of December, so the creek is fairly high right now. There are even some small rapids.
We definitely would have had a hard time crossing without getting wet if it hadn't been for this rather large tree falling across the creek just recently. Here is Don crossing the creek on the tree. I go next. It is really pretty high up, although it is hard to tell from these pictures. I get pretty scared and even a little dizzy.
I try not to look down, even though I always do.
Here is one of our larger Pecan Trees on the other side of the creek.
This bend in the creek is lined with bamboo. I think it is able to grow better here because it gets more sunlight.
We are still finding our back corners where we border the National Grasslands. It is not clearly marked by our surveyors from last year, or by the park. Well, it's a long walk home and it's getting dark, so time to get back!