Taking a Walk in the Country
Walk with Me in the Country
Everyone knows that walking is great exercise. It is good for your heart, lungs, and all of your muscles. But walking in the country is just good for your soul! I love to go for nature walks and try to walk at least every other day. I always take my camera with me and try to capture some of the beautiful and unusual things I see. Come with me and let’s take a walk in the country.
White Tailed Deer in Morning Fog
Early Morning Fog
It’s early morning and the sun is just starting to come up. The gray fog is still looming among the nearly bare trees. It is very early in spring and these pecan trees are some of the last trees to bud. You can’t really see them here, but you can see the grass starting to turn green again underneath them. These two white tailed doe are out early, looking for some of the green grass that is beginning to emerge through the dead leaves still laying on the ground. They like foraging in the fog as it helps to conceal them while they are eating. There are normally quite a few deer in this area. They usually hear me before I see them, I guess we got lucky today!
Pond in Early Spring
The Back Pond
Here is a small pond on the back of our place. As you can see some of the trees are beginning to put on their new green leaves now. The sun has burned through the fog and the new leaves are such a brilliant green! It is a very still morning with no breeze at all and I caught the reflection of the trees on the quiet surface of the pond. My husband and I fish on this pond, as there are bass and catfish in here. This is also where I see many deer and turkey when they come here to get a drink. There are also ducks on this pond in winter and early spring, let’s see if we can see them before they see us.
Readheaded Duck on Pond
This male Redhead duck has just come in for a landing. Redhead ducks can be easily identified by, what else…their red head. They are normally winter in this area and most of them have already flown back north for the summer. Female redheads don’t normally make their own nests, but will usually lay their eggs in the older nests of other ducks. I don’t see the female, she must be hiding among the reeds somewhere nearby. The females seem to be a little more skidish than the males. I am surprised this male is being so cooperative, he really doesn't seem to be very afraid of us. Let's not get too close and scare him away.
Redbud Tree in Spring
There is a young redbud tree growing on the pond dam. It is just starting to put on its bright green leaves. I love redbud trees! They bloom early in spring and add such a pretty pink color to the landscape. They grow wild here in this area and there are many of them scattered among the blackjack trees that grow here. From time to time, I will dig up a little redbud tree and replant it closer to the house so I can enjoy looking at it out the windows in spring. The redbud tree is actually the state tree of Oklahoma but also can be found as far north as New York state and southward to Florida. Native Americans were known to eat the blooms either raw or boiled and roast and eat the seeds too. I don’t think I will be trying that myself, what about you?
Walking Down the Trail
Here is our walking trail. Let’s walk down the trail and see what we might discover. The sun is now shining brightly through the trees and the birds are singing all around us. There are a lot of cardinals back here. If you watch, you will see a red flash as they fly by. As you can see, this trail is used quite often. It leads from the front of our property to the back, until you reach the creek, at which there is about a 100 foot drop. The creek itself doesn’t always have water in it and you can cross it to the back 10 acres of our property. My husband is “allowed” to deer hunt back there. I claim the deer that come towards the front of our place as my deer and he is not “allowed” to hunt them! (Don't tell him I said that.) Let’s walk on down the trail now and see what else we may find.
Deer in the Woods
Awesome! Look what we have found, deer tracks. It looks like two different deer have walked down this trail recently. Probably a doe and a year old fawn. See how the tracks in the back are smaller? White tailed deer and very common in these woods. They are one of the smaller species of deer. Their tail is white on the underneath and they will raise their tail and “wag” it like a flag when they feel threatened. The will also “snort” a warning to other deer that there is something they fear nearby. I can usually hear them snort and then will see their white tail flashing, as they are running through the woods. We have to be careful when walking through the woods in spring. It is a little early yet, but the does will be having their fawns soon and are very protective of them. If we were to unknowingly get too close, the doe will attempt to chase us off. They may seem timid, but they can be quite dangerous when protecting their young!
Here are some recent turkey tracks! They are easily recognized by the three-toed print. Wild turkey are plentiful around here and you can hear them “gobbling” in the springtime. If we listen carefully, we might here one. They normally come out either early in the morning or early evening. They don’t stay out very long in the evening as that is when the coyotes and bobcats, which are their main predators, are out looking for food. Turkey do fly, but they are not what I would call graceful about it. They roost in the trees at night and “rest” during the heat of the day under foliage. Yes, my hubby hunts turkey too, but only on the back part of the property! There is not much better than a good ol' smoked turkey leg! Johnny does the hunting and the cleaning, I do the cooking and we both do the eating! This looks like a big turkey track, it must be a big tom turkey. Hmmm, turkey season starts soon, I may have to send Johnny back to the back acres soon.
Well House and Fire Wood
Coming Back Toward the House
Our walk for today is about to come to an end. This is the little red well house that is in our backyard. We live far enough in the country that we cannot get “city water”. We have a pump inside the well house that pumps the well water into the house. My family and friends say that we have the best tasting water they have ever tasted. Myself, I don’t drink much plain water, but I know it sure does make great sweet tea. You can also see our stack of firewood for winter. When we have to cut down a tree for some reason, such as thinning some of them out so they others will grow well, we cut up the tree to use for firewood in our fireplace. I usually wear gloves when taking in firewood, as this is a great place to find scorpions and snakes. Watch where you step as you walk by!
Our First Flowers in Spring
Before our walk comes to an end for today, we have to walk by and see the daffodils. I love daffodils, they are so bright and cheerful. They are usually the first flowers to bloom in spring and just jump out at you with their bright yellow faces, letting you know that spring is here. Daffodils are grown from bulbs and are one of my favorite flowers to grow. They need nearly no care. You plant the bulbs in fall in a place that will get plenty of sunlight and come spring the will pop up and greet you with a bright yellow smile!
Well that ends our walk in the country for today. I hope you have enjoyed our walk as much as I have. I’m sure we both needed the fresh air and exercise. I love to go walking and plan to go on many more walks in the future, so be sure to watch for more, you never know where we might go or what we might see!
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