A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Line Rider

Yesterday I spent an hour walking the southwest quarter of our place. We have a tiny place by West Texas standards, but because of the woods you can't see all of the 54 acres from the cabin. I like to walk it every so often; checking the fence line and for anything that might be wrong. Like the cowboy line riders, only on my own two feet!

I was half way looking for Trinity, the three legged doe. We haven't seen her since Christmas Day. The odds of her being alive still are slim. So are the odds of me finding her. She could be on any of the neighbors' property. Still, I wonder what happened to her and would like to know.

I was sad to see one of the old cedars we have had died, a victim of the drought. The trunk is bigger than me. The old cedars out here are the only ones that really have one big trunk. Most of the cedars have multiple trunks, all fairly small, making it a nightmare cutting them down. Rickie has to work his way into them when he does. This big one was in the southwest corner by the road. 

We had a beautiful snowfall last week. It was gone by noon of the day it fell but still it was welcome. We had gone over two months without measurable rainfall so any little bit of moisture is welcome. 

I like walking in the woods here. There are places where the trees surround openings that are cathedral-like in their quietness and beauty. And I walk the fence line to make sure there are no breaks. And to make sure no deer are caught. As easy as it is for them to jump, they get caught more often than you would think. Rickie and I saw a doe caught by her back leg a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was down the road from us. She couldn't have been there long because someone would have seen her and helped her; she was already dead. 

Once I came upon a deer skeleton under some trees near the fence line. The bones were scattered and I looked around to find the skull to see if it was a buck or doe. It was a doe. And a while back when Rickie cut some big cedars down on the hillside there was the skeleton of a fawn. But yesterday I didn't see any sign of Trinity. It's actually raining now (yay!) but later in the week I'll walk the other parts of the ranch and see if I find any sign of her. We've had up to 13 deer at the feeder this week and she hasn't been there.

We do have an old doe that is still showing up. I saw her this afternoon. She goes to the feeder before the others come. I think they would run her off; those does can be vicious.

John and Zac came out after Christmas to do some deer hunting and to check out the bunkhouse. They gave the bunkhouse a thumbs up but didn't see any whitetails that could make it into sausage; just some moms and babies or yearlings. After they left 5 big does came out. Wait 'til next year!

This is the quietest time of the year out here. The holidays are over, the hunters and family are gone. Rickie has had to go back to work after weeks of being off. It takes me a few days to find the rhythm of being alone again. To go back to doing the chores Rickie has done while he was here. To decide what's for supper when it's only me. To pack the decorations up, put Bixby's toys away, to shut the door on the bunkhouse that has been full of our kids and my sister's kids. 

After a few days I settle back into a routine. The fireplace is roaring and I've got some good books to read. Potato soup is on the stove. Woodrow and Gus are fed and have hay for later. Misty rain is dripping from the trees and a quietness has settled again over the little cabin and the woods. I am thankful for the chance I get to live this life.


  1. You are surely blessed. Seems like I remember something about the multi-trunked cedars vs. the single trunk. I don't even think that they are the same species of tree. (But I could be wrong.) Glad y'all are getting some rain. We had 4 inches of snow at Christmas and now it's been raining like crazy since yesterday. YEA!

  2. Yes, the type of cedars in East Texas have one trunk, which is a much better way to be, in my opinion. Ha! I've read that the old ones here have one trunk and the ones that are generations after that have multi. But that makes no sense to me. :P
    We ended up with an inch and half of rain here. We didn't get near as much snow as you! So glad to see all the moisture in the state!