My Wife Will Never Walk With Me Again


I’ve mentioned in past posts that the back side of my property backs up to a large feeder creek of the San Jacinto river and because this area has been left in it’s “wild” state, except for a few trails, I get my fair share of visiting critters passing through. No big deal, except for the wild hogs, these critters seem to fear me more than trying to strike fear into me. Tuesday night my wife and I went for a walk down to the creek, one of many places we walk, to see if we could get a good view of what was happening with the moon and the eclipse. We never made it, we came across this strange bloody mess instead. This immediately freaked my wife out and she turned back to go to the house. Not me, for some reason, I wanted to check it out. I was trying to find signs of what had been eaten here and what ate it. But, I found no evidence of anything, just blood. Best I can figure is the pack of dogs that cruise through here got ahold of one of the small hogs and this just happened to be the spot for dinner. Its hard to say really because I don’t actually know what happened. This just proves allot of bullshit happens out here that I don’t see directly. My wife has been wanting me to clear/thin out this 1 1/2 acres since we first moved in 11 years ago, this just added fuel to the fire.

Fences Make Me A Great Neighbor


Not the way you remember hearing the old saying? It’s my twist because it makes more sense to me, plus I could really give a shit if I have good neighbors or not. Mine know I don’t want them in or around my yard. For the newbies reading here today, my house sits on 11.93 acres of land somewhere way outside the city of Houston. Now, we live in what’s called an “acreage neighborhood” where all the homes sit on a few acres. Just so happens that when I bought my “lot” that I bought the two lots available to the left and the one lot available to the right. Why? Because I wanted my neighbors to have to put some work into it when they would choose to be nosey. After almost 10 years I would say the experimental theory has been a success because I barely know my neighbors, just the damn way I like it. Within the almost 12 acres there is a roughly 4 acre pond which was dug so I could build up where my house would be built, as well as level out what would become my yard. Also, there is 3ish acres of a densely wooded area which butts up to a feeder creek off of the San Jacinto river. Everything else is mowed as my yard and has a wooden fence around it.

Well, after the storm last night I found a tree had fallen on a section of my wooden fence way in the backyard. This explained why the breaker for the electric circuit had been tripped. Yes, it’s a partially electrified fence. Why? To keep the criiters, varmints, and the neighbors dogs from digging under the fence and getting into my yard. Don’t worry, out in this area its only putting out about 2000 volts. But, the tree seems to have damaged the line by completing the circuit, hence tripping the breaker. At least the mystery is solved, I figured I would find a dead animal of sorts out in the back, not a tree on the fence. Since I located this so late in the afternoon all I really felt like doing was exactly what I did, take a picture of it, well, actually about a dozen. Why? I needed them to show to the insurance company to show the damage. The adjustor will be out Monday morning to make a report so I can’t touch it until afterwards. If it were endangering life or property then I can, but its just a fence so I was told to wait. Waiting is not something I am good at, especially when there is so much work to do. Meanwhile, the neighbor on that side figured out I was back there and decided he wanted to have a 30 minute chat about absolutely nothing, in fact I don’t even remember as I sit here writing this.

When I tell my wife what had happened and what went on with the insurance she went off on one of her tangents and wants me to look into having the tree removed by someone and the fence repaired by someone. She didn’t ask when I would be taking care of it, she wanted to know when someone else was going to do it. There will be nobody else doing any of it because I want to do it. Plus, I have the kids to help me out, so it will be fine. On top of that, I finally got my favorite tool on the planet running again after it died on me back in March, I thought it was really dead, but it runs like a screaming chainsaw banshee now. So I’m good to go. Y’all were aware that every man has his favorite tool? My dad’s is a 50 year old flathead screwdriver, my son’s is an old roofing hammer, mine is, well, mine is the fine machine pictured below, its probably the most useful and versatile tool I have ever owned. Next week I put it to the test, next week I will see if bringing it back to life was worth it, next week the chips will fly. Fuck calling a tree removal company, fuck someone else fixing my fence, I will do it my way. My wife knows this already, she was just trying to be cute and see if she could ruffle a few feathers. The adventure never ends in our marriage, but that is life as well, shit happens, we could cry about it or take care of it. Some of us know the right answer, the others call a tree removal company.


Shake Your Tail Feathers


For the past few months I have been following the advice of the diabetic dietitian I formally was insured to see which is to walk at least one hour a day covering at least one mile in distance.. I don’t go to a gym, nor do I visit any circular monotonous track, because I have plenty of room to walk on my property. Hell, the walk from my front door to the main street where my mailbox is located is just shy of 1/4 mile, so I have plenty of places to walk. In preparation I did cut a pathway for myself through a section of my wooded area because it was going to be easier to go through it than around it. While on the topic of taking advice, I was told I needed to write more on my blog to get back into the swing of things by a good southern doctor friend of mine, she knows who she is and that’s what counts here. In the end, I do walk for over 1 1/2 hours each evening and now write more on my blog, if this can be called actual writing to y’all. I enjoy my walks because it is very peaceful, very relaxing, and doctors say it benifits my health. Bonus.

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that the water fowl down on the pond and surrounding it have been acting differently which means that they are either spooked or they have just moved on. I am pretty lucky because this pond always attracts some spectacular wildlife to observe. When I looked a bit closer at the overgrown side of the pond I found 2 different places that a predator had made a meal of a few of the young ducks. This didn’t surprise me as my property backs up to the woods, a creek, and a few thousand acres of absolute nothingness. There have been some small paw prints in the mud around the area so I know there are dogs running around. I never minded them because they stay well out of sight and down in the bottoms of my property. I have seen one out of what I expect to be 3 or 4 of these “wild” dogs. I have had to pop that one in the ass with a pellet gun twice because it was getting closer with curiosity and I don’t need that in my actual yard around my house or other buildings. So, we tolerate each others presence so to say.

Later in the afternoon yesterday I had company on my walk, my 17 y/o daughter wanted to talk to me alone. Without getting to much into the talk right here so we don’t get sidetracked let me just say it was about her boyfriend and some problems he is having financially. In the end I was asked if he could move in. When I am done here I will get into that father daughter talk. That being said, the company was a pleasant change to my normal routine. As she gets older she seems to need daddy less and less each day. So, we walked, talked, and enjoyed the peaceful trek. About 45 minutes into our walk we noticed an odd smell, the distinct smell of something dead. This is a smell, for those of the all who don’t know, that is unmistakable, and as we got closer to the source it became much stronger in the air. She tried to guess what it could be that had perished in the woods and then she began to worry me a bit because she asked “what if it is a dead body?” Where in the hell did that come from? However, one never knows what one will stumble across in the woods while on a walk. Putting on my best daddy face I assured her it was not a dead human body we were smelling and this I know for a fact. There is a distinctly different smell between a rotting circus of an animal and that of a human being. What can I say, I have been around the block once or twice. Just imagine learning some of life’s lessons which can not be taught by another person rather they must be learned by experiencing them. Enough said about that, we have a dead animal to find now. Why? Because if we don’t then other predators will come to investigate the smell of death and then I might have a problem I don’t really want on my hands. The plan was to find it, remove it, and get it in the burn pile before it sparks too much interest with the other wildlife.

We walked ahead maybe 20 yards or so and we found the source. I was actually surprised because I was non this part of the trail Sunday evening and this was not here. There was actually more surprise in my mind than just the fact that it was laid there dead. In all the years I have lived here, pushing 10 years now, I have only seen one other coyote and she was on the other side of the creek heading away from the backside of my property. In fact, that was right about 7 years ago so its not like it is a common sight. Oh sure, we hear them in the dead of the night in the far off distance but never see them or any of their activities. But here we have a dead juvenile coyote. I flipped it over looking for obvious injuries and see nothing. I actually expected to see a bullet wound which would mean it just wandered up here and died from its injuries. But there is no clear sign. I called a friend of mine who works with the state of Texas wildlife department to find out what I needed or could do. He told me to just wait and he would come check it out. After he arrived and checked it out it was determined to be a natural death. We loaded the coyote into the bed of his personal truck, said our goodbyes, and that was that. I was in a hurry now to get up to my shop because I had a bag of lye  which I wanted to spread out where the coyote had been to get rid of the smell. Once that was done I had to go shower to get cleaned up for the night. Something my daughter had already done.

I see now that I will have to keep an eye on my land down by the bottoms because I do not need the predator threat around here. I may need to start walking with more than just my stick from now on for sure. Later last night my daughter was on the phone with her boyfriend where I heard her tell him that we had talked and about how our walk turned into a gruesome discovery. I giggled to myself as I walked by because I thought it was it was great, personally, walking and talking with the daughter who seems to have outgrown her daddy.

When The Vultures Came To Dinner

0000 Vultures 2Last night as the sun was setting behind the trees which surround the creek behind my house I was down by the pond rolling up a water hose when I saw the most bizarre scene. I have lived in this house since we had it built back in 2003 and I can’t recall ever seeing vultures either in the sky or on the ground around here. I could smell rotting flesh somewhere close but couldn’t see anything immediately. I keep seeing flashes in the shadows over the trees and when I look up I see 20 plus vultures on the decent spiral so I followed where they were going. I sent a text to my son to grab the case that has the twins and where to meet me. Within a matter of minutes he was by my side and we were on the hunt for what was dead and for dinner for the vultures. Soon enough we could hear grunting and flapping so we knew we were really close. At the edge of the trees on the creek side there is a small yet significant clearing where different animals congregate to feed in the evenings and in the mornings, mostly deer this time of year. As the vultures moved around trying to find their space to feed it became clear that this was a young doe they were feeding on. It had to have wandered in here wounded or something because I was out here over the weekend and the area was clear as we walked down to the creek.

Which just shows how remarkably fast vultures respond to the freshly dead. I don’t know allot about vultures and as we noticed these were not large birds since their wingspan was under five foot. We assembled at the edge of the trees where we considered ourselves out of sight so we could watch them. After about fifteen minutes the breeze shifted and was blowing the stench in our direction. It was time to move on. Watching the birds feed reminded me that it would be dinner time by the time we would get back to the house. My wife asked us what we were doing but I told her it would be better to discuss it after dinner, so she agreed to wait. What a coincidence, we were having venison as well for dinner. After dinner my son was the one telling the story of how the great black vultures descended from the skies to gather for their feast on the doe carcass. He tells it like an old west story, it was humorous to listen to and entertaining to watch as he imitated their flight around the living room. He was all smiles because of his adventure and seeing vultures for the very first time in person, really up close and personal.

This morning I could smell the rotting flesh up around the house as I was leaving to go to work. I hope they finish the doe carcass off through out the day because I really don’t want to have to go down there with my tractor and move it further down the river. I don’t look forward to that at all. But, it the smell is still hanging out that close to the house it will become the inevitable move to make. Hopefully mother nature will clean up her mess so I don’t have to get involved. My son took the pictures because he wanted to do show and tell today for one or more of his classes. I wish I could be there to hear how well he tells the story. I will have to ask him to tell us all again tonight after dinner.

Yes Ma’am, We Won’t Get Muddy

Famous last words of a boy who is headed out to play in the mud with his ol’ man. We both knew before we left the shop to head down to the creek that there was a 100% chance that we would soon be wet and muddy. But, let’s back up just a bit. This past Sunday I had plans with my son to go ATV riding down at the creek. We have been putting it off because where we like to go has been under water for the last few weeks. When we went to go look we were pleased because it appeared to as if the water had began to run off. So, we thought it was okay to go riding. For the most part most, the areas were wet, boggy, sticky, and real thick with silty mud. Perfect conditions for what we wanted to do, which was have a little fun before dark, in the mud. My son and I are no strangers to getting in the mud and playing around. Sometimes it can even be challenging because the terrain changes allot when there is no solid bottom below you. But, we are both always game to get out and get dirty. We both knew before we set off on this little adventure that we would have some explaining to do when it was all over. We also knew we would be cleaning and detailing our rides before anything decided to dry and get to badly caked on. We actually did real well keeping clean for the couple of hours we were riding with just a bit of spatter. Thinking we were home free we set up to exit the mud slosh we had been riding back and forth thru when we literally ran into a snag. I was riding in front at a very slow pace because my son was behind me and I wanted him to ride thru my tracks since mine left a larger footprint in the mud. We rode like this for around 3/4 of a mile and then it happened, my son begins to have his tires slip. He panicked a bit and gave it too much gas which buried his ATV.
No choice but to get real muddy now. Our ride went from being a slow ride to a messy rescue of his ATV. There really is no way to get around getting dirty now. Besides, not getting dirty was very much just a nice thought, but his mother ought to know better by now since this isn’t the first time we have been riding here or anywhere. At this point my son is very nervous because he is very worried he will be getting into trouble soon. No matter what I said to him, no matter how many times I told him not to worry about it, he still isn’t ready to face the music. He has allot to learn. Wait til he finds out that I can’t get grounded or in trouble for getting muddy while out playing. Meanwhile, we have the task of getting his ATV out of the mudhole. It actually was not very hard. It took more time to spin my ATV around and roll the winch out to hook up. Afterwords, we are riding side by side and kind of joking but he still seems a bit stressed. I patted him on his helmet and told him it was time to head in. I took the lead, setting the pace, and he followed me around the bank, across a stretch of open field, and back through the creek to go up the trail onto my property. When we got up to the shop it was dark so I sent my son in to turn on the exterior lights at the back of the shop so we could clean up. I had begun to hose myself off first to get the mud off my skin, out of my hair, and off my face. I had my son strip down to his boxers so I could hose him down as well. I will be the first to say that the water was freakishly cold. I stripped down as well and got a pair of coveralls out of the shop to put on. I sent my son to the house, still just wearing boxers, so he could go jump into the shower. I laid both of our clothes out and gave them a good hosing. Now they are good as new, ring them out, and put them in a pile to take to the house here in a bit.

As I started knocking the mud off of my son’s ATV my wife walks around the corner with a shit eating grin on her face. It is her face when she is thinking of something smartass to say but holds back and just giggles to herself. She tells me that our son is now in the shower and from the looks of everything that I will need one as well. I keep cleaning, listening, and waiting for what she has too say. All I got was a “don’t be too long because the pizza will be here soon”. We had a little small talk about where we were riding and how muddy it was. She laughed and told me she knew we wouldn’t come back as clean as we left. Which is where I stopped her. I wanted to let her know that our son is very worried and fears being in trouble for coming back all muddy. She’s not worried about any of that, she just worries about one of us getting hurt doing something stupid. She told me she was kidding and joking around with us before we left. This is something I know, but our son takes things real literal sometimes. Then she grabbed a towel and started helping me clean all the mud from everywhere. We talked, we laughed, and it was actually pretty fun in a weird way. I decided that they were as clean as they were going to get for the night and got on my ATV to pull it in the shop. She hopped on my son’s ATV, to my shock, and pulled in right beside me. When we get everything closed up and turned off we walk back up to the house. She tells me she wants to mess with our son and for me to just play along. Oh crap, here we go.

By the time we made it back to the house my son was already out of the shower. The pizza had arrived and the kids were waiting on us to get here so they could eat. They pick this one time to be polite and wait, it was funny. I stopped in the appropriately named mud room, stripped down, and just took my shower to clean up in there. Meanwhile, my wife was nice and brought me some clothes down from the bedroom. She hasn’t said anything to my son as of yet, but he is still walking on eggshells so he doesn’t raise attention to himself. I took a seat at the bar after getting myself a few slices of pizza so I could look at some mail I had sitting there. The kitchen was very quiet, almost eerily still because of the silence. So, I broke up the silence and told my daughter she missed a great ride with me and her brother. She said that it looked like we had fun. Then, out of the utter silence, my wife, addressing my son, asks why he got so muddy and why he was trying to hide it from her. His face was priceless. He immediately looked to me for support as if I was going to defend him. Instead, I mentioned to him that I told him the creek bottom was pretty muddy and we should go around. I said this only because is it exactly what he had said to me at the time. Then, there was this moment, he took a deep breath, and then told his mom that he wasn’t interested in trying to keep clean since he was concentrating on trying to keep the ATV wheels down. When she asked if he had fun he hesitated answering a bit and then told her, “yes ma’am, I had allot of fun riding with dad”. My wife gets up at this point, goes to my son, pulls him in for a hug, and told him, “then that is all that really counts isn’t it”. He had that deer in the headlights look as he was struggling to figure out what had just happened. It was like he was asking himself, “is she serious”? None the less, after that moment we couldn’t shut him up, he was excited to be able to tell of his adventure knowing now that everything was okay. Good thing for his mother that I know how to do laundry so she don’t have to worry about it. All in all it was a good day out. We had a good ride and had a good time. I went up later to go tuck my son in and he was already out like a lite. Poor boy was worn out, I can relate and headed off to bed myself.

A Mess In A Mess Caused A Mess

This past Sunday I was down at the creek behind my house wandering around to see what I was up against. I have spent the last few summers clearing the area behind my property because it seems that it is a choke point where all the junk from up the creek ends up. There is one area that is so narrow that in the heat of the summer one can almost walk across it without getting their shoes wet. This seems to be a favored spot for all things in the creek to just give up and stop. It doesn’t seem to help when an old tree falls in a recent thunderstorm and chokes it off completely. Which is what I found. In the beginning I was kind of happy it fell from across the creek and not from my actual property and then reality set in and I realized this was going to make it harder to pull out and cut up since the base of the tree was on the other bank. As you can see it has already created a blockage and once it starts it takes a fair amount of time to get it all hauled out. After assessing the mess I went back up to my shop to get my tractor, a chain, a chainsaw, and my son. After getting everything together my son and I roll down to the creek in the tractor. He is getting at driving the Beast. He backed it into position, although I wasn’t real happy with the angle of decent, so I had him pull out and reposition so it would be safer. The overall plan was to drag the tree across the creek so I could cut it up. Then load everything into the bucket of the tractor and take it to the burn pile. So far so good, we are ready to start the yank across the creek with my son at the wheel of the Beast. The whole operation took about four hours of solid work for my son and I. After we loaded the last load of wood into the bucket I told my son to go dump it into the pit and then go hose down the Beast.
After all the work was done my neighbor comes down to see what all the noise and commotion was all about. Perfect timing since we are done now. After telling him what we had been up to for the last few hours he asked if I had a little time to talk. Sure, why not. y’all might remember my neighbor Charles from other posts I have written talking about my very Christian neighbor. If not, y’all will need to go back and review. For those who remember, good for you, we can continue. Charles wanted to inform me of changes I would be seeing next door as well as ask me for some needed assistance. So, I bite, he has me curious. He went on to explain that he will be moving out within the next day or so and probably won’t be back. My curious side took over and asked him what was going on and where are they going in such a rush. He stopped me right there, they were not all going to be leaving, just him. Charles went on to explain that they are having difficult times in their marriage and as a result he was told to leave and that she wants an immediate divorce. He said he has been stying in a hotel for the last week or so because she won’t talk to him any further. Anyway, she gave him permission to come home and pick his belongings up which she packed and set in the garage. Her and their three teenage daughters were out running errands at the time and she felt this was the best time for him to come since the girls are unaware of the pending divorce. So, he loaded his Escalade up with his boxes and when he was getting ready to leave he heard us back here and headed down to see what was going on hoping it was me since he had a favor to ask me which he laid out next. He wants me to look after his property, mowing and such in his absence because he knows the house will be going up for sale soon since she will not be afford to live there without his income. I never knew his bride didn’t work. However, they are not definite in any plans, but he does know she has spoken to a lawyer already. To say the least, I wanted to know what happened so I bit the bullet and asked Charles if he would mind telling me what had happened to set her off into instantly wanting a divorce. Hell, what do I know, this could have been coming for years. My knowledge of them is what I see across the fence and what he tells me in the past, which hasn’t been much come to find out.

At first he was reluctant to really go into any details. After a deep sigh Charles explains to me that he would rather I heard it all from him rather than through the grapevine. He reminds me that he has been married for 18 years to his wife. Together they have three daughters, 7, 13, and 17. However, about 6 years ago he found that their marriage was in a slump because he was no longer interested in his wife sexually. So, completely by accident, at a church function, he met someone who really understood him and his sexual desires. At first it was all about the sex, this person brought out everything his wife wasn’t able to. I thought this strange to be telling me, but okay. Charles went on to explain that this relationship is still in full swing which is why he is in the doghouse with his wife. Recently, a few weeks ago, she began to suspect that he may be cheating on her. So, she began asking him subtle questions. Behind his back she was looking through texts on his phone, phone records, and people he was associated with. Quite by accident, he says, she found out the truth and was not happy with any of it. He knew the day would come and never knew exactly how she would handle any of it but didn’t think she would be acting this extreme. But, as he found out, she believes the relationship has crushed their marriage with the lies, the sneaking, and the deceit. In the end, he doesn’t blame her for the anger she feels towards him and understands that she is really pissed. Just when we were about to wrap up the conversation he tells me it is time for him to go and he has someone waiting in the car on him. Fair enough, I will do what I can, when I can, with your yard and stuff. About that time a man comes down the trail, he sees us talking, and proceeds to approach us. He asked Charles if he was ready to get going since they had some stuff to pick up before it gets to late. He introduced himself to me as Robert. After he shook my hand he reached down to hold Charles’ hand. Charles paused and told Robert that he was just explaining their relationship to me so I would have an idea of what was going on. In my head I am thinking…………did I miss something? Hand in hand the went back up the trail and disappeared into the trees. Ummm, what in the hell just happened?

Later in the evening my wife went next door to talk with Beth to see if she needed anything. My wife being herself, she took a bottle of chilled wine and some snacks, hoping she would talk to her, woman to woman. It didn’t take long and they began to talk some. Beth explained that they will be putting their house up for sale very soon due to some very unforeseen changes in their current marital status. After some talking for a while my wife said Beth kinda broke down, she could see the tears in her eyes and told Beth that she could talk to her if she wanted to, no worries. Since her daughters were all upstairs getting ready for bed Beth told my wife that she is heartbroken with everything that has been going on with her husband. She is angry with her husband for what he has done to her, their family, and to their marriage. Then she dropped in my wife’s lap with how upset that she is that Charles has been having sex with this man and then coming home and having sex with her for quite a long time. Beth said that she thought their marriage was going pretty good for sometime now and then she started noticing changes in him that she didn’t understand fully. He was asking her to do things sexually that have never been talked about between them ever before and out of the blue here they were. She didn’t go into any kind of detail with my wife except that she thinks back and can remember when the things sexually in their relationship began to change but thought that the counseling they were in had given new insight to trying new things in the bedroom. Overall, she feels let down by Charles because they have been living such a big lie. She got to the point where he had to move out because she could not stand to look at him. She has forbidden him to speak to their daughters about why they are now separated. They think he is out of town on business but that won’t last forever. Beth doesn’t want her girls to know that their dad is choosing life with another man over her. After they exchanged their goodbyes and condolences, my wife headed home. I am sure there is some things she isn’t telling me, small details of sorts. My wife is kinda upset with Charles. She told me that never in a million years did she expect to find out that our neighbors would be splitting up because he has a boyfriend who he is choosing to be with over his wife and daughters.

My wife asked what I thought about all of this going on. Well, it’s actually none of my business and I am just as surprised as everyone else. Well, not as surprised as Beth I am sure. This all got me thinking a bit, knowing now for sure that their house will be going up for sale. I need to look into that pretty good because if the price is right I would like to buy it. Why? It’s simple, I would rent it. What better way to pick your neighbors than to own the house they live in. Plus, it’s on a good plot of property, right around 4 acres. I could use a little extra land in the back of mine down by the creek. Who knows, I suppose I should run this by my wife. She might not see all of this as an opportunity.When we bought our property we did try to buy that lot but were told somebody had already put money down on it. I did, however, buy both lots to the left of me. I didn’t want my neighbors and their lives into mine without them putting forth a little effort to get to me. I don’t know what to say about Charles. I guess, good for him finding what he was looking for in a relationship. On the other side I feel bad for his wife and family since his actions will ultimately change their lives as well. Proves to say that one never knows their neighbors as well as we think we do. I am just glad it was an affair and not something like they were running a prostitution sex ring out of their house or them having a meth lab or something where the law had to get involved. Domestic issues get messy but in the end nobody has gone to jail for doing anything stupid yet.


Seeing What Isn’t There

I went out yesterday afternoon to the back of my property to get the memory cards out of my two trail cams that are back there. It was also a time for me to replace the batteries since they were going on being a month old. I usually grab the memory cards about once a week, but then it just depends on how much activity is going on back there. I have them set on on my path facing each other about 50 yards apart. There is one set just before the drop off to go down to the creek which faces the house and the other is up the path facing down towards the creek itself. The picture above is from the camera facing back up the trail towards my house. The light is actually on the corner of my shop. Now, as mentioned, I download all the pictures about once a week and then review what has been captured on film. I do this for two specific reasons in case you were wondering.

The first reason is because my property backs up to a creek and there is no fence back there. The easiest path up the bank and onto my property is to use the trail I cut through the trees. Since there is no fence I just like to know if people or coming up onto the property and perhaps find out why. Since it is about 3 1/2 acres of wooded land I get plenty of wildlife traveling through my property. Which is the second reason for the trail cams because I like to know what is moving and what is stalking what. I had an issue with a small group of wild hogs when I first built my house here. These days pretty much all I see is all the big deer and small critters moving around. Yes I am a hunter. No I don’t bait them in. I don’t hunt on my property. I could during bow season since I live out in the county but I never wanted to because I like having all the deer around. We like to watch them basically all year long. So, that is the background of why I have the cameras out. Usually I don’t get anything to special, usually I don’t find anything real alarming. But this picture was different, there is just something not right, and I needed to find out what it was. My son spotted it immediately, my daughter doesn’t see anything, my wife isn’t sure what she is seeing, which is exactly where I stand. I see it, but I can’t explain it.

Now, you are probably wondering what I am talking about so I will try to guide and explain it to you as best as I can. If you focus at pretty much dead center of the photo you will see the base of a tree. Still with me? Now look to the immediate left of that tree and what you see is blackness. In reality you I should be looking at the lights in the distance that run the circumference of my deck. But, what we can see in just the blackness of whatever is blocking that opening. Are y’all asking what could be blocking that opening yet? Me too. Where I live there are not too many options. So, let us explore that short list. It could be a tree limb. But when I went out the next day in the light there was nothing there. It could have been an extremely large deer, but there were no signs of a deer. It’s leaf litter on top of the grass so I didn’t see any tracks of any kind. There were no droppings of any kind either. The rest of the critters or animals around here are relatively small in their mass, animals like rabbits, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, and such. A wild pig would have been bigger, but still not big enough to fill in that void which is about four foot wide and seven foot tall, give or take some but not much.

As y’all can see, it really has me puzzled. I’m a firm believer that everything has an explanation and I think this is going to bug me before I can dismiss it. Plus, I don’t scare real easy but in the recent days I have made sure to have a flash light with me when I go down to the back. I think the most bizarre thing about this picture is what is missing. Usually, and by that I mean, there are usually many things visible in the pictures. In almost every image I have from back by the creek there are always things like eye glow from the critters or bugs flying that get caught in time by the flash. Neither are visible in this image. Where are all the critters and night life? Were they scared off by something? It’s really hard to understand. Hopefully I get an answer real soon because this will absolutely drive me nuts. In the mean time I have planted three more cross angle trail cams, so each trail cam has another trail cam focused on the same area just at a different angle. I’m not paranoid, I just want a secondary confirmation if anything like this happens again. Maybe it won’t happen again since this is the first time in over four years. If any of y’all figure it out or have a reasonable idea please don’t hesitate to pass that on to me. I won’t hold my breath tho, I know my property, along withs it’s ebb and flow, so I think this will all just be called a play in the lighting from the actual flash. But, since the trail cam is motion activated it still leaves me wondering what tripped it off into taking a picture.


Back To The Basics

Getting back to the basics is something few of us ever do. We can’t find the time to just “find the time” anymore. I found, for myself, I almost have to “schedule” myself some time to be able to just stop doing anything else. It’s not that my life is that busy, it’s the fact that I generally don’t make time for myself for some reason. As y’all know, I live in southeast Texas, so our weather is already warmed up into the mid 80s already at mid April. As you can see by the picture I took this weekend, where I live is greened up and already looking like summer. I like this view, I come here on occasion to watch the catfish, the turtles, the snakes, and all the wildlife. Why? It gives me a break. I watch and wonder where all the time goes. This spot is easy to get to and a good place to fish when you aren’t interested in catching anything. My property has this bend in the creek so I can sit here all the way to the left and see most of the rest of it to the right. What y’all don’t see is the 8 point buck that I followed out here. It’s hard to get super accurate and sharp pictures with a cell phone, but I did attempt to capture this magnificent beast on film. He has been hanging out at the back of my property for quite some time now, I see him daily, but I can never figure out exactly where he goes when he goes. My hope is that he continues to parade around and do as he pleases because he is safe here. Plus, my son and I already got a great buck a piece back in January during bow season. Incidentally, my son’s first kill with his bow, in fact his first deer ever. I can remember his excitement as we made it to the stand, he was happy to be together with me this year. He has gone in the past, but never to hunt, but to watch, to learn, and see how to make good and bad decisions. He handles his bow well these days, it was time. Thinking back now, I remember my first time, and nothing prepares one for the chill of fear that the force of the adrenalin causes. That takes a little time to “come down” from.

I find that I need to get away from everything every once and a while, maybe to reflect, and maybe to just be away. Granted, my wife knows where I am because I told her since I wouldn’t be having my phone with me. Which I did, it just wasn’t on for any longer than it took me to take the picture. For all intensive purposes, I was just unavailable enough to confuse people. Sure, I missed calls, I didn’t reply to texts I was getting, and in all actuality I really didn’t care too much. It was nice. At the same time, the 2 1/2 hours I was out there was just spent staring off into the woods. I also realized that I have some work to do back here before I lose a big chunk of my land due to erosion. That just might have to jump to the top of the list so I can get it done before it is too damn hot. I wonder now, as I sit here writing, why do we have lists and why do we torture ourselves if the list doesn’t get taken care of. I mean honestly people, I have a list for work, a list for home, a list for my shop, a list for my property, a list for the Boy Scouts, a list for the Lion’s Club, a list for my parent’s house, and then a general purpose catch all things that don’t have a list already. Why? I don’t ever see myself ever getting done with any of the lists. Instead of being “to-do lists” they should be called “wishful thinking lists” because most times that is what they become. I have given great consideration to making all the lists in my life just disappear. Poof! Gone! No more lists and no more finding time to rearrange time to accomplish tasks on the list. Sure, I will always need a shopping list for this or that, but I think that is more than plenty because it is time to trim the fat. I knew it was time to go because I saw my son coming down the trail towards me. He waived and he even whistled to try to get my attention, but I acted as if I didn’t see him or hear him. If he had something to tell me he would just have to get next to me, I was enjoying my last moments of nothingness. Eventually he made it to me and he began to explain that his mom thinks I have been out here long enough and it is time to come back in to cook dinner. I guess that is what I get for saying I would grill the steaks and potatoes. Oh well, I am done here anyways. My son asked what I was doing and why he wasn’t asked to join me. How do you explain that you need more time alone than a trip to the can provides? You don’t, you apologize as I did. He grabbed my bucked I was using as a chair and we headed back up to the house. It was a quiet walk until he noticed the big buck thru the trees. Too bad he just don’t get what hunting seasons actually are yet. Maybe we will go varmint hunting real soon. I have been craving grilled squirrel anyway. Don’t judge.

I realized just then that he and I spend allot of time together and I sure do hope he doesn’t pick up any of my bad habits. But then again, he will develope into his own person, he already is on that road. I see myself in him. People say that and I have always just passed it off or never payed attention. I think I have figured out what people like my mother are trying to say now. But, when I can see it all unfolding before me, slowly and measured, it is hard to actually focus on it. As he gets older I get it tho, he wants to be like me, do the things I do, and so forth. It is exactly how I felt about my dad. He is a few years older than I was when my parents divorced but is getting freakishly scary close to the age I was when my dad died. I wonder, still at my age, what life would have been like if he had not of died when I was fifteen. Where would we all be now? I know it is a foolish notion. I am happy he enjoys his time with me and that there are many great things we get to do as father and son. I know many people that don’t have a relationship with their sons and it seems they don’t care to as well. I have found it isn’t about hunting, building, playing, or just doing things together, it is the simple pleasure of just doing all those things together. I know what is coming. I have watched it with my daughters, 16 and 22, as they get older the family part of their lives seemed to get pushed out of the way. With my oldest I took it hard because it felt like she didn’t need me any longer. I found out it was just her getting older, getting independent, and her spreading her wings. My younger daughter is going thru the growing pains now, still wants to be daddy’s little girl but doesn’t want to be with me unless she wants to be with me. Number two has been a little easier in the adjustments because I got to see this one coming and actually evolve. I got to use some prior experience to help guide me to be a teenage girl’s dad and not my other baby girl’s daddy. I suppose I will always be daddy in their hearts and my own. I would like to think boys are different in that regard. Yes, I see my son becoming more independent every day and I can’t say I am thrilled with it. I am absolutely happy he is getting older and maturing, but I see my future. Is this why older people get cats or dogs or both? Do they still need to nurture something? It will be a dark day before I buy an animal to replace my children, a real dark day, like Hell freezing over dark. I have my time now, I still have a chance. I found that you cannot tell your children that you are here for them when they are ready because they don’t understand and it becomes rather awkward. I know, I have a head full of nonsense sometimes.

We did make it back to the back deck where my wife was waiting for us. She gave me a peck on the cheek and gave me a nod. In the terms of our relationship that means” everything will be okay daddy” and for me not to worry about things I cannot change. She’s right you know, I can’t really change any of this. I can, however, simplify the outside influential things in my life. But, do I really want to? I mean, it is everything in my life which makes me who I am. I am a doer, I am happy doing. In case y’all are interested, squirrel was not on this particular menu, just venison and some wild hog as the meats. Also, some grilled corn, some grilled mixed veggies, and some grilled bell peppers. Our little dinner was eaten outside on the deck with some classic rock playing slightly and a couple of my special recipe margaritas. It was nice while it lasted. My daughter was urgently called away to chat on-line with friends over a crisis. My son had put his game of Black Ops on pause while he came to get me and he needed to get back to the mission. So, after cleaning up a bit, my wife and I decided to stay outside with the tiki lamps burning while we enjoyed the last few margaritas I had mixed up. And then I realized what it all meant, I found the answer I wasn’t looking for, tiki lamps are magical. I was happy being happy sitting with my wife in the light from the flickering tiki lamps. I never knew how I miss lust sitting with her, Just enjoying her company, and just being happy. This is what I needed all along. The night was beautiful. The sky was clear with many of the stars clearly visible. People don’t know what they are missing when they just don’t stop and enjoy what is right in front of them.