Feb 10– good neighbors

For years, living at Twin Oaks, I assumed that the Twin Oaks boundary ran along, or close to the creek below Tupelo.  When I walked the boundary line over the past few weeks, I was pleasantly surprised how much of the woods on the far side of the creek was actually on our land–dozens of acres of hardwood forest, rarely if ever visited by the forestry crew.  This morning, another relatively warm dry one, I set out to explore some of those acres.

Wandering around at random, I eventually came up on the string that marks the border, with forest on both sides. On a whim, I decided to keep going over onto the neighbor’s land, just to see what was over there.  Kind of unnecessary, as we’ve got plenty of our own woods to explore, but it seemed like a good idea at the moment.  For the most part, the neighboring property was a bit more overgrown than our woods, lots of blowdowns and rotting trees on the ground.  I don’t think they do much maintenance: Image

I came across a couple well-decomposed skulls of woodland critters.  I also spotted a full large skeleton of some sort through the woods, but going to investigate would have taken me closer to a neighbor’s house than I cared to get (didn’t really want folks looking out their back window and spot a strange dude wandering through their property). Image

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Eventually, after pushing through the forest for a bit, I came across what definitely had been a trail or road at some point, although it is pretty overgrown now.  I followed it into the woods, away from the house, to see if it went to any sort of destination.  A few minutes down the trail, it passed close to an odd little pond that looked as if it had been dammed (maybe for irrigation?) at some point in the past, but hadn’t been maintained for a while.  There were bits of plastic piping discarded here and there in the woods.  The ‘pond’ itself (more of a big puddle) had a thin sheet of feathery ice on top, which formed all sorts of beautiful patterns:

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Further up, the trail seemed to vanish in the overgrown woods near this creek, which had more plastic piping in the water and discarded nearby.  I bashed upstream, getting all mixed-up and turned-around in the thick vegetation, eventually coming across the weird remnants of some sort of wooden channel or dam or something: Image

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Further upstream, the creek came out of the woods into a neighbor’s field (where there is a pond that I’ve seen from the road), so I turned back into the woods towards Twin Oaks, passing yet another awesome 90-degree angle tree.  By the time I passed under the rope and back onto TO land, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, but figured it wouldn’t be that long before I came across a trail or a familiar bit of forest.  It’s nice that, in that corner of the property at least, there are still some parts of our land that are totally unfamiliar to me.Image

I walked back through a long stretch of attractive, open beech and oak forest that made for easy pleasant walking, and even discovered a spot where someone has hung a hammock for proper forest enjoyment.  This was the bit of woods that I had intended to explore more of this morning, and I was again pleased with the quality and quantity of land that I had previously thought to be our neighbors’, but is in fact Twin Oaks’.Image

Crossed back over the creek at this little S-curve, and made my way back over familiar ground to Kaweah– another pleasant morning stroll in the winter woods.Image

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