Neighbors surround our place and new arrivals have built homes and constructed fences and water gaps. Changing things, the habitat for wild things, most of all. Not any of the change has been good for me. Oh, I can look closer at settlement patterns and see loneliness overcome, socializing more frequent and assistance rendered when needed — but I would not depend on it.
Deer tracks vanish. The fox are gone. Wildlife disappears. Within seven years since our arrival here in the country, human settlement has pushed wildlife to an endangered status on our place.
Yesterday, I scouted the south side of The Grove for deer track. I found none. Since 2003, I have found deer track every day I have looked on the south side of The Grove. Not yesterday. The new neighbors to the southeast cut and burned brush that harbored deer. For what purpose? Better view from their house? To loose their dogs into the clearings for exercise? To give horses a open area for turnout? A person can use their property as they see fit — an English-American axiom.
And, to the west, our neighbor has permitted two more families to reside on their place. Target practice occurs. The creek bank and bed where shots are fired in practice are pathways for deer migrating through our place and onto adjacent ranches. Last Sunday, I stopped counting the rounds fired in the creek bed. A person can use their property as they see fit — an English-American axiom.
In 2003, I regularly saw a herd of twelve-to-fifteen deer migrate and browse in our pasture. Our farrier, Allen Gaddis of Wyoming, marveled at the deer on a misty morning as he trimmed hooves. Deer used to graze with our horses. Last year, I saw no more than three deer in a grouping.
I will go tomorrow to the north side of The Grove and seek deer track. I will take the camera. If there is track, I want a record in the future of how things used to be and how people use their property as they see fit — an English-American axiom.
I may post photographs. I may not.