About 30 years ago, my mother and father packed up their small but burgeoning family and moved us to a home site just south of Devil’s Creek. Situated atop a hill and surrounded by swampy cypress flatlands, this area was perfect for growing up–complete with “fishing” in what we lovingly referred to as our “pond,” horseback riding in the carefully managed pine tree groves and dreaming beneath a wide blue sky. My father is a bit of a history buff, so he loves telling us the history of the spot as well. In the 1920s, the very spot that my parents call their home was the heart of an old-timey logging camp. On our last walk in the woods, my dad pointed out to us the remains of the railway track that runs through the property. The steam engines would refuel at a spring located at the very edge of the property and then carry on with their loads. My dad told us about the naive remark that he once made to an old timer about the possibility of finding old coins near the site of the company store. The older man snorted and said that wouldn’t happen for two reasons. (1) Most of the employees worked in trade for what they received from the company store and (2) if so much as a penny was dropped, it would be searched for diligently until it was found!
This is the area where the steam engines would fill with water. The slight rise is what remains of the tracks while the green area beyond is the actual spring.
On our walk, we saw many of these. By the looks of the tracks, we weren’t on the trail of little Bambi, my friends…
And we saw quite a few of these, though they proved more difficult to get a good shot. When dogs see a camera point to the ground, they must think something is being sniffed. I can just imagine that I looked for all the world like a hound dog taking this picture!
This was not a sight that was welcome at all. Gorgeous and green at the top, to quote my dad “That tree is dead and don’t even know it.” Beavers have ringed the tree, which opens it up to disease. It will be completely dead in a short amount of time.
And finally, a parting shot of “the pond.” It looks so beautiful these days with all the careful work my father has put into maintaining it. It’s actually a part of Devil’s Creek. With heavy rains, this little pond overflows and creates a sticky, mucky mess throughout the woods. But who am I to complain? The birds and bees and snakes and deer and trees LOVE it!