Sunday, August 9, 2009

All Dried Up

I was supposed to be over 100 degrees today, but RNH and I ventured out anyways. We don't like staying indoors much, so we decided to venture down to the swamp. Neither one of us had been down there in a while, and it would be a fun adventure to go on. So we put on our waders and took off towards the woods.

There is a usual path that we take each time we venture into the swamp. We travel down a path that is marked by deer rubbings and hoof prints, where the brush is already trodden down for us somewhat. We make it down the hill and the land sort of magically turns into a muddy mess. That is, if it wasn't in the dead of summer. This time going down there, everything was dried up. The usual mud was almost crunchy under-foot and the dead limbs were more like driftwood than fallen sticks. This made walking through the swamp much easier, because there were parts where even the swamp grass hadn't grown because it was too dry.

We finally make it to the usual spot at the river where we fish for bass, brim and catfish. When we arrived- much to our surprise- the river was like a desert. Well, compared to what it usually looks like. Usually we'd tread carefully around the edges of the river and swamp grasses or plants because if not, we'd fall into the deep waters. This time, we had a huge sandy beach to walk on!

The logs that usually make the best catfish beds are now exposed out of the water. The water is murkey because its sat still so long, no longer flowing. A few fish are jumping, but they seem to be jumping for air, to get out of the muck and looking for fresh water to swim to. The river looks sad and deserted. The beaver that scared the crap out of me a few months ago is not around.

There is a sort of "peninsula" that juts out in the middle of the river. During the spring and fall the swamp grass and cattails grow really well here. Now, the grasses look burnt to a crisp. I was pretty excited about this because RNH and I were able to wade through the river, to the peninsula, and across to the sandy bank on the other side. I have never been on the other side of the river and I have always wanted to check it out. Finally I had my chance!

Once we got across we checked out the field beyond the river. Standing on the other side of the river didn't give me quite the thrill I was thinking it would. I was imagining a small farm house on the other side, and could even imagine an old lady that lived in it. She is lonely and wants some young people to visit her. She would be a wealth of knowledge in farming and cooking the best stuff I'd ever tasted. She would want us to bring the boat down to the river so we could visit her often. RNH might even build a bridge for us to walk over easily. But that's just silly. Its a field. And yes, there is a farm house, but I already knew that. And if we ever tried to walk up there and meet our neighbors, we run the risk of getting shot! I think I'll pass on meeting the old granny I imagined being up there!

We checked out the field and then crossed back over to our land.
After checking out the "other side" we decide to explore some more since the only fish that are biting are these 1/2 pound catfish. Instead of walking more down the river, we were feeling brave and decided it'd be a good idea to go through the swamp. Awesome.
Thankfully RNH is "packin" and he feels its necessary for him to go first and protect me from any big scary monsters. Or slithery monsters! And of course I don't mind this at all, and he gets the brunt of all the hanging spider webs! He bravely trudges in and I follow. We don't hear a sound (as in slithering noises that snakes make!) although, with the waist-high grasses and the noises we're making, I doubt we'd be able to hear them if they were there!

We walk about halfway through the swamp and find the duck blind we used this past fall. We could barely find it because it was surrounded by all sorts of grasses and swamp plants. RNH of course had to check it out and get down on his knees like he was really hunting.

After his bit of reminiscing, we moved on and went further into the swamp. This time it was a bit easier because the harsh sun had dried up the grasses. Like really dried them up. We were able to walk on out across this large area where swamp grasses usually grew over our heads. We walked right on out to the end of the river, where the river meets the swamp and survey the surroundings. We also staked out a few spots that would be good for hunting this fall.
At this point we are no longer on our land. We are on Mr. Haye's. But Mr. Hayes doesn't live on the land, there is a small house where he grew up, and he brings his mother from the nursing home to the house on the weekends. When he brings her, he also does some work around the land or even goes hunting. Mr. Hayes said we could go on his land all we wanted, just as long as we look out for it and make sure no one starts hunting there without his permission.

On the other side of the river, someone else owns the land. And we think they're getting ready for hunting season too. A decoy was set out (which at first we thought was one of ours that we had left out all summer-long!), reeds were pushed down and out of the way to make for hunting areas, and a beaver dam had been broken to allow water to flow through.
We were surprised to see all of these changes, and were just hoping that the people on the other side of the river don't interfere with our hunting this fall! Hopefully they'll just be some rednecks like us trying to get a meal and having a fun time while doing it! Maybe we can make friends with them and they'll let us use their 4-wheelers! Now that would be ideal!


  1. Are you planning on laying out on your nice sandy beach?

  2. Haha I should! I bet the people on the other side would be REALLY weirded out if they came up and saw me out there!

    Oh- I was writing this at 3am and didn't finish it until this afternoon. Just incase you were wondering why it abruptly ended!

  3. And this old lady that is going to share her knowledge with you and you'll pass her some of what you're smokin'??? You crazy girl!! You are nuts!!! Just don't sunbathe naked, OK?? :)

  4. Sorry Mom- I've already sunbathed in my birthday suit, just on the pond- not the river! :)