Tushes v. Monoculture

Hog trap surveilled by game camera, sprung by phone’s send button

Meridian, Tx – Farm Road 1991 meanders from fording point to point along this ancient stream bed in the Edwards Plateau breaks above the backland prairie – to the alluvial plains of the Gulf Coast.

El Bosque is Spanish for – literally – the sticks, and it joins Los Brazos De Christo at Waco in a mad confluence of porous rock strata, water and the black lands sloping to the salt grass – an ancient reef that extends from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex to Carlsbad with its caverns – and beyond.

It doesn’t matter what men build and develop, when the flood moves, it’s coming through, around, over, under. Whatever is in the way won’t be, not for long.

THE GREENSKEEPER at Bosque Valley Golf Club has the diamond hard look of a man who copes with conditions and their myriad requirements. Battling the foraging hogs of the hardwood forests of scrub live oak and native pecans is just part of the job he does to keep the hackers happy on this 9-hole layout of three gamblers’ loops, each of which ends back at the clubhouse, where the suds and whiskey await their requirements.

The monoculture of the golf course is unnatural in the scrub country

At this time of year, the fogs linger, the mist abounds, and driving rains pound the creatures out of their lowland redoubts to the higher banks, where you can hear the plash and patter of the water in its onrushing progress downslope. Waterfalls are really outflows from caverns and unknown underground rivers headed for yet another inlet to another underground web in the rock.

One might imagine the skirling of pipes, heard far and wee on the vagaries of the wind.

Here the cow pokes of the Chisholm Trail drove their long horns to the rail head at Cowtown, and all points in between Old Mexico and the Windy City. The old pastures still exist, and the old road that follow the river just happen to run right by everyone’s front door.

The Santa Fe tracks run through it, too. Everybody got to be somewhere, as it turns out. And when the levee breaks, mama, you got to move. True story.

Feral hogs, some native javelina, and the rest permutations of prize boar stock from the steppes of Russia to the prairies of the midwest mingle and mix and dig with their tushes in the easiest ground they can find for acorns and seeds.

Damage of swine foraging for acorns under spreading oaks a hazard

They play hell with the finely cultivated turf, mowed and weeded and maintained for the purpose of cow pasture pool.

They multiply as fast as any furry creature on the planet, rivaling even rodents for their legendary fecundity.

Did the breeders fail to make their market? One is tempted to think they may have released at least a portion of their produce into the wilds.

That’s why it’s always open season on feral hogs, no hunting license required, no questions asked when traffic in swine is the topic.

That’s why the game cameras are surveilled by cell phone transmissions and the trap doors may be sprung by remote control with the press of a “send” radio button when the moment of greatest concentration inside the corrals may occur.

A less elaborate method of triggering the hog traps by propping the gate

There is definitely something to be said for that now aging sentiment that when one looks to the sky, it’s nice to know it’s a capitalist moon, and not a planetary satellite controlled by communist hands.

The year 2018 has proven to be a wet one, precipitation having kept its pace with other record years without letting the rivers and creeks out of their banks in disastrous torrents.

Nevertheless, Mr. and Mrs. Hog have taken to the higher ground and the barbecue smoke fills the sodden air of late autumn in the Texas Hill Country.

Onwards, in orbit of our Star – El Sol.

Here’s to ribs, chili, and the odd stew, as it were.

Bon appetit!

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

El Rio Bosque  – The water courses through the rock to the stream

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