On a Prairie Walkabout


Yesterday my wife and I drove out to the farm. We walked from the farmstead up to the area the family refers to as “The Big Slough”. As sloughs go, this one is pretty damn big. It must cover at least fifteen/twenty acres this year. Still, I wish my dad’s generation had a little more imagination when naming the thing.

We hiked down the section line, a path the exact width of one vehicle with treads worn deep as generations drove over it. As long as I stick in one of the tracks, I’m on fairly level ground and can maintain a decent speed. Uneven ground is hell on my ankle and I try to avoid it. But it was a nice day with a little breeze to keep the mosquitoes away. It is tick season out here but I figure that if we stick to the trail we’ll be OK. The dog would be in bigger jeopardy with his thick coat.


We’re not the only ones that use the section line. There were quite a few raccoon tracks. I imagine it’s a lot easier for them to waddles down this then to traverse either the prairie or the fields.


There’s some big game too. Here’s one of the deer tracks I found on the way back to the farm. You can also see the outline of a print from a small crane. I saw dozens of those. I never found a moose track but they pretty much don’t care what they’re walking on. I did see some moose scat near the farm buildings and it’s an enormous pile that was utterly fascinating to our dog. I didn’t see any sign of the wolves either but given we were travelling with a fifteen pound dog that would qualify as a wolf appetizer, it’s just as well.

Early this morning I felt something odd on the front collar of my t-shirt. It was a goddamn tick. After breakfast I found another advancing onto the back of my neck. It was then that I decided to take a shower. All in all, next time I’d rather face down a wolf.

About jeroljohnson

I guess I'm the crying on the inside kind of clown
This entry was posted in farming, North Dakota, wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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