Old Farm Creek

February 15, 2009 by  

By Jason Phillips

As the heat of summer is in our midst, crisp fall mornings seem only a distant memory. Now is a great time to reflect on great autumn outdoor memories of years past and look forward to the upcoming season. My mind often drifts to my first hunt. It was a crisp autumn morning with my father. I was 8 years old, carrying my first BB gun, his choice was an old 20 gauge single shot his father had given him. Our hunting destination, the Old Farm Creek, soon became the source of my passion for the outdoors.

We walked the banks of the creek that carved a winding path through a quarter section of land. The cover was ideal…from cattails to buck brush to native prairie grass to volunteer corn, the banks of the creek had it all. The presence of a whitetail buck was evident as we walked the banks of the creek. The dull brown bark of the brush was sharply contrasted by the rubs the buck had left while marking his territory. As we continued around the next bend, the habitat changed. Water from the creek was up to the banks. Suddenly three mallards thrust into the air only a few yards from me. The thrill of their flight against the sunrise was timeless. We continued our winding path, encountering a distinct piece of the prairie at every bend. We were nearing the end of our winding path, which had taken most of the morning to cover. Although we were empty handed, it had been a successful morning. As we neared the bridge where the creek went under the county road, I heard something behind us in the cattails. Suddenly the source of the commotion appeared. “Rooster!” The morning was finally complete.

I  have spent many days at this same place over the years and look forward to the opportunity to walk the banks of the creek each fall. Every hunter and fisherman has a sacred place, for me the Old Farm Creek, is that place.

Since it is in the vicinity of one of my favorite fishing spots, I often pass by this sacred place. It is impossible for my mind not to drift to the autumn mornings I have spent along the banks. On a recent fishing trip, I past by the Old Farm Creek. It appears the winding route the creek carved through the land has lead to the its demise. A new drainage ditch is being dug on the section line. Inevitably this means the end for the Old Farm Creek and the habitat it has provided for wildlife

I look back on the years of enjoyment the creek has provided, its character very unique, and impossible to replicate. However, the ease of maneuverability of agricultural machinery has lead to the end of this niche in the landscape. The creek has been a source of inspiration and perseverance, in the midst of drought, heavy rains, harsh winters…it has always produced successful hunting opportunities. The creek has been a place where friends, family and strangers have enjoyed the thrill of the outdoors. Although it will no longer be present in the landscape it will always be etched in my memories.


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