Along the unimproved roads of the Vedauwoo National Forest are long stretches of boundary fences. They are hewn from the local trees by skillful lumberjacks. These boundaries are not elaborate but instead they are simple in design yet sturdy and durability. Over the years they withstand the brutal weather of the Wyoming wilderness.
These territory markers captivate the eye. I am drawn to follow their endless lengths that disappear into the woods. The forest swallows them up.
Tall grasses lick the lower rails. Foliage from bushes, trees and weeds crowd the guardians of property lines. Yet, with little maintenance these consistent fences just keep on existing, marking off territories and keeping mostly humans from trespassing.
There is a test from the wilds of the backwoods. Can these man-made structures hinder the wildlife and make the existence of the wilderness fauna feel unwanted stress? Will human intrusion strain the wanderings of the beasts of the field?
The prairie goat, Pronghorn Antelope, saunter up to these fences. A herd of these goats then slip underneath them without hesitation. They seem to big to manage this maneuver but having witnessed it many times I am a believer.
Deer hardly blink at these obstacles of split timbers. They can leap over them from a standing position. When God made these graceful creatures, He knew that a jumping ability as well as eyesight, olfactory sensory perception and speed were great assets to them.
Elk for massive and powerful creatures. A fence like these can be jumped over or smashed. They are creatures of determination and know where the bypass areas are.
Small animals like rabbits, badgers, squirrels or chipmunks use the fences as a hiding place or freeway or shady refuge. None of these little creatures whine about any intrusion but instead accept them as part of the terrain. Humans, who are created in the image of God, should be so flexible.
Time marches on and the weather beats against the wooden fences with every passing season. Instead of wearing out the fences change color and sport a weathered look. They actually look better and more fitting with the environment over time.
Man’s intrusion into the wilderness is not always bad. They have been ordered by the Creator to exercise dominion over creation. It is good and right when man enters the world of the woods and leaves a good trail of his visiting the wilderness.
photo credit: brucefong photography