I’ve mentioned the Ranch at the Red River a few times and since it’s probably time to post some pictures not of bugs for a change, I thought I’d start with this. I don’t know of many covered bridges in Oklahoma, so it was a quaint surprise to come around the bend and find this down the road.
It wasn’t really a bridge to the ranch, but a bridge on the ranch. We were already on the property when we came to it.
The main kitchen/community center we used was perched over a steep embankment that tumbled down to the Red River, while on the Texas side, the shore was flat and just a few feet above the water level.
The bank on the Oklahoma side of the river was very steep and uneven. It was covered with tall grass—like six feet tall, poison ivy, prickly vines, wild sunflowers five feet tall, and all sorts of scrubby thick growth. (I know, I went down there to collect a soccer ball the kids had kicked off the deck. Grass taller than me, and I’m 5’9.) We also found mounds of these American Beautyberry bushes, Callicarpa americana L. It’s also known as a French mulberry.
They were thick round shrubs about six feet in diamter with brilliant purple berries clumped around the stems. After I got home and looked online it was easy to identify them. It’s a perennial and wildlife will eat the berries into November. After I learned more about it I was wishing I’d harvested some to plant on my creek bank. I’ll grab some if I get a chance to go back next year.
We also saw this tree with greenish gold fruit hanging in bunches. It looked like grapes, but it was hanging from a tree not a grapevine, so that wasn’t the answer.
Anybody have any ideas?