It is a description of a tract of land by starting at a given point, running so many feet a certain direction, so many feet another direction etc., back to the point of beginning. Example: in figure 5 notice the small tract of land outlined. The following would be a typical metes and bounds description of that tract of land. "Begin at the center of the section, thence north 660 feet, thence east 660 feet, thence south 660 feet, thence west 660 feet, back to the point of beginning, and containing 10 acres, being part of section number etc."
Important: To locate a tract of land from a metes and bounds description, start from the point of beginning, and follow it out (do not read it backwards as in the case of rectangular description).
The small tract of land just located by the above metes and bounds description could also be described as the SW 1/4 SW 1/4 NE 1/4 of the section. In most cases, the same tract of land may be described in different ways. The rectangular system of describing and locating land as shown in figure 1, figure 2, figure 3, and figure 4 is the most simple and almost always used when possible.