Hiking to the Wild Ozark Corner Bluff

Not too long ago I posted about our exploration of the bluffs along the driveway. This time we went hiking to what I call the “Corner Bluff”.

Getting to this one is fairly difficult if approached from the ground level, so instead of climbing up, we took the 4-wheeler to the top of the mountain and hiked down to it.

We saw Mossy ledges while hiking to the Corner Bluff.
Mossy Ledges

What makes it a Corner Bluff?

I call it that because it exists on a topographical corner of a mountain that’s partially on our plot of land. It’s not at the corner of our property, which is a square in theory, but on a physical corner of a mountain.

Rocks and Walls

There are big boulders and tall walls in this spot.

A really tall rock. Had to get on the ground to get the top in the frame.
A really tall rock. Had to get on the ground to get the top in the frame.

 

Rob standing on the ledge of one of the walls. Helps to give you an idea for size context.
Rob standing on the ledge of one of the walls. Helps to give you an idea for size context.

Some of the rocks in one of the areas look like faces, complete with eyes, noses and mouths. I didn’t get any good pics of those, but I did a while back on one of our other hiking trips in 2011 or 2010. If I can find the pictures I’ll post them later.

Green even Mid-winter

Ferns growing in very little soil
Ferns growing in very little soil.

 

Moss and lichens on the rocks
Moss and lichens on the rocks.

 

Fruiting bodies on the moss collect the morning's fog droplets
Fruiting bodies on the moss collect the morning’s fog droplets.

 

The moss acted like a sponge. Water drained slowly down the rock bluffs through the moss. We don’t usually go hiking without bringing water, and the sight of all of it percolating made me even thirstier.

If the thirst became too terrible, I suppose we could have gathered enough sips from the moss to save our lives in an emergency.

Moss covered wall at the Corner Bluff
Moss covered wall at the Corner Bluff

Trees

This twisted little tree is growing on top of the rock.
This twisted little tree is growing on top of the rock.
A tree skeleton full of texture, shades and lines. I love tree skeletons almost as much as the living ones.
A tree skeleton full of texture, shades and lines. I love tree skeletons almost as much as the living ones.

 

This gigantic oak is growing underneath and between the rocks. I can only imagine how far the roots must go between the layers in order to hold it up.

Fav Hiking Finds: Nooks and Crannies

My favorite things are the hidden places like this nook between the rocks.
My favorite things are the hidden places like this cranny between the rocks.

 

Rob seems to particularly like looking in the nooks where critters like bears and bobcats could be sleeping.
Rob seems to particularly like looking in the nooks where critters like bears and bobcats could be sleeping.

Odd Rocks

This rock looks just like a knob for a cabinet pull on the face of one of the bluff walls.
This rock looks just like a knob for a cabinet pull on the face of one of the bluff walls. I didn’t pull on it for fear of breaking it off.

 

We don't have much limestone on our property, but this does look like it has a lot of calcium/magnesium because of the holes. Most of our rocks are sandstone.
We don’t have much limestone on our property, but this does look like it has a lot of calcium/magnesium because of the holes. Most of our rocks are sandstone.

 

This rock wasn't at the bluff but we saw it earlier on our way to the bluff. The rocks in that spot have a lot of iron veins in them. Odd-looking, huh?
This rock wasn’t at the bluff but we saw it earlier on our way to the bluff. The rocks in that spot have a lot of iron veins in them. Odd-looking, huh?

Getting Back to the Top

It’s funny how you don’t notice how far you’ve gone when you’re walking down hill or over the sides of walls until it’s time to go back to the top. I was worn out by the time we had the 4-wheeler back in sight.

Hope you enjoyed the photo-essay of our rock bluff exploration!

Unrelated Note

I heard spring peepers yesterday and this morning. It’s the middle of January. I should not be hearing spring peepers.

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About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

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  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Get in Shape with Nature- Starting out the Day Hot & Sweaty

This morning kicked off my first effort at returning to a daily walk/jog routine. It’s time to get in shape after 6 months of trying to take it easy.

Get in Shape

I can’t *really* jog yet. My knee is still testy after tearing the ACL and meniscus in April of this year. But I can slow-jog/fast-walk. That’s a pretty hilarious thing to see, I’m sure, but thankfully there is no one here to fall to the ground in laughter. I can make funny maneuvers to my heart’s content.

This morning I didn’t bring my camera so I wouldn’t be tempted to stop and take pictures. The point is to get sustained heart rate elevation. I didn’t almost step on any snakes or encounter any bears, so no excessive heart rate elevation occurred either.

I’m pretty sure I could manage to run fast if something was chasing me, but I’m not ready to test the theory.

Bears, Lions, & Snakes

There have been bears in the area, though not yet spotted on the driveway.  This one is trying to reach the deer feeder on the mountain.

Running from a bear would certainly help me get in shape! Wild Ozark Bear 2016
Running from a bear would certainly help me get in shape!

There is a big cat (either a large bobcat or a cougar) in the area too. I saw big cat tracks in the soft new dirt on the driveway yesterday. Snakes are always in the area, but rattlesnake mating season is upon us and so the rattlers are out and about.

The thing that would bother me the most about seeing any of this wildlife is the fact that my camera would be at home, sitting on the table. But then again, that might be a good thing because I’d be able to move with so much more focus on escape without it.

Good Luck!

Anyway, wish me luck in my continued effort to get back in shape. The next few days are always the hardest for me to push through. Are you working on new exercise programs or have had success with long-lasting ones?

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Repairing Our Wild Ozark Spring Water Line

Today I repaired our Wild Ozark spring water line

Since I’ve learned how to do this myself, I figured I’d do it while Mr. Wild Ozark was at work. Later this summer we have plans to change out the entire spring water line and bury them, but this smaller repair needed to be done sooner rather than later.

The other day I posted about finding the leak. In that post I explained how our water is from a spring and is gravity fed to the house a few hundred feet below the source.

The hike to get up there is a rough one to me, although when I was younger it wasn’t as hard as it seems to be now. I think I’ll make this hike more often than once a year in the future. Perhaps if I do it more often it won’t be such the task when it’s a necessary hike.

Weather kept me from getting to it sooner. It’s been cold and very windy. Not my favorite kind of weather for doing anything outside. But this weekend there is icy rain in the forecast and I wanted to make sure it was done before that arrived. Today there was still ice on the ground around the leak.

If you want to enlarge these photos, just click on them and it should take you to a full sized image.
Ice all around the leak on the Wild Ozark spring water line.
Ice on the ground all around the leak.
The leak had grown a little larger since the other day, but still not too bad.
The leak had grown a little larger since the other day, but still not too bad.

I kept hiking higher to the water tank so I could shut off the valve. I also needed to cut the overflow line because it had been mangled by critters trying to get water out of it instead of drinking from the other spring a few hundred feet away.

Our 1500 gallon water collection tank.
Our 1500 gallon water collection tank.
The valve is old and brittle and hard to turn.
The valve is old and brittle and hard to turn. We’ll need to replace it soon, but I surely didn’t want that day to be today.

Now, I have figured out how to do things, but that doesn’t mean I know how to do them properly. I just know that this method works for me. Working on the spring water line is something I’ve had to do over the years fairly regularly, and most of the time it’s been during winter.

I also don’t always know the proper names for parts and tools. Ha. So you might notice that in some of my not-so-scientific terms for things, like the handy dandy little pipe saw in the picture below. Who cares what it’s really named? It works wonders. I wanted to make a cut on the part of the line I was changing out so the water would drain faster. I’d left a faucet running in the house before I went uphill, but that was taking too long to do the job.

Handy dandy pipe cutting saw.
Handy dandy little pipe cutting saw.
More cuts to drain more water more quickly.
More cuts to drain more water more quickly.

Once the spray slowed to a trickle, I used the same little saw to cut the line in half, leaving enough room to add a coupler to the end leading underground.

7. sawed end

Before putting the coupler on, though, I need to use the other cutter to make a cleaner edge on the pipe so it seals properly.

The other pipe cutter.
The other pipe cutter.
A smoother end.
A smoother end.

There’s the new line still coiled up. There are only a few places now to buy the parts we need for servicing our spring water line. Hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot carry ordinary water line supplies, and they probably have the brass couplers, but not the kind of lines we use here to bring it down the mountain. The house itself has the PEX with crimp bands, but this is a thicker walled plastic that I haven’t been able to find anywhere besides our little local store.

25' of new line I bought on Monday.
25′ of new line I bought on Monday.

I’ll unroll it and hope it’s warm enough to straighten it out a little easier. When it’s cold it doesn’t want to bend too much and likes to stay coiled.

Here’s all the parts I’ll be using for this part of the project.

11. assembly of parts

13. assembly on pipe
I had to use the handle of the screwdriver like a hammer, since I forgot to bring one with me, to drive the insert down all the way. This part keeps the fitting snug and keeps it from leaking.

Then I’ll do the same thing to the new end that is getting connected to the old end.

And finally I’ll do the same thing to the other end. And then it’s done.

A finished joint between the old line and the new.
A finished joint between the old line and the new.

Ideally, the line should be buried so it doesn’t freeze and so that sunlight doesn’t weaken the plastic. But that’s something that’ll have to wait for my husband’s help. In the meantime I’ll lay it on the ground and weight it with rocks to keep it from trying to coil up again and make a loop in the air. Any part of it up in the air would be exposed to the cold more than it would be if it’s on the ground. When it snows or ices, then that snow and ice at least stays at 32*F and insulates the line from temperatures colder than that. In the zero and minus zero temps we can get sometimes, it is much harder to keep water moving. Even if I leave a faucet running with a fairly good stream in the house.

So this little project is done and I’ve gotten all the exercise I can stand for one day. I hope you enjoyed this little vicarious plumbing of the Wild Ozark spring water line 🙂

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Exercising Outside on a Crispy Ozark Morning

exercising outside involves jogging and walking to the 1/2 mile to the mailbox for me.
A crispy cold morning, great for exercising outside

I did my exercising outside this morning, jog/walked to the mailbox in under 20 minutes – a milestone for me!

Exercising Outside

Feeding the critters acted as a warm-up spell, but it was still cold when I sat the bucket down and departed toward the driveway. The rest of my body warmed up pretty good with the pace, but my hands stayed cold the whole time.

I jogged downhill until I got to the first creek crossing. Then I had to pick my way over the icy rocks and made it through without getting my feet wet. Then jogged to the next creek crossing where it was a little more difficult to find a way across, but made it too without wet feet.

I like exercising outside because I get to see nature while I’m at it, but it frustrates me sometimes to not stop and get closer looks. No camera on hand to slow me down or otherwise distract. But I wish I would have had it to take a picture of the icicles on the dripping bluff.

Walked the remaining 1/4 mile at a quick pace, tapped the mailbox and turned around to head back to the house. I jogged a short distance until the uphill became too hard to keep up that pace then walked to the first creek crossing and made it through with dry feet. Slipped a bit on the second crossing and got wet shoes, but the new cross-trainers are water resistant so it was only cold, not wet.

By the time I got back up the hill to the bucket I was pretty tired, but there was one last fairly steep uphill to go. We usually take this hill in 4wd in the trucks to keep from slipping and kicking rocks with the back tires.

Made it to the steps, about a mile total, in 19 minutes and 30 seconds. Not too winded and didn’t need to collapse on the couch once inside. Whoo-hooo! I’m making progress.

Outdoor Weight Training

exercising outdoors with rocks
Here’s one of the flat rocks I laid into place.

After I recovered from my morning exercises, I later went back to the mailbox to actually check the mail. This time I used the four-wheeler. But I stopped at the second creek crossing and moved rocks around to make the floor a little smoother for the vehicles when we drive through it. I had my insulated

flat rocks in creek
Before long I had several of them placed in some of the holes left by the flood.

waterproof boots and gloves on for this.

I would have taken pictures of the icicles, too, but they had already melted. It was a lot warmer this afternoon than it was this morning, but the water was still frigid.

Now the crossing should be a little smoother. I haven’t tried it yet with a truck, but when I do if the placement wasn’t just right I’ll look for a few more rocks to put in the spots that still needs them.

driveway crossing creek
Now it looks a lot smoother.

 

 

If you like the more relaxing form of exercising in nature, you’ll probably enjoy my post on why it took me an hour to get to the mailbox and back.

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods