2018 Autumn at Wild Ozark

It’s been several years since we’ve had the splendid colors we’re having this year. Today I went out to take some pictures to share of the 2018 Autumn at Wild Ozark. Some of the photos are from our driveway, some are down the road we take to get here.

Ozark Autumn 2018

In the first photo below, it’s not really this yellow. I was just playing with Photoshop and the preview wasn’t working so I couldn’t see what I had done until after it was saved. But it’s pretty. Looks how it does through my sunglasses ūüôā

2018 Autumn. It's not really this yellow. I was just playing with Photoshop and the preview wasn't working so I couldn't see what I had done until after it was saved. But it's pretty. Looks how it does through my sunglasses :)
View through my sunglasses
The creek that runs alongside our driveway. Locally, it's known as 'the branch', but I call it the Wild Ozark creek.
The creek that runs alongside our driveway. Locally, it’s known as ‘the branch’, but I call it the Wild Ozark creek.
At the second Felkins creek bridge.
At the second Felkins creek bridge.

I’ll post more pictures later when I have time to transfer them from the camera and get them reduced in size. So far, the 2018 autumn is turning out to be pretty spectacular. Every year I wait for the leaves to turn, and it seems like a big wind comes and blows it all away before it has a chance. Or they just go from green to brown.

Is autumn beautiful where you are?

Previous Years

Here’s some links to the posts I’ve made in previous years about the fall colors out here. 2017 Colors¬†and more. Here’s one of the¬†2015 Colors ¬†

Day 14: Nature Journal Series – Sunlight on Distant Hills

Sunlight on distant hills always makes for a pretty picture. It’s just hard to capture, whether by camera or pencil. This time I tried with my Prismacolor pencils.
Nature Journal Day 14- Sunlight on the Hillsides

About this journal entry

Some autumn seasons bring vivid colors, while others are quick and or less spectacular. Always, though, the sunlight favors certain hillsides while leaving others in the shadows of the cloudy skies. When this happens, the favored spot fairly shines with brilliance. It’s always so hard to capture that with my camera and proved equally hard to capture with the pencils.

Most of the drawings from that first year with the pencils uses only spot color, while the rest is black and gray. This time, though I used the same technique, it was almost an accurate rendering of how the landscape really looked. Time of day was dusk, color everywhere had faded – except for the sunlight on distant hills.

About the Wild Ozark Nature Journal

Get the index to the other journal entries and read about my project at Wild Ozark Nature Journal.

If you keep a nature journal online, share the link to yours in the comments.

October Color at Wild Ozark

Here’s a couple of photos from this morning I thought you’d like. I love fall here in the Ozarks. Late October color is often quite nice. That’s when it begins to start turning noticeably.

In the morning as the sun rises over the eastern mountain, the trees westward light up. Each day from about now to November promises to hold great views.

I’ll add more as the season wears on.

October color in the Ozarks can be quite spectacular. Here's one of the maple trees along the driveway.
Maple leaves along the driveway.


A red sweet gum leaf by the gate.
A red sweet gum leaf by the gate.

Not Just the Leaves

Sunrises and sunsets are often spectacular in October, too. Here’s one from 10-20-17. It started out with a delicate gold wash across the landscape. Before I had the camera ready, though, the colors had deepened to a gorgeous amber glow.

Sienna Sunset, October 20, 2017. SOOC, no filters. The moment was fleeting, but I was glad to have captured it.
“Burnt Sienna Sunset”, October 20, 2017. SOOC, no filters. The moment was fleeting, but I was glad to have captured it.

End of Autumn and Letting Go of Clutter

Red Oak Leaves. Nature Photography by Madison Woods for Wild Ozark.

The end of autumn¬†brings me to a state of feeling introspective. Depression, melancholy maybe, or just a need to be alone with my thoughts for a little while … It’s not “sadness”, and it’s not a negative thing. It’s normal for me at this time of year.

The Liminal Space

It’s not technically the end of autumn until the first day of winter. But just as it feels like summer before the solstice, it feels to me like winter arrives before Dec. 21. When the leaves are mostly on the ground and the temperatures near freezing,¬†to me, it’s winter.

The time between seasons – it doesn’t feel like fall anymore and it’s not yet winter – is a liminal space. It’s precisely this kind of space that makes my mood like it is.

Letting Go

Let go of what kinds of things?


Clutter makes me feel anxious for no good reason. When I feel anxious, vague fear is usually the underlying emotion. We all have fears that we deal with on a daily basis. Some of us are just better at ignoring them or hiding it.

One of mine is the fear is that I’ll never succeed in reaching my goals. I can further refine that to pinpoint exactly what it is I’m afraid of.

It’s not the fear of never reaching them. It’s the fear that it’ll take too long. The anxiety is just a companion to that fear.

Disorganization in my workspace contributes by magnifying the disorganized feeling of anxiety. When my surroundings get cluttered and my project list piles up I feel the crunch of time. I feel like I’m running out of it and it’s that urgency drives the underlying fear of possibly never finishing.

Getting organized

The problem is my workspace. My desk and office is so cluttered I can hardly find anything anymore. I am going to do a bit of fall organization in there this evening.

It’s more of a job than I can finish in one evening, though, so that project will extend for quite a while. Maybe even a whole week or even longer. Ha. I am not exaggerating. It’s pretty bad.

Letting Go

I know from experience the vague feeling of anxiety and fear will dissipate as the clutter is eliminated. So each thing I find a dedicated place for, or put in the recycle or the burn pile or the garbage will be like one more leaf falling from the tree.

Worrying without doing anything constructive accomplishes nothing.¬†Just like the trees letting go of old leaves at the end of autumn, I too feel the need to let go of stuff I’m clinging to which no longer serve a purpose … starting with my office clutter.

What leaves do you need to drop?

For me this year, it’s the clutter in my office. In years past I’ve had more extreme cleansing to do. The principle of letting go of that which no longer serves is worth looking at. For me, the end of autumn is a great time of year to do it because it matches my mood already.


How Does Ginseng Look in Fall? Here’s how it looks in the Ozarks in October

I get questions from readers often, mostly about how to find ginseng or to ask for help in identifying whether what they’ve found is ginseng or not. Right now, though, people are asking “How does ginseng look in fall?”

Many are surprised to learn that it changes colors with the season. Here in the Ozarks, our ginseng can start turning yellow in late September. This year, colors seem to be running a bit later and it’s only just now beginning to turn. Today is Oct. 5.

All photos are available as signed/numbered prints up to 8″ x 10″ for $30. Click on “Contact” in the menu to inquire.

How Does Ginseng Look in Fall

How does ginseng look in fall? It sometimes turns bright greenish-yellow, making it easier to spot in the woods.
Ginseng turns greenish-yellow in fall, sometimes making it easier to spot.

Most of the time by October the berries have long since fallen. I found one plant today with a berry still clinging.

This is how ginseng looks in fall: A bug-eaten and yellowing 3-prong with one berry still clinging.
A bug-eaten and yellowing 3-prong with one berry still clinging.

If the plants aren’t yellow yet, they’re very often bug-eaten and pretty ratty looking.

I find American ginseng to be a beautiful plant all year, but sometimes near the end of her growth cycle she takes on a certain glow. It looks as if this mature 4-prong is basking in her golden year-end, even if she does look a bit worse for the wear:

American ginseng in October. This is a wild-simulated plant growing wild in the forest at Wild Ozark. There is no difference between wild and "wild-simulated" except that the seed was placed in that spot by me, rather than falling from a mother plant or carried by a bird.
American ginseng in October. This is a wild-simulated plant growing wild in the forest at Wild Ozark.

Ginseng in October by Madison Woods. Prints available.
My drawing of Ginseng in October. Prints available in our online shop.


Defining “Wild-Simulated”

When native berries are planted, or at least seeds purchased from a grower of a similar ginseng, there is no visual difference between the roots of our wild and “wild-simulated” except that the seed was placed in that spot by a human, rather than falling from a mother plant or carried by a bird.

There are some visual differences in different varieties of ginseng, although most of the people I know with knowledge of ginseng claim there is only one variety of ginseng and that it has no other iterations. From what I’ve seen, though, ginseng that grows in some parts of the country have longer flower stems and the berry clusters are held high above the plant.

Our native ginseng berry clusters are usually closer to the leaves. I would notice an unusual-looking plant in our habitats. I would know it wasn’t wild if I had used seeds from those with the taller flower stems. Unless you can see that the plant isn’t a local variety, without genetic testing it would be impossible to know what is true wild and what is wild-simulated.

Wild-simulated is planted in a way to mimic nature, in groupings or small colonies in habitats that would ordinarily support wild ginseng.

This is not the same as “woods grown”. Woods grown is grown in the woods in places wild or wild-simulated would also grow, but usually in rows or beds or swaths to make harvesting easier. Woods grown is also sometimes planted in tilled beds or treated with fertilizers or herbicides and pesticides.


Here’s the same plant later in October of the same year:

ginseng in october
Click the photo to enlarge.

The Companions Change in Appearance, Too

Blue cohosh can’t even be found by this time of year. It’s already died back and withered into the leaf cover.

Doll’s Eyes (White Baneberry), or Actaea pachypoda, has ripe fruits still waiting to drop onto the ground. You can see how the common name was derived, though a doll with those eyes would be pretty freaky looking.

Doll's Eyes (Actaea pachypoda) with ripe berries in October.

Bloodroot is getting harder to find because many of them have also returned to ground, but here and there a tattered leaf remains to mark the spot:

Bloodroot in early October at Wild Ozark.

Here’s goldenseal on the 18th of October:

Goldenseal on October 18, 2016.
Goldenseal on October 18, 2016.

Rattlesnake fern questions what all the fuss is about. This one is putting on seeds (spores) as if nothing unusual is happening. These and grape ferns never die back, but sometimes a frost will give a bronze cast to the ground-hugging fronds.

Rattlesnake fern, sometimes called a "pointer fern" because it grows with ginseng.
Rattlesnake fern, sometimes called a “pointer fern” because it grows with ginseng.

Even the Look-Alikes Change Colors

The Virginia creeper mimics ginseng all year long, even in early fall. But in late fall it comes time to show true colors. It turns red sometimes later on, which ginseng never does.

Virginia creeper is a ginseng look-alike.

This Ohio Buckeye leaf is stunning in red:


Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you’ve enjoyed your tour through the ginseng woods with me today. This little hike actually took place yesterday but I’m just now getting around to making the post. This morning it’s raining.

Mushrooms are Rising and Fall is in the Air at Wild Ozark

With all the rain we’ve been having, and the cool mornings for the past couple of days, the fungi are loving above ground life. This morning there were mushrooms galore!

Fall is Coming

Have you noticed fall in the air yet? We’re on the cusp here in the Ozarks, but this morning held a chill in the air. The sun’s rays are falling to the earth at a slightly different angle. Shadows are casting from a different sort of light. Fall is almost here. I can see it now, feel it and even hear it.

This is my favorite time of year, a liminal time. A doorway between two seasons – one I’m ready to let go of and one I’m ready to welcome.


In just a small area behind the house there were at least four different varieties.

Rob found the prize, a smooth golden chanterelle:

Chanterelle mushroom
Chanterelle mushroom

I didn’t have a chance to go farther to look for more of them, but right behind the house there were several. Most were already aging, but the one Rob found was fresh. So I diced that single one up and sauteed it in butter.

Then I went down to the other logs where the oyster mushrooms like to grow and picked some of those to go with supper. Here’s an article about how nutritious this wild food is. I had thought mushrooms were empty foods with no nutritional value. That’s true of the white button mushrooms you buy at the grocery store, but definitely not so about some of the other varieties.

oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms

This one is a pretty mushroom, but I’m not sure what it is and there are too many of this sort that are poisonous, even deadly, so I will just take pictures of it and leave it alone:

A pretty mushroom, but maybe it's a death angel.
A pretty mushroom, but maybe it’s a death angel.

Found some boletes that were deteriorating and smelling like dead fish:

Deteriorating boletes.
Deteriorating boletes.

This last mushroom won the prize for most unusual find for today. I’ve never seen one like this.

An interesting unknown mushroom.
An interesting unknown mushroom. Do you know what it is?



Delve Deeper to Observe Nature

Take a moment from your day and delve deeper to observe nature. You’ll gain a sense of awe and wonder.

Delve deeper

Truly experience that moment. If it’s a plant you’re observing, reach out and touch it (be reasonable – don’t touch poison ivy). Notice the texture of the leaf. Is it smooth or rough? Are there hairs on it making it soft or bristly? Look at the veins in that leaf. Do they run parallel down the whole leaf or do they branch and fork?

lobelia nature sketch

I would never have noticed the hairs on the stem of this lobelia had I not taken the time to observe every part of it.

Listen to it. Yes, there are sounds associated with plants. I recorded the wind through these acacia trees when I visited Abu Dhabi recently. It’s a sound I’ll never forget and could have easily been overlooked. Aside from the sound of the seed pods rattling, you’ll hear the wind and doves too.

In nature, everything is multi-layered.

What about the colors and smells. Some things seem fairly uniform in color. Then as I’m preparing to capture it in a sketch, I notice how many different shades of green are on one leaf that at first looked like a simple solid color.

Observe nature and notice the many colors in something that seems one color at first, like the leaves of this ground cherry plant in flower and fruit

On the day I made that sketch, I was in a bit of a rush. I didn’t want to attempt something that would take more than a few minutes. So I saw that plant and thought it looked easy enough, all a fairly uniform shade of green. And then I began the sketch and the game changed. I began to see the details that at first went unnoticed.

Same thing happened with this sycamore leaf. One leaf. A simple subject.

colored pencil sketch of a sycamore leaf in fall

Wasn’t so simple after all once I noticed the many little veins and the multitude of colors.

I pay closer attention to all things when I observe nature, not just plants. Similar details abound in every aspect involving every element of nature. This sort of mindfulness offers great opportunity to celebrate and appreciate variety in all of life.


Nature Journal ebook

These drawings are from my Autumn 2015 Wild Ozark Nature Journal. It’s for Kindle or other tablet sized ereaders. These colorful journal entries are gorgeous when viewed on color e-readers but the text is going to disappoint on phones because the screen is too small. Here’s the link where you can get it. Please leave a review and tell me what you thought of it.

Wild Ozark Nature Journal on Kindle

What is a sketch / nature journal?

Sometimes nature writers like to doodle while they’re interpreting nature. My nature journal¬†is a combination of art and written journal entry.

It is both nature sketching and nature journal.

Here are some sample pages from my first collection. All of my work can be seen at I do them, for free. But if you want the whole collection on your Kindle (or other ereader with a Kindle app), you can enjoy them any time, with or without an internet connection.

The sketch in the winner's journal - Two Sweetgum leaves, by Madison Woods Wild Ozark Nature Sketch Day 23 - Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) My nature sketching of Lobelia inflata.

Nature Sketches by Madison Woods, straight from the wild Ozarks.
  • Eighteen colored pencil nature sketches
  • Journal entries with each sketch
  • No double-tapping required
* Note: The images display best on full sized color readers. According to feedback, the book looks great on Galaxy pads, Kindle for PC’s (only Windows version 8 or better), Kindle Fire, and iPad. It is less than optimal on the Kindle PaperWhites, or the small screens of cell phones. Send a sample to your device to check display.
Dedicated to the Nature Lovers, for we are the bridges, the liaisons.


I’d love feedback if you download it – please leave reviews at Amazon or Goodreads to let me know how it displayed on your reader. I’ve never seen another e-book quite like it, so it’s kind of groundbreaking I think.

Wild Ozark Nature Journal: Autumn 2015

The Autumn 2015 collection of Wild Ozark Nature Journal is FREE all week Monday Nov 16 through Friday Nov 20
The Autumn 2015 collection of Wild Ozark Nature Journal


mermaid in a sea of swirling air

Gloria in Late Autumn
Gloria in Late Autumn

mermaid in a sea of swirling air

Gloria drops her leaves

litter like silk puddles

around her on the ground

She’s nearly nude now


The wind rolls in like waves

breakers on hilltops

It spills, crashes into the valley

I feel like  a mermaid

In a sea of swirling air

Symbols of Warmth and Sustenance

I brought the camera with me this foggy morning to capture some of the beauty that surrounded me in the hushed quiet of our little Wild Ozark valley.

When I came back in I sat on the porch and listened to the sapsuckers discussing the next leg on their journey. Mist muffled crows cawed and I plucked hitch-hikers from my pants legs and thought of titles for these photos.

My favorite is the last image of Warmth and Sustenance. Leave me a comment if you see the symbols for the warmth and sustenance. The one for warmth is easy. Maybe not so much for the sustenance.

I hope you find the photos as interesting, awe-inspiring and thought-provoking as I did.

Foggy Morning Perspectives - Dew gathers on the webs, highlighting just how many artistic spiders live in our world.
Foggy Morning Perspectives
Dew gathers on the webs, highlighting just how many artistic spiders live in our world.


Web of Intricacies
Web of Intricacies


Double-Layered Intricacy
Double-Layered Intricacy


Gloria, the Old Oak Tree
Gloria, the Old Oak Tree
She barely fits inside the frame.


Symbols of Warmth and Sustenance
Symbols of Warmth and Sustenance




Feeding critters under a gentle patter of rain

This morning I was feeding critters under a gentle patter of rain. There are times when I am tired or don’t feel like going out on my regular chore round, but for the most part I enjoy this part of my day.

Even in the rain. Or maybe especially in the rain. I like doing it in the snow, too. I have one of those long western-styled raincoats and a hat, and I wear my rubber boots.

All of the animals are waiting and ready every morning. You would think that something that occurs daily, in the same order with the same characters, in the same place, would eventually become boring.

Not so. Even though all the players are the same from day to day, week to week, and year to year and I make the same path in the same order at roughly the same time of day every day, it is not.

Each morning and evening is unique in its own right and I don’t really know how to explain why that is.

We don’t have any “single” animals. And even though an individual animal might die or a new one might join the team, it hasn’t changed the groups much in a decade at least, so I don’t see it changing a whole lot in the future going forward.

Each group has its place in the routine and expect that routine to not vary by much time or sequence. They get irritable when it does, but on occasion I do go about things differently just to keep anyone from becoming too set in their ways.

Most of the time the order follows this one.

First on the feeding critters route are the dogs. We have three of them and they have a certain order in which they are fed. One of them is on a lead now because he keeps fighting with Badger, and the order would adjust to feed him first if he weren’t. But because he can’t object very effectively now, the first one I feed is Bobbie Sue. She’s the oldest. Then Badger, and then Turbo.

Badger chowing down.
Badger chowing down.

After that are the chickens and cats. The cats insist on being first. They’re more obnoxious than the chickens and stay under my feet and at my shoulder on the loft ladder meowing and tapping at me until they see me en-route with the scoop of food going to the loft. Then they rush ahead and get in position to receive.

Tom Cat waiting not so patiently. Miss Kitty was moving around too much to get even a halfway decent pic of her.
Tom Cat waiting not so patiently. Miss Kitty was moving around too much to get even a halfway decent pic of her.

The chickens are waiting all this time, even less patient than the others.

Arnold the rooster and one of the other chickens.
Arnold the rooster and one of the other chickens.

Arnold is the only chicken with a name. He is my husband’s favorite chicken because he got to watch him from egg to first crow. The other chickens are all locked up in the hen house right now because they keep roosting all over the place and I have no idea where all the eggs are going.

So if I lock them up for a few days then they’ll most likely return to the house to roost instead of going in the shed and in the trees.

And hopefully they’ll deposit the eggs in the nest boxes in the hen house, too, rather than wherever it is that they’ve been hiding them.

The horses are next. They’re far less patient than any of the other impatient critters.

The horses have interesting personalities too. Comanche always, always, grabs his bowl and dumps half of his food before he begins eating. I don’t know why he feels the need to do this.

My son joked with me the last time he fed them and said he just went on and threw half of Comanche’s food on the ground to save him the effort.

Shasta always nibbles the side of her bowl in between each bite. She’s so much more polite while waiting for her food and doesn’t try to hurry me at the gate when I get there like Comanche does.

But she has a habit of carrying her bowl to hard to find niches between rocks down the hill.

I didn’t get a good picture of the horses. But here’s one that shows the path to the gate.

drizzly morning rounds -Horse's gate in the distance
drizzly morning rounds – path to the horse’s gate with a couple of chickens down there

We live in a beautiful and wild place. There’s no “lawn”. And there are rocks and weeds and trees everywhere. Sooner or later we’ll get some of it under a bit of control.

The colors are beautiful right now. Here’s how it looks past the garden toward the back. There’s cardboard in the garden right now, waiting for me to cover the rows between the beds. This works really good for keeping the garden from looking too wild with weeds. There is always a lot of earthworms underneath the cardboard, so the kids pull it back to get a few when they go fishing.

Past the garden toward the back at Wild Ozark.
Past the garden toward the back at Wild Ozark.

The old tractor hasn’t moved in a while, but it still looks pretty, especially in fall and snow.

drizzly morning rounds -Old Ford 8N
Old Ford 8N

I haven’t named the chickens or the cats, but I did name a tree. This is Gloria. She’s a white oak or post oak and is probably around 200 years old. I added a filter because I loved the vintage effect.

My favorite tree is named Gloria.
My favorite tree is named Gloria.

That’s it for this morning’s walkabout. Hope you enjoyed the task!

The original sketch for my Goodreads Giveaway

I have a copy of my sketch journal up for giveaway at Goodreads. It’s titled simply, My Nature Journal. It’s not *my* journal but a blank one designed for others who would like to get into nature sketching. Part of the giveaway is an original sketch and journal entry that I’ll make in it before shipping it out to the winner.

Confronting the fear

It’s time for me to do the original sketch and entry promised in the copy to be given away. I’ve been dancing around getting this done. I was afraid of messing up the drawing and wasting one of the journals.

No. That’s not the real reason for it. I was just afraid. Afraid of not being good enough. For having bit off more than I could chew. Of having to meet expectations of the winner. Afraid that the paper in the journal wouldn’t lend itself well to color or pencil. ¬†Afraid for any number of reasons, including wasting one of the journals.

I didn’t want to wait until the last minute to do it, which is my usual way of handling things like this.

Just do it

But I decided to just do it. Which proves that I can *make* myself draw something on demand when I really set my mind to it, I guess. I’ll bet the same applies to writing…

And it came out great! I’m very pleased with how the paper takes the color and the graphite. I like it even better than my own sketch journal that I’d bought specifically because it is a *sketch* journal with paper designed for pencil. The color on the ones I designed give much more saturation of the color.

The journals are $12 through Amazon and my online shop, but if you’re local and want to pick one up without the wait of shipping, they’re $15 at The Place on the Square in Kingston.

Not only am I happy that the paper works very well for drawing, I think I did a fair job on the sketch.

So overall, I’m pleased. And this is the original sketch that will be in the journal given to the winner.

The winner’s¬†sketch

The sketch in the winner's journal - Two Sweetgum leaves, by Madison Woods
The original sketch in the winner’s journal – Two Sweetgum leaves.

How to enter the contest

The contest entry form is in the link at the bottom of this post. I’m only giving away one original sketch, and it’ll be in that copy.

You can keep up with my sporadic not-so-daily sketching, and see the previous ones, at  All of these are available as prints. Just email me if interested (

In other news

On the 25th my short story serial begins for those on my newsletter who signed up for it. If you want to get ~300 word segments of No Qualms every morning then sign up for my newsletter and check off the box for Free Reads (I think that’s what it says). If you’re already a member you’ll just have to update your preferences, which is where it will bring you if you’re already registered and you put in the same email address here: ¬†


Tangerine Sunrise, Goodreads Giveaway, Nature Sketching

When the sun rose high enough to top the trees it washed the hills in a tangerine glow. The trees are changing fast now and I really want to take pictures every day.

Photo quality isn't all that great but you can see how bright it makes the oranges when the sun hits the hills in the morning.
Photo quality isn’t all that great but you can see how bright it makes the oranges when the sun hits the hills in the morning.

I have been drawing more often than photographing these days. Here’s the journal entry for the most recent native plant subject. It’s so dry and being late in the season, only a few of the natives in my favorite deep woods habitat are still green (at least of the ones I visit most often), but even the aging ones with spots and yellowing borders are still beautiful in the way things of autumn often are.

If you click on the image it’ll bring you to my online journal website:

Wild Ozark Nature Sketch Day 23 - Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
Wild Ozark Nature Sketch Day 23 – Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

If you enjoy sketching or want to begin, I have blank nature journals just for you. Beginning on Oct. 15 and running through Oct. 31 you can enter my Goodreads Giveaway to win a copy with an original sketch and journal entry in it by me. There are also four black and white journal entries as part of the front pages (the inspiration) of the journal.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Nature Journal by Madison Woods

My Nature Journal

by Madison Woods

Giveaway ends October 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

And if you would enjoy a little fiction with your morning coffee, be sure to sign up for my newsletter or set your preferences if you already have so you can get the “Free Reads”. I’m working on serializing “No Qualms” and hope to begin daily deliveries of it on November 1.

No Qualms Serial Cover Image
Click the image to go to the newsletter signup form. I believe when you put in your address it’ll let you change preferences if you’re already a member.

Here’s a nice fat rose hip down by the gate. I’m not sure what variety of rose it is, but the flower is a beautiful deep red and when the japanese beetles leave it alone it makes the most spectacular¬†buds which open to a pretty, but fairly ordinary rose.

Rose hip
Rose Hip


Overcast and misty morning at Wild Ozark with a rain shower so brief it felt like hallucination.

Rain or Hallucination?

So brief it almost feels now like it was hallucination, rain fell this morning while I was out feeding the critters. The chickens were all like “what’s that wet stuff coming down from the sky?”

It’s been many weeks since we had rain last and everything is bone dry, including most of the creek. It’s hard to believe that dry little creek grew to such humongous proportions so recently as June.

There are still pools of water in the deeper sections where Rob had dug it just for this reason of holding water when everything went dry. The entire creek is still there, really. It’s just about 2′ underground instead of flowing over the ground. So the dug out spots allow the water to collect where the horses and dogs and wildlife can reach it.

The pond is also still full, as it is spring-fed, and that spring doesn’t usually go dry even in the driest of droughts.

Still, a little more rain would be nice. This morning’s little spatter isn’t going to keep the dust down for long.

Color is intensifying in the maples and sweet gums. Soon the hills will be ablaze here at Wild Ozark.
Color is intensifying in the maples and sweet gums. Soon the hills will be ablaze.



Beautiful Fall Misty Morning

There is a silence accompanied by a misty morning that is unlike anything else.

This morning I sat on the porch to have my morning coffee. The roosters refrained from crowing. The logging activity is either done or stopped for a break. Only the occasional drip of condensate from the porch could be heard.

I brought the camera outside for feeding critter chores. By that time the peace had been disrupted by all manners of noises but the imagery was still pretty.


Misty Ozark Morning
Misty Ozark Morning

One of the two Wild Ozark kitties. I just call her "Miss Kitty".
One of the two Wild Ozark kitties waiting on the loft ladder¬†to be fed this morning. I just call her “Miss Kitty”.

It’s beginning to look like fall here at Wild Ozark

Yesterday it really felt like fall, and it does again today, too. It was almost 40*F this morning.

I took a few photos yesterday, but was in a hurry to get somewhere so didn’t bring the monopod and the quality isn’t great. It seems I can’t hold the camera steady enough to get really clear shots. But you can still see how fall-like it’s beginning to look like fall here at Wild Ozark!

Fal color is beginning in the Ozarks

The setting sun illuminated these trees on the hillsides, really showing up the beginning color.
The setting sun illuminated these trees on the hillsides, really showing up the beginning color.

As I was driving slowly down the county road, I spotted this gigantic hornet’s nest about three feet off of the ground. They say that the distance of the nest from the ground is an indication of how deep the snow will be in winter. We have a nest near the house that’s twenty feet off the ground, though, so I’m not sure how much credence to give this saying!

Gigantic hornet's nest along the county road near Wild Ozark.

I missed writing/sketching my Nature Journal entry yesterday, but took a couple of photos I intend to use for it later this morning. So I’ll have to do two entries today to catch up.

Other projects I’ve been working on include the “My Nature Journal” book with blank pages for others to begin nature journals of their own. I’ll have these to sell at the booth, and they’ll also be available at Amazon and our online shop. I’ve included a few pages from my own journal to help inspire new nature journalists.

Full cover for the "My Nature Journal" book in the works. Look for it at Amazon on Oct. 5.
Full cover for the “My Nature Journal” book in the works. Look for it at Amazon on Oct. 5.

And it’s past time for me to begin working on the October Wild Ozark newsletter. I’m a bit behind on that but should get it done within a week or so.

I’ll be at the market Tuesday if all goes as planned, with books and balms again. I hope to see you there!