Blustery Day in the Ozarks!

It’s so cold and blustery outside I had to suit up just to dig around in the freezer for some chili ingredients! Can’t see it in the pictures, but the wind is gusty and the snow is blowing. It’s frigid out there. My ears are still frozen.

Rob’s really wishing he had his shop built now so he could work on his projects. I’ll spend my time working on Bounty Hunter and cooking chili. Might bake some bread, too, while I’m at it. At least that would help warm up the kitchen.

badger by the henhouse
Badger checking to see if he can get in for eggs, I think.
garden tools
Definitely too cold to garden!

 

Tending our Wild Ozark Water

Springs at Wild Ozark

I’ve written before about how we are dependent on our wild Ozark water. This is a post from last year around this time of year and it’s one of my favorites. This activity of inspecting the tank and lines is one that occurs at least annually here and usually more often than that.

19 Jan 2014

Yesterday we hiked up the mountain to see what needs to be done with the logging road. It washed out several years ago and now that Rob is planning to get a tractor, he’s thinking of what he can do to repair the road. Up that road is also where the water tank and spring is and the water lines are, so we inspected all of that while we were up there, too.

A coupling on the water line is leaking.

leaking water coupling
A small leak at the coupler. One half is wet, the other is dry.

 

But the tank is overflowing right now so we’ll leave this alone until we get ready to do other things, like clean the tank. For now, it’s not a critical issue and to work on it right now we’d get soaking wet. When we come back to clean the tank we will shut off the line and then changing the coupling or resetting it will be easier.

water overflow
Since this photo was taken, we’ve run an overflow line to a nearby gully.

We walked farther up to check on the spring tank. The spring is all covered and under the leaves so there’s nothing to see there. But some critter, a bear probably, decided it wanted some wild Ozark water and chewed through one of the collection lines. This one isn’t connected, so no loss this time. And no gain for the bear.

spring water line
Uh-oh. Something chewed the line. Luckily, this isn’t the one in use.

This is the first collection point where silt drops out. This barrel needs to be flushed from time to time and it’s overdue. When we come back to do this during summer, that’s when we’ll probably also clean the 1500 gallon tank and repair the leaking coupling.

spring collection point
The chewed line is behind the half buried barrel.

Armadillo!

On our way to the spring, Bobbie Sue gave chase to an armadillo. She ran it back toward us where it buried itself under the leaves while digging an escape route. Did you know armadillos make a weird noise while they’re running? She didn’t pester it, just stood watch while it dug a hole.

After leaving the spring we headed over toward the ginseng patch.

ginseng habitat
One of the great spots for ginseng habitat.

We passed one of the forest matriarchs who died and dropped parts of her trunk on the ground.

dead tree

Circle of Life

Even in death she still supports life.

fungi in arkansas
We have so many beautiful fungi out here. This is one of my favorite photos.

Random Nature Connection – Do Animals Plan Ahead?

2nd Friday after Winter Solstice

This is the second of my weekly #RandomNatureConnection posts. Read more about this meme here and consider joining us if you love nature and blog about it.

Here’s a short Tweet you can use to invite others:

Join us for #RandomNatureConnection!

The other Random Nature Connection posts:

photo of sunset in winter in the ozarks

Humans tend to think a lot about the past and the future, and (at least some of us) not so much on the present. It takes a special conscious effort for me to stay focused on the present moment because I’m always thinking of what I want to do in the future. I know others who spend more time remembering the past than they spend in the present or future.

This is the second day of the new year according to the Gregorian calendar, but according to the seasonal wheel of the year, it’s the 11th day after the winter solstice, which makes a more sensible first day of the year. The day after winter solstice is the first day of the year when days begin becoming longer and nights become shorter. At least for those of us here in the northern hemisphere. The opposite cycle is occurring for those of the southern hemisphere.

At first I started to say that humans are the only creatures that think of the future and plan ahead, but maybe that isn’t so. Right now at the time I’m writing this, outside on the ground, squirrels and chipmunks here at Wild Ozark are scurrying through the dead leaves on the ground. They’re making quite a bit of noise as they search for nuts. The reason they’re searching so diligently is to store food for the days ahead when snow covers the ground, or ice. This requires forethought, although I suppose it’s possible that they don’t consciously know why they’re doing it. They’re driven by instinct. This keeps them in the present moment, the not knowing. So I guess I’m back to the original posit that humans are the only ones who think of the future or the past. Perhaps you know of instances where animals show signs of forethought? If so, leave a comment for me.

I believe we humans could rely more on instinct to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done if we weren’t so preoccupied with making sure we’re taking care of the future by planning it all out.

Ironically, I’m thinking of my intentions for the future today and one of the things on my list of things I’d like to do is to focus more on the present.

Here’s the few items on my list of New Year Resolutions:

  • Start a daily exercise/stretching/meditation (I want to incorporate meditation into this routine so it’ll be a physical and mental workout). This habit will be a daily present-time-focus experience.
  • Reach a 50K word goal on my new novel in progress.
  • Reduce the amount of time I spend fiddling with my website and social media.

That’s pretty much it on my list. It’s the shortest one I think I’ve ever done. What’s on your list?

I’ll be at the dentist until later today, so if you leave your link I’ll be back online to take a look at your blog this afternoon!

 

 

Fiction influenced by Nature

At first glance it might be hard to imagine how my fiction could be influenced by nature. There are three things that make it so. Maybe there’s more than three, but these are the ones that stand out for me.

Setting, Plants and Predators

 

Specifically, it’s the places where the stories take place, the relationships that humans have with plants (or plants with humans) and the relationships predators have with prey (and vice-versa). These themes factor heavily into the plots of what I write, even if the details have been drawn more from my dreams (and possibly nightmares) than from day-to-day reality.predator eating prey

In my short story, No Qualms, there is influence from location, plants and the predator/prey relationship. Ledeir collects bloodroot to serve as her protection in facing an otherworldly threat called a shadeling. This story is set at the Sinking Stream Trail at Hobb’s State Park near War Eagle in northwest Arkansas but it quickly goes from the real-world to an alternate one.

I’m 622 words into a new novel called Bounty Hunter.

For a spring board I’m using a short story I’d already written and several 100-word flash fiction stories that used the characters and settings from that short story’s larger story. If you’re curious, here’s one of the flash stories. Treya is the main character in the new novel. She’s a bounty hunter for an agency called ARSA (Arrests, Retribution and Silencing Agency). In this world setting criminals incarnate into lower life forms when they’re killed, so the bounty hunter has to track them down to whatever level the agency determines is adequate before the job is considered “done”. In the short story I linked to, Eli is the target Treya is hunting and Tva is a non-human entity. Eli is setting up an encounter between Tva and Treya as a trap to eliminate Treya from the chase.

Here’s my progress page for this novel if you want to keep track of how far along it is and read excerpts that I’ll post from time to time. The first paragraph of the opening scene is posted there now.

writer's mood graphic from writertopia.com
So far, so good

and by end of day…

image from writertopia.com
Bleary-eyed and done for the day!

update 12/29

As of 2/22/16 – on the second draft now, at least. Well, no one can accuse me of “churning” out the words, LOL!

Random Nature Connection – Ozark Spring Water

Dripping Faucet

photo of faucet dripping

Nature’s Water

Water is such an integral part of nature, but we don’t often recognize it as such when it comes from a faucet. All water originates from nature, even water from the tap in a city.

Our water source is home-grown Ozark spring water. We have a spring that feeds the house, one that feeds the camper, and one that feeds to our neighbor’s house. There are other springs on this property, but only those three have been captured for our use. The others feed the creeks and surrounding ecosystems. At the tank that feeds the house we have an overflow line for the wildlife to use, as well.

Before I moved here from a suburban area between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, I thought very little about the water unless we had a hurricane and the electricity went out. Ordinarily if I turned on the tap, water came out and all was good. What an eye-opening experience it was to move here and learn to live on a limited supply!

We have a 1500 gallon tank and when we had a family of 5 living here, rationing was important. Washing clothes, taking baths, and washing cars uses a good many gallons. When the daughter ran out of water mid-shower and full of shampoo and soap, it was funny to the rest of us. But she didn’t find it so amusing. Youngest son took buckets to the creek and filled them so she could rinse off, at least, but that water was cold and she had to either wait for me to warm it on the stove or brace for the frigid blast.

It takes about 24 hours for the spring to refill the tank. Our flow isn’t great, but it’s consistent. That’s far more important than having a greater gpm (gallon per minute) to me, but it would be nice if it were greater AND reliable. Still if we’re careful and conscientious, we have more than enough for our needs.

In many places of the world clean drinking water is scarce. Our own isn’t considered “clean” by drinking water standards because it has bacteria in it. Not coliforms, but general flora. This doesn’t cause us stomach distress because we’re used to it but anyone coming to visit has to use caution. We generally don’t drink it, but use it for cooking, bathing, washing, and brushing our teeth. I do drink it when I’m hiking up the mountain to the tank. One day we’ll install a filter on the line leading down to the house and clean it up a bit more, but for now it’s working fine. It has for the past 9 years.

Spring water is one of the things I’m most grateful for out here. That picture of the dripping faucet is on the line that leads to our neighbor’s house. It’s Ozark spring water.

 

Happy Yule-Tidings!

Today is the shortest day of the year, and the longest night. It is winter solstice 2014.

This always feels to me like a more appropriate time to celebrate the eve of a new year, and so I do. I think of the things I’d like to do differently and plan things I’d like to try or begin or do during the next year. New Year’s Resolutions, but now instead of Dec. 31.

One of those items on my list is to create gift baskets for next year to sell at the farmer’s market – here’s a pic of one we did for Christmas gifts to family this year, but I think they’d make great anytime gifts if I change the box decor to something less seasonal:

Wild Ozark boxed gift set
Each box contains our home-roasted coffee (whole or ground), Rob’s shagbark hickory syrup, my herbal remedy syrup, wild hickory nuts.

Other items on my resolution list include submitting more frequently to magazines. I’d slowly stopped over the years and began using most of what I write for articles on my blog. But I’d also stopped because it seemed all I ever got anymore were rejections and I grew tired of the disappointment. Well, the reality is that if I don’t submit, then there’s no chance to ever get acceptances, so I’m going to try again to make some doors open. Besides, I have a lot of drafts saved back to use for blog posts if I find myself short on ideas.

May the Yule fires burn warm in your hearths this night! Happy Solstice, and Merry Christmas to all of you. It may be next week before I post here again… working out a regular posting schedule is another one of the items on my resolution list 🙂

Here’s a link to the 2015 Yule post, if you’re interested in it and it doesn’t show up in the placards below.

Cover and Sample Page

Here’s the cover and sample page for “Forest Companions”, the last book in the “Into the Ginseng Wood” series. Should be at Amazon by the weekend! If you want to catch up on the others, heres a link to the first one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OFAMAS6. They open into full page photos, no double-tapping required!

Click on the image below to go to the latest release.

forest companions cover image

 

First Thoughts

What is the first thought that enters your mind on waking? Are you savoring vestiges of pleasant dreams, or do you wake up already planning the day…or is there a sense of ‘oh no, not again” ?

Sometimes the first thing I do is glance to see if the sun is up yet. Depending on the visual cue, my first thought after that is usually something along the lines of “What time is it?” which leads into either wondering if the coffee is done yet or cold already.

I’m feeling contemplative this morning. Just curious what kinds of things are on the minds of everyone else. Usually, my first thoughts fall into the first category I mentioned of savoring vestiges of pleasant dreams, but they quickly lead into the coffee contemplations. I rarely wake up in a bad mood.

photo of sunbeams

Frosty Hills

photo of frosty Ozark hills

Frosty hills are pretty and the Ozark hills are sporting white capes this morning! See the distant mountain with the white hoar frost?

The 4-wheeler was also decorated. A light coat of ice had the key and brake lock stiff and I had to clear the encrusted seat so I could sit. Took a very chilly ride out to the mailbox so I could send off a bill in time.

When it’s foggy outside and the temps drop below freezing, all of Nature takes on a sparkly white hue. I love it when that happens. This morning only the tops embraced the chill this way, but it was beautiful nonetheless.

Broomsedge, not Fescue

An Author’s Corrections: It’s Broomsedge, not Fescue

When I wrote No Qualms I described the shadeling as having hair that resembled fescue. That’s because I’d always thought the grass I had in mind was fescue. Recently I learned that it is in fact a grass commonly called broomsedge (possibly Andropogon virginicus). It might be a different species. There are several that look similar, but the point is that fescue looks nothing like this grass. And so the image I drew up in my mind and tried to relay to the reader’s mind would have been completely wrong, at least if the reader knew what fescue looked like.

Most likely the average reader won’t know what broomsedge looks like either, but I hope from the passage it’s easy enough to imagine that it’s a grass or weed or plant of some sort that the narrator is referring to. Fescue or broomsedge, it won’t matter to most readers. But to the few who might read it who know, it would. And it matters to me. At least if it’s a different variety of broomsedge, the reader can come close to imagining what I had in mind.

The pictures below are of broomsedge. This is the imagery I drew upon when writing the character Dannae. An excerpt from the story showing where I used the description is below the photos.

broomsedge gone to seedbroomsedge bluestem

An excerpt from No Qualms:

“It took you long enough to stop by,” a voice said.
I froze. Dammit. I hadn’t found even one root yet. I stood slowly and looked around. No one was there. He might not be visible yet, but I knew the vile creature had come already. “Who’s there?” I asked into thin air.

I didn’t have to pretend to be scared. My heartbeats were so loud in my ears right then I wouldn’t be able to hear approaching footsteps. Touching my pocket again to feel for the bloodroots I’d gathered earlier, I reassured myself. Knowing they were there helped me to calm down.

The calm didn’t last.

“Me,” the voice said, causing my heart to leap into my throat again. “I’ve thrown out an etheric hook every time you passed. But did it help? Nooooo. You just kept on driving like you didn’t even feel them.”

Oh, I felt them alright. Not that he needed to know, but I went home and cleansed myself of them every night. “Who are you and what do you want?” It took all of my willpower to make my voice sound calm and confident. My every instinct shouted to me to run, to get away from this place. But that wouldn’t solve anything. This had to be dealt with now.

“I want you to come closer so I can better see you.” A form finally materialized in front of one of the more spindly maidenwoods. He was a short rail of a man busily nodding at me in the dappled evening shade. His gaunt face creased with something sort of like a smile, if you could call it a smile. It might have been a toothy grimace. He stood with his skeletal hands clutched into fists in front of his chest, head still bobbing away. “Some people listen to their instincts. Not you. What took you so long to stop?”

“These hooks you threw – is that what you’re calling instinct?” I asked as I backed a few steps away from the shriveled man. I knew what he’d been doing. Those hooks grabbed my instinct and made it react, but that wasn’t instinct itself. I knew better than that. Only ordinary people made a mistake of thinking it any sort of natural inclination.

His too bulbous head was nearly bald except for a few bunches of stiff yellow hair standing here and there like broomsedge gone to seed. A smattering of brown liver spots danced across the top of his scalp when he raised and lowered his eyebrows.

“Smart one, aren’t you?” He shuffled a few steps in my direction but then stopped short. He cocked his head and looked back at the tunnel looming behind him and then down at the ground beneath his feet. A quick frown passed over his face before he dismissed it and reassumed the fake smile.


No Qualms is my short story available from Amazon, Smashwords, and iTunes.

Hunt Food, Gather Firewood

smoked venison
I wish I could capture smell and taste in a photo! This is Rob’s latest recipe trial, and oh it is sooooo delish.

This year we’ve been proactive about a stocked freezer and our supply of firewood. Last year and the years since we’ve moved up here, we’ve always had a steady supply of venison, but we seem to always need firewood at the worst times. Last year, I remember waiting impatiently for the temperature to get above freezing to go out for more. On that particular day the thermometer started out around -10*F. As we watched the thermometer once the sun rose over the hill, we gave up when it finally reached a whopping 10*F, judging that it was finally warm enough to go out. Above freezing just wasn’t likely to happen that day.

This is a post from the old blog from last year, one of my favorites because it’s a ‘pondering’ post… I’m a frequent muser and ponderer.

Hunt food, gather firewood

We’d just returned from the grocery store. So the larder has been restocked. Now we needed to gather firewood.

It suddenly struck me that our daily habits as civilized man isn’t a whole lot different than our daily habits as primitive man.  Hunt food, gather firewood. The way we go about nowadays it is different, but the principle is the same.

We have a lot more time for detours during the route to and from the hearth. For many of us, our means of lighting  and stirring the pot on the home fires is more indirect. It takes 40 consistent hours a week to be able to afford to keep the fires going and the food cooking consistently the modern way.

Food and fire. Whether we shop for it at the grocery store, grow or hunt it with weapons, it’s the same need to procure food. Whether we go to work all day long on the hamster wheels of daily jobs or literally pick up sticks and chop wood, it’s the same need to stay warm and cook food. And for me, it’s important to be able to bathe without a goose bump shroud.

Anyway, thought I’d share my thoughts on this today. In what ways do you satisfy your hunter-gatherer issues? Do you work the daily grind and buy what you need, grow gardens and gather firewood? How much of your diet and warmth is direct sourced? I had never thought of it that way before, but it interests me. I like having the direct connection most of the time. But I also like the convenience of being able to get what I need at the store or supplier, too.

firewood stacked
Stocked up for a little while.

For all of you in the U.S. – Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal tomorrow! We here at Wild Ozark have a lot to be thankful for.

 

Photos of a misty day in the Ozarks

beech tree at wild ozark

For you from Wild Ozark™ 🙂 Grab a cuppa & enjoy!

A Misty Day in the Ozarks

One of my favorite kinds of trees, the beech, keeps leaves long after the others have disrobed and gone into winter’s sleep.

Almost all of the beeches I see are very young. This one is older than most. It’s a very good kind of tree to see if you’re looking for ginseng habitat, but not common out here at Wild Ozark.

Many of the oaks, especially white oaks, still have clinging leaves right now too. Beech retains leaves even throughout out the snowy days of winter.

If you’re in northwest Arkansas and want to see a very large and beautiful specimen beech, there is one in the front parking area of the Compton Gardens in Bentonville.

The rest of the photos from this mornings excursion are arranged in a slideshow. I hope you enjoy them and feel moved to tell me which is your favorite. Tell me also about your favorite kind of tree!

How Far Removed – Predator and Prey

Out here we have a healthy balance between predator and prey. Squirrels crowd the treetops, mice are at home in sheds and even in our house if we aren’t diligent. Snakes lurk everywhere.

snake eating squirrel

Predator and Prey

Coyotes are plentiful. The dogs break into a discordant chorus when they hear their wild cousins yapping on the outskirts of the “safe” zone the dogs have established. Last year a wiley bobcat ate more than his fair share of our chickens in spite of Badger’s diligent guard. And we eat a fair share of the game that abounds in our hills.

For the time being, we have a balance, a harmony. While we do enforce a boundary around the small space we’ve carved out to call our own, we don’t seek out to kill animals like snakes, coyotes and bobcats, as many people I know do, because we acknowledge that these mountains are just as much theirs as this safe zone around the house is ours. When I ramble around on the mountain, usually camera in hand and down on all fours (or even belly) to get close to the plants, I’m in the wildlife’s home and I’m respectful of that. It doesn’t mean I’ll submit to becoming prey, but it does mean I won’t kill just because our paths cross. I’ve never encountered a situation that required more of me than patience.

The following is from my old blog. This post was originally posted on July, 2010:

Youngest is outside right now, whittling on the mechanism of his newly cut frog gig. It’s made from a 6′ sapling section, about 2″ diameter. He needed to cut it a few feet longer, but this is his first effort and I’m not about to discourage him now. When he gets to putting it through trials, he’ll find out if his barbs were sturdy enough or the shaft long enough and make adjustments accordingly on his next attempt.

At first thought, to many, what he is doing sounds barbaric and cruel.

How far removed we, as a society, have become from our origins as nomads and hunter/gatherers. Nowadays, most of us never think twice about the food we put into our mouths, not to consider whether it was once a living thing nor about the idea that it died so that we might eat.

We live each day in a world of predator and prey relationships, and yet rarely notice. The project my son has embarked upon is unabashedly ‘predator’ in nature. And I guess what gives me that sense of satisfaction I am feeling, is that he knows it.

The same kid holds a kitten with a tender smile on his face and cheers for chicks hatching from eggs in the incubator.

Predator versus prey - predator wins on this one. I didn't get there soon enough to save my chicken.
Predator versus prey – predator wins on this one. I didn’t get there soon enough to save my chicken. But then the bigger predator (me) won, and that snake won’t be eating any more of my chickens.

First Hunt by Ima ErthwitchPredator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it’s just part of my nature.


♥ If any of you read No Qualms or First Hunt, please leave a review. You’ll have my deep appreciation for it! ♥

 

The Ent Trees of Wild Ozark

This article had been posted over at Medium but I decided to move it back home where it belongs.

Special Trees

Two special trees grace the dirt road where I live. There are more trees like this here and there on our own acreage, tree-beings, or trees that appear and do more than trees appear to normally do.

Of course, the knowing that these trees “do” anything other than normal tree “being” is what puts me into that category sometimes referred to by others as … well, crazy.

This relationship I have with the land and inhabitants is part of my purpose in being. I can’t explain it to someone who doesn’t “get” it, but it’s the way I connect to the Divine. Some get that from churches and religions. I get it from Nature.

But that only explains what I get from the relationship. True relationships are a give and a take, and not always balanced. In my opinion, what I get from it is more than I give. I give respect, consideration, and a voice.

I started not to post more than just these pictures because I worry sometimes about what other people think of me. But that would be cheating on the “voice” part of what I give in this relationship. I’m trying to not care so much whether anyone thinks I’m crazy or not. It is what it is.

Anyway, now that the excuses have been made and you know what comes next might sound as if I’ve lost my mind, I want to talk about Ent Trees.

Ent Trees

According to Wikipedia, Tolkien took the Anglo-Saxon phrases orþanc enta geweorc = “work of cunning giants” and eald enta geweorc = “old work of giants” and applied it to describing the trees in his story, settling on the word “ent”. It’s a fitting word for them.

Others who notice these sorts of things might call these particular trees “plant devas” or have other phrases to describe them. Or maybe most people don’t notice them at all. I suppose it’s one of my own peculiarities to notice such things, but I think anyone who lets their imaginations free can see at least these two tree-beings.

Those with mouths, sing

singing ent tree

She makes me smile every time I pass her on the road. Today I stopped the car and got out to to see if I could hear what song the singing tree sang. The words aren’t a language I can translate into words. My very being vibrates with the resonance. I feel more than hear the notes, and the center where it is felt is in my heart. Her music may fall on deaf ears for the most part when it comes to humans passing on the road below, but I hear her loud and clear.

This tree isn’t singing for me. She sings because her tree-heart inspires her to do so. It’s her purpose, at least one of them, and I am simply one who hears, understands, and appreciates what she does. Who knows her importance within the tree community?

I’m sad to report that this lovely spirit has left her tree form. A devastating flash flood and storm put her on the ground in Mid June 2015.

One thing I do know is this. Trees are among the greatest messengers on earth. Wherever trees exist, a message can be delivered from tree to tree. And where trees are sparse, the wind normally blows and the message can be handed over to the wind. Trees interact with other sorts of carriers — birds and insects work above ground, and below, the practically invisible world of fungi network from tree to tree across the land. Even the very water rinsing over leaves and limbs can carry messages as it settles into the ground and penetrates the earth to move back into the cycle of regeneration. Perhaps the trees that sing are also distributing messages to the Universe.

Those with ears, listen

Among the trees, there are singers, like the one I showed you in the photo above. There are also listeners. This one listens to everything that transpires in his forest. Surely he also hears the song which emanates from the singing tree up the road. Perhaps those with ears are listening to messages from the Universe.

listening ent tree

 

Calling all Ents

Have you seen any ent trees? If you have photos, share them with me by posting them at your blog and leaving me a comment with your links. I’d love to see them. As I find pages with lovely trees, I’ll add them to the list below:

Winter is Here in the Ozarks

First it was the frost flowers. They showed up last week during our first really cold spell.
 frost flower frost flower
Then yesterday as we were on our way home from grocery shopping the first sleet began. Soon after the plinking sounds of tiny ice balls on the windshield gave way to the silent brush of snowflakes.

Winter is Here

snow in the ozarks

 

 

Frost Flowers

frost flowers

The first time I saw frost flowers here in northwest Arkansas, about nine years ago now, I thought they were trash collected at the base of weeds on the roadsides.

And then I saw a photo at Cloudland and the mystery was solved and a fascination began. As if I don’t already have enough fascination with things!

Since that time I’ve watched for frost flowers every year. They usually happen during the first few hard freezes. The “flower” is caused by the sap being frozen as it is forced out of the lower stems of plants.

On the way out to the gate yesterday where we were cutting firewood I saw some more frost flowers.

frost flowers at wild ozark