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.

Virginia Creeper seedling

Virginia Creeper Seedling in my Ebony Spleenwort Fern

There’s a Virginia creeper  (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) seedling creeping up toward the light in my spleenwort fern (Asplenium platyneuron) container. I watched it for a few days with a suspicious eye as it unfurled, because I thought it might be a poison ivy.

Virginia Creeper

This isn’t one of my favorite plants. I’m only fascinated with it because I’ve never seen the creeper at this stage before. Actually, I did get online to make sure it wasn’t something else I suspected it could be, but the seedlings of that other plant look nothing like the seedling growing in my pot.

Virginia creeper seedling a little less zoomed. Virginia creeper seedling

Virginia creeper is the plant most often mistaken for ginseng. This seedling looks nothing at all like ginseng seedlings, though. Here’s what a ginseng seedling looks like on day 2:

Ginseng seedling day 2
A first year ginseng seedling the second day after unfurling.

I think I’ll keep my little seedling and bring it with me to my market booths for show and tell. But it’s going to have to get in its own pot soon.

Ebony Spleenwort

I need the little fern in its own pot, free of the creeper. These little ferns are called Ebony Spleenwort, and they adapt well to the fairy gardens in globes, bowls, and other containers. I do love these. They’re very plentiful here at Wild Ozark, but I’ll begin propagating them in woodland beds this year. That’s more sustainable than taking them from their wild homes.

Here's one of the Bowl Terrariums with a maturing Ebony Spleenwort growing in it.
Here’s one of the Bowl Terrariums with a maturing Ebony Spleenwort growing in it. I sell these as kits at my Etsy shop, and I’ll have them at the market booth this year.

Any plant with ‘wort’ in its name was once used for medicine. This fern was used for promoting menstruation and for chest congestion. The leaves are supposedly used as a tea. I have no plans to experiment with remedies using this plant. I like it for the fairy gardens mostly.

Vernal Witch Hazel

The other day I spotted some male flowers on the witch hazels down at the creek, but I didn’t have a camera on hand. I’ll try to get some pics of those before they disappear. That, too, is a new thing for me. Until Steven Foster posted his photo of one on FB the other day, I didn’t know witch hazel even had male and female flowers.

I think I may have missed the female witch hazel flowers on the vernal variety. I’m not sure how that happened, since I pass them everytime I go to town, but maybe I have been less attentive than usual in February. Or maybe they bloomed earlier and were knocked off by rain before I had a chance to see. No telling. I’ll try again next year.

Find us at the Fayetteville Farmers Market

I’m so excited! We just got the approval notification for our application to the Fayetteville Arkansas Farmer’s Market. This is a juried market. Last month we had an appointment with the review board. We brought our crafts for inspection – the fairy houses, fairy gardens, forest folk, and keepsake boxes. We have another review for the syrup and ginseng/woodland plants, but those are also fairly unique and so should be accepted as well.

The schedule? That I don’t know yet. Early in the season we’ll likely be there every Saturday starting March 31. Later in the season, they may boot us out to give space to the more tenured vendors with produce just coming in. Watch my schedule page or email me to inquire if you need to know whether we’ll be there on any given Saturday.

Day 13: Nature Journal Series

Signs of Life

Day 13-Signs of Life

About this journal entry

The signs of life during the coldest parts of winter always intrigue me. I love seeing the green grass shoots found under a layer of snow or peeking out from the shelter of tumbled rocks. I’m not sure why I left the chickweed uncolored in my drawing. I think I just wanted to focus on the grass. When I started drawing almost everything I did had a single focal point. Some techniques use blurring to achieve this, but I preferred to use color instead, leaving everything else in black and white.

Recent drawings are all color, but nature journal entries might always keep this method because it’s a lot quicker than trying to get the color right for all of the elements in a scene.

 

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.

Day 12 – Outline of an Ambitious Drawing

 

Day 12, The Outline of an Ambitious Drawing
I didn’t know how to capture the whole scene, so I just made an outline of the features. This is an old craggy maple tree on a bluff overhang by the creek.

About this journal entry

I started drawing (again) when my husband bought me a set of Prismacolor pencils for my birthday in 2015. Before that it had been decades since I last picked up an art utensil of any sort. I’ve yet to pick up a paintbrush again and probably won’t. There just isn’t enough time in a life to do all of the things I’d like to do.

Anyway, when I first started drawing again, and until this entry in the nature journal, I’d focused on single subjects- a tree, a leaf and rock, a patch of grass, etc. Something small in scope.

Well I wanted to capture a specific location, one I love. There’s an old maple tree growing on a short bluff with an overhang beneath it alongside the creek down our driveway. The tree isn’t large, but it’s craggy and has beautiful leaves in fall. Every year in May there is a patch of tiny orange mushrooms that spring up in the moss around her feet.

I didn’t have a clue how to draw the whole scene, so I just drew the outline. Coming back to this entry two and a half years later, I’m so glad I did at least get the outline. Now I think I can finish it. When I do, I’ll post the results as another day’s entry.

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.

Relics of seasons past - a wild hydrangea flower

Relics of Seasons Past

I went in search of harbingers of spring but found only sepia colored relics of seasons past.

Relics

Relics of seasons past.
Not sure what the flower is, but it makes a pretty relic.

 

Relics of seasons past - a wild hydrangea flower
This is one of my favorites – a dried wild hydrangea flower from last season.

 

What's left of the flowers from last season at Wild Ozark
Dried flower heads with a bit of Badger’s hair. He passes this way on his guard patrol.

 

Pretty dried grass seed head at Wild Ozark
Pretty dried grass seed head at Wild Ozark

 

Dried grasses at Wild Ozark
I love the color of dried grasses, and especially like the little bits of fluff in the junctions. I believe this is Little Bluestem, one of our native grasses.

The harbinger of spring is one of the earliest blooming native wildflowers here at Wild Ozark. Others of us plant-watchers have been reporting seeing them, so I thought just maybe I’d find one too. But I wasn’t disappointed in the day’s collection of pretty images. Even if they’re not harbingers.


This post was originally published in Feb 2016. I really liked this one, so decided to run it again this year.

Namesake of the Dragon – Another Green Dragon Drawing

Here’s the second of the Green Dragon drawings I’ve been working on. I posted the first part of it last week. This part is called the spathe (the hood) and the spadix (the long ‘tongue’) and it is the namesake of the dragon. This part of the plant is what becomes the cluster of red berries after fertilization occurs. You’ll see it in spring, before the plant has finished unfurling the horseshoe-shaped umbrella of its leaves.

Namesake of the Dragon - the spathe and spadix
Namesake of the Dragon – the spathe and spadix. Prints available.

If you’d like to know more about this plant, I have a few posts here on the blog about it. This is one of my favorite woodland plants.

Frozen fog (hoar frost) on the distant mountaintop.

Frozen Fog in the Distance

We’re not getting snow this winter, but we’ve gotten a few glimpses of frozen fog, or hoar frost, at least.

Frozen fog (hoar frost) on the distant mountaintop.
Frozen fog (hoar frost) on the distant mountaintop. This was early morning, just before the sun made it over the top of the mountain covered with the frozen fog. The sky was edited to show you the fog, which I could see very well with my eyes but didn’t show up on the camera.
This photo was taken a few minutes later, after the sun had risen over the top. It's hard to see it in the photo, but the hoar frost is vaporizing and lifting off the mountaintop as steam.
This photo was taken a few minutes later, after the sun had risen over the top. It’s hard to see it in the photo, but the hoar frost is vaporizing and lifting off the mountaintop as steam.
Too Many Irons in the Fire?

Too Many Irons in the Fire

This is a fiery sunset photo taken several years ago and it prompted my idea to write this post about having too many irons in the fire. Dense dark clouds hung low on the horizon, allowing the setting sun to illuminate so brightly as a backdrop giving the appearance of wildfires raging on the distant mountains.

If you’ve ever read any of my flash fiction based on photo prompts, you’ll understand why the image isn’t something you might immediately associate with the topic I’ve connected to today. Images stimulate my imagination in roundabout ways. The connections I make to them aren’t exactly direct, but I think this one is close.

And if you’ve been reading my blog for more than a year, you’ve probably seen this post. Every year I go through the same process at about this time. So to save some time, I took this post out of archives, updated it a little bit, and turned it back out.

Too Many Irons in the Fire

If you have the tendency, like me, to take on too many projects at once then you’ll know exactly why imagery of fire brings this saying to mind. “Too many irons in the fire”.

I’m not sure of the original meaning of this phrase, but when I hear it I think of cattlemen of a decade or so ago, rounding up cows. Branding irons in a fire.

If there’s too many irons piled on the fire, then none of them will heat evenly and the branding of the cattle will be more chaotic. The irons become tangled in that pile.

My Chaotic State of Mind

As it relates to my topic of musing for today, I have a tendency to get too many things going at once. And then all of the projects suffer because it’s not possible to allocate enough time to each all of the time. My tasks become jumbled like the piled on irons in the fire.

As it relates to nature, I think this is a uniquely human condition. I wonder how natural an occurrence among us it is? Does it only happen to a certain type of person, or is it random – afflicting everyone at some point?

I’ve taken a few irons out recently. It’s usually at this time of year when I notice just how many irons are in the fire. Because it’s tax time and tax time means I have to focus on ledgers and tax stuff.

Slipping through the Cracks

Although I’m still managing to get some writing done, other tasks as slipping. I have a piece of art work due by the end of this week and I’ve yet to start on it. It’s one to accompany the Green Dragon I finished last week. That must be remedied today. I’ve been reading up on the tax information for this year and trying to get an understanding of depreciation. That’s the one aspect of filing that keeps sending me to a CPA instead of doing them myself. I want to understand how to do this.

Taxes and art are not exactly occupying the same space in my brain, so switching back and forth from one to the other isn’t easy.

The process of figuring out what needed to be done, which forms needed to be filed, and what expenses could be deducted, and on and on ad nauseum keep me so occupied that very few of the other irons in my fire have received much attention lately.

I’m almost done with the tax headache and we may still end up needing to bring them to an accountant. But at least I have a better understanding of how to keep better records this year because of the struggle I’ve undergone over the past few weeks. (And I say this every year. But it does get better each year, so I’m not considering that a total failure.)

Clearing Out at Least One of the Irons in the Fire

Now that the most demanding iron is nearly out of the fire, I can add some of the other ones back in. And rekindle the flames. This fire of mine is a creative one and each iron is a desire to create. To create an art of the imagination, whether in the form of words in a story or photos arranged as visual art or seed-planting or business-growing.

What desires do you have burning and are you plagued with having too many irons in the fire?

 

Armadillo Dilemma: To Kill or Not to Kill

Armadillo hide-out.
Armadillo hide-out.

So last summer I noticed an armadillo had moved into one of the ginseng nursery beds. It’s been a destructive force in the area since it arrived a couple of weeks ago. I wrote this post while trying to decide what to do the situation. I thought it would be a good time now to update and let everyone know the outcome.

What would you do? Kill the armadillo or let it live?

Why a dilemma to me?

First of all, I don’t like to kill anything unless we’re going to eat it. I’m not going to eat an armadillo.

But the armadillo is causing havoc. Wild Ozark grows wild-simulated American ginseng, which is indistinguishable from wild except on a genetic level.

The critter isn’t eating the ginseng, but the earthworms that live in the ginseng patch.

If I let this go and allow Nature to determine what happens next, the armadillo will continue to tear up ginseng rootlets as it hunts earthworms at night.

Armadillos are not native here. Neither are the earthworms. Am I native here? At least on a human-level, I think I am.

There is evidence that humans lived here many thousands of years ago. Not so for the cute little leprosy-hosting armored bandits. They migrated up from Texas, along with their road-runner friends.

At least the earthworms are beneficial and don’t harm the plant that is the  basis of our livelihood.

But the armadillo is also eating grubs, which are the larva of an insect (Japanese beetle) that also isn’t native. And the grubs do eat the roots of plants possibly including the ginseng.

So it could be doing me a service even if it is very destructive in the process.

Don’t fear the Armadillo-Leprosy connection

As a side-note, there’s no need to worry about the leprosy unless you’re cuddling armadillos. You can’t catch the disease just by inhabiting the same piece of ground. If you tend to eat armadillos, be sure to cook the meat thoroughly. There have been cases of it caught from undercooked armadillo meat.

What’s this about leprosy??

Our nine-banded Armadillos are the only mammal that can host the leprosy bacteria that has plagued humans for centuries. They’re used to study the disease in laboratories. I once turned down what might have been a very interesting lab job at Carville, Louisiana where leprosy is studied on the campus of what used to be the last remaining Leper’s Colony in the United States. The laboratory has since moved to nearby Baton Rouge.

If you do tend to play with wild animals, however, I’d leave the armadillo off of your list of critters to cuddle. Just in case. At least leprosy can be treated nowadays.

But that’s about as comforting to me as knowing that I can get rabies shots if I’m bitten by a rabid animal.  I’d just rather not.

Armadillo Decision

If I kill the armadillo, then I have interfered with Nature, right? If I don’t kill it, maybe it’ll help cut down on the Japanese beetle problem.

If I let the it live, then it will likely produce offspring, if it hasn’t already. Then those in turn will turn up even more of the nursery beds.

Even if it eats every last one of the grubs it’ll never run out of earthworms to devour. The grubs aren’t so much of an issue in our woods. The earthworms are doing a helpful job.

I feel that I myself am a natural part of Nature, and therefore have a right to defend territory I’ve marked as “mine”.

I’ll tell this to the invader later today. Then it can either leave or stay and face the consequences.

First I’ll try the live trap and relocation. If that doesn’t work, it’ll be on the hit list.

Update 2018: This past summer we had the largest invasion of japanese beetles I’ve ever seen here. I decided to leave the armadillo alone. Although many areas were uprooted and the ground was turned up, I did not notice a significant amount of loss of seedlings or mature plants. That armadillo probably ate more than its weight in japanese beetle grubs, though, and for that I am thankful. And willing to sacrifice a few plants.

Day 11 – Nature Journal Series

A nature drawing for my Nature Journal series: Leaf on Water

About this journal entry

My son says my nature sketching looks like a turkey feather. It is not. It is a leaf half submerged in the water, haha. Can’t have the world at large making the same mistake.

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.

Day 10: Nature Journal Series

Old Oak Tree

 

Day 10 from my nature journal series.

About this journal entry

I’m not sure this tree is a Post Oak, but she is old and her name is Gloria. Gloria graces our front yard and she has been there for probably 200 years. Drawing her was a challenge because I’ve never learned how to draw a tree so that the leaves are distinguishable. I’m not sure that’s possible, but I think the result captured the gist of what she looks like, at least. Her trunk is massive and the limbs are even more outstretched now. Each year she probably grows a couple more feet in diameter of the crown. The trunk grows more slowly but has still significantly increased in the thirteen years I’ve lived here.

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.

The second set of test pieces - they survived!

What Does OOAK Mean?

What does OOAK mean in arts and crafts descriptions and titles? It means one of a kind (ooak), but this might not always be so clear cut as you might think. Pay close attention to item descriptions and ask questions of the seller if you want to be sure you’re getting truly unique items.

One Of A Kind (OOAK)

When I first started looking at crafts on Etsy, I thought my favorite seller was named OOAK because that acronym was everywhere in his listings. So I went to Google to search for more of his work and I couldn’t find that artist anywhere.

I did find other OOAK mentions though, and I thought, that’s odd. Maybe that isn’t his name or his shop’s name after all. And so that led me to searching for the definition of the “word”.

It means that the item is one of a kind. Usually this refers to a hand crafted item that isn’t mass produced, but is made one at a time. It doesn’t mean an assembly line process isn’t used, though. And it doesn’t mean that the artist is the only person who worked on it.

My crafts are OOAK.

I may have all of my twigs cut to the desired length, a bin of acorns handy and my botanicals all sorted into piles by texture and color. But each and every Forest Folk, Fairy House, or sculpture is created individually and by me.

Some items that are OOAK are designed by the artist but assembled by employees. I hope that I need to hire someone to help me eventually, because that would mean I am selling a lot of them. The sort of thing a helper could do for me would be to assemble the botanicals into ordered bins, or even gather and preserve botanicals.

But I don’t think I’d ever want anyone else to do the actual building of the piece. It doesn’t mean the piece is any less OOAK if someone else assembles it, but it just wouldn’t feel like my own signature should go on a piece that I didn’t build personally.

OOAK Forest Folk WoodworkerThere are OOAK Dolls, OOAK carvings and sculptures, and pretty much anything that is made from inspiration in the artist’s mind is OOAK.

What is Not OOAK

Most things made in large quantities are not one of a kind unless each individual thing has been customized by an artist.  For example, I may make a hundred clay beads by hand. I may make them using the same technique over and over and the beads will look pretty much the same. But they are not. Each bead is different from the next because each bead was made by hand. Not only that, once they’ve been fired, each bead will have a different reaction to that firing.

This was once the same color as the test pieces I just blew to smithereens in the test firing.
This was once the same color as the test pieces I just blew to smithereens in the test firing.

However, if I have a mold and poured a hundred beads into 100 identical molds, then that bead is not necessarily OOAK. It could be, if on firing it keeps its individual look and feel. Or if I hand-painted each bead. But if they all look alike, then they’re not one of a kind.

Most of the time, a thing that is OOAK is handmade, and made one at a time. Things made in a manufacturing facility are not ordinarily considered OOAK.

Things I’ve Heard but Never Seen- Spring Peepers

How many things have you heard but never seen? One that confounds me every year is a little frog.

Today was a very windy and warm day, warm enough to make it easy to work up a sweat while helping Rob with firewood this morning. I can’t remember a sweaty February day before. The peepers must think it is time for spring. They were singing full-blast at one particular pond. Usually we don’t hear these little singers until March.

When I say *full-blast* I mean very, very loudly. The noise of the frog song was so loud, it was literally deafening.

Listen to them.

I’ve never heard them so loud before. At our pond there were none. Ours is a spring-fed pond with colder water than the rain-catch cow pond where this audio was recorded, so maybe that makes a difference to them. I never hear them in the creek, either.

A couple of years ago, I mentioned how loud the peepers were. But the ones I heard today trumped those.

With so many voices you’d think there’d be frogs everywhere. I’m sure they were there, I could hear them very loudly. But I could not find a single one! I wanted to get a photo to go with the audio. Not one in sight. I’ve seen pictures of them on the internet but until I’ve actually seen one of our own, how can I be certain ours look the same?

A spring peeper. Something I've often heard but never seen.
By USGS – http://cars.er.usgs.gov/herps/Frogs_and_Toads/P_crucifer/p_crucifer.html, Public Domain, Link

How can something be so often heard but never seen? A frog is a physical thing, so it should be possible. Well, of course it’s possible. Someone at the USGS obviously got a sight of one. They’re not like the wind, which is often heard but never seen. Signs that the wind exists can be seen, like debris flying or limbs swaying, but the wind itself isn’t visible. That’s not so with spring peepers. There should be a frog somewhere to go with that noise, haha.

They’re just very good at hiding. Of course, it *sounded* like they were in the pond. But maybe they were all *around* the pond instead. I looked there too, but still no sighting.

So for now, a spring peeper remains for me a thing heard but not seen.

A Green Dragon Drawing

I’ve been working on a Green Dragon drawing for the cover of NANPS’s summer issue of Blazing Star. There will be another of the spathe and spadix to do next. That one will be used in the article.

Here’s the photograph I worked from. I used more than one photo because I didn’t have a single capture that showed the plant and all of its leaves AND the ripe fruit cluster.  I used this one because it at least showed all of the leaves.

Green Dragon in July
Green Dragon in July

Here’s the progression of the drawing in stages:

Green Dragon Drawing
Green Dragon Drawing. Prints available from the Wild Ozark shop.

 

Click here to see my drawing of the Namesake of the Dragon. If you’d like to know more about this plant, I have a few posts here on the blog about it. This is one of my favorite woodland plants.

Guest Post: Climate Change. Just My Thoughts and Observations

A note from Madison: Just to clear up some confusion – This is a guest post. It’s not my article. My own opinion on things is a lot more woo-woo and probably a lot less “scientific”, in spite of my past history of a career in science.

To state my own stand on the issue of climate change… I do think there is climate change occurring. While I also think this change is a naturally occurring trend I believe the human impact on the speed at which it is happening is tremendous. I do not believe we can continue to take from the earth, use all of the resources, and not expect some sort of reaction.

I believe the earth itself is a living organism, that all of creation is part of a larger organism, and that just as we have organs/mechanisms in our bodies that science thinks is not important or is not understood (like adenoids, tonsils, appendix, “gut instinct”, etc.), I think humans are incredibly aloof to believe that we can mine the earth’s resources to the point of depletion and there not be a consequence. So on to Richard’s essay…


First of all I’m no climatologist, weather expert or MIT scientist, but it doesn’t take a genius to see what is happening (re: climate change). This is the legacy we will leave for our children if we don’t make drastic changes in the way we treat the place we live.

Just My Thoughts and Observations on Climate Change

We live for all practical intent and purposes in an enclosed system. This enclosed system is Earth. It may as well be a biosphere, which it is, or a box. Everything we do not only affects the earth, but because we live here it affects us, and every living thing on the planet.

To deny climate change is to deny the obvious. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the effects of our carbon emissions, concrete jungle, asphalt, farming, and deforestation.

 

A Climate Change Metaphor

In electronics there is a device called a Zener diode. A Zener diode is used for several things but its unique characteristic is its ability to control voltage and current at a specific point. It will regulate voltage in a circuit until that voltage reaches a critical point and then it will conduct current in reverse. This point is called the “knee” or “break over” point”. Our forests, ice caps, plant life, atmosphere, oceans, and ozone are a lot like a Zener diode.

When people say the weather hasn’t changed and it’s still getting very cold in the winter and “how can there be global warming” what they are seeing is the Zener diode effect. Here is what I believe is happening.

Is Climate Change Happening? A guest post by Richard Kestrel.

Carbon Emissions

Our carbon emissions destroy the ozone and form what is called a thermal blanket around the Earth. Ever hear of that “survival space blanket”? That is a thin sheet of Mylar that reflects your body heat and keeps you warm in an emergency situation. Don’t believe me? Just get a large trash bag and cut a hole large enough to stick your head through and pull it down around your body. In a few minutes your body heat will build up inside and after a while you will start to sweat. This is the same effect the pollution in the atmosphere causes. It reflects the radiation that gets to the earth from the sun and warms the earth. With the depletion of the ozone, this effect is even more pronounced, as it lets in more radiation. This same effect is used every day to finish cooking potatoes after they have been in the oven or microwave. The Aluminum foil wrapped around the hot potato will continue to cook it and keep it hot for a very long time, same as carbon emissions around the earth. WE are on that potato!

Petroleum Consumption

Current world wide use of just petroleum today stands at 96 million barrels A DAY! That’s 35 BILLION barrels a year and growing! Each gallon of gasoline produces 19.6 pounds of carbon monoxide and each gallon of diesel produces 22.38 pounds of CO2. Multiply that by 42 gallons in each barrel of oil then by 35 Billion barrels a year and that is how much we put in the atmosphere each year! And oil is not the only thing we use that produces CO2. The total amount we put in the atmosphere each year is far higher. This can’t help but contribute to climate change. (Here’s a link to consumption in the US alone.)

Deforestation

Deforestation and loss of plant life in general cause the carbon dioxide to build as that is what plants use to grow and perform photosynthesis. There is also less oxygen because that is what plants emit after using the carbon monoxide to grow. Don’t believe me? Think about the beach where there is no plant life. Ever walk on the sand that was so hot you had to run to get to the beach water or burn your feet? Now think of all the millions of miles of asphalt roads and hi-ways, sidewalks, concrete, buildings, and plowed fields after harvest that do nothing but absorb heat in the world. Plant life shades the ground, produces the oxygen you require to breath, and even clean the atmosphere. We have to have oxygen to live. Without it we will die.

All that deforestation, concrete, asphalt, open plowed fields, carbon emissions, and pollution contribute to the temperature change. The effect of all this heat and loss of ozone are causing the polar ice caps to shrink. The ice caps, forests, plant life, and ozone are the Zener diode I talked about earlier. They all regulate the climate we live in. White ice reflects sun light and solar radiation. Ice also cools the atmosphere and regulates some of our climate. Ever get a glass of tea, fill it with ice and sit on the porch outside on a hot day out of the sun to cool off? After a while if you didn’t add ice to the tea it would get warm again, and the tea gets diluted with the melted water.

Ice Caps, Climate Change, Zener Break Over

The ice caps are shrinking at an alarming rate. Recorded ice cover on the polar caps prove this. Glaciers worldwide are disappearing at alarming rates. Glaciers that have been around for thousands of years. All that ice has to go somewhere. Usually into the ocean. The greatest part of the Zener diode. That ice water right now is cooling the oceans. This is the “knee” of the Zener diode. It does cool the planet causing the cooling effect and making some believe that the planet is actually cooling. But, when that ice has finished melting and the polar ice caps reach a point to where they are no longer cooling the oceans and the oceans start too really heat up again the Zener diode will “break over” and conduct in reverse.

Hot oceans produce massive hurricanes. Melted ice produces higher ocean levels, hotter temperatures produce more humid climate and accelerate global warming. Global warming (climate change) causes deserts adding even more to the warming. Deserts are growing as the ice caps shrink. Our “bread basket” in the central United States is shifting farther north every year. All the water under the ground in the central plains is becoming harder to get and wells have to be dug deeper than ever to reach the water that took thousands of years to build up. When all that water is gone how will we grow our food? Deserts require water to produce food. Without food we will die.

So, still don’t believe global warming is real, or that we should be concerned. What if it is? When the Zener diode breaks over it will be too late and there will be nothing we can do. The future is uncertain and we still do not understand all the dynamics involved with all these things. Do we really want to take that chance and leave such a future to our children?

What We Do Know

One thing we do know is that something unprecedented is happening. All these indicators are there and mean something. What we do know is that Mother Nature has a way of balancing everything. It usually comes in the form of eliminating what was causing the change. In this case WE are what is causing the change. Oh, and remember that enclosed system I talked about in the beginning? It’s called a “Bio-Sphere”, and it was an experiment to see if we could live in an enclosed dome and provide all the things we needed. It was a dismal failure and we would have died if we had to stay there much longer. We’re not smart enough to reproduce what nature has perfected over millions of years.

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. She has a way of fooling you back. Maybe that is why people still believe there is no global warming. Isn’t Mother Nature perfect!  Still don’t believe? You must believe the earth is flat too, but that’s another subject for future thoughts. Just my thoughts on this.

Comments? Leave a reply for Richard below or find him on FB.


Richard Kestrel is the woodworker, homestead engineer and jack of all trades at Wild Ozark, and syrup cooker for Burnt Kettle.

A bucket full of nature farming produce.

What Does a Nature Farm Produce?

Today I took a little hike after feeding the horses. I was on a mission to collect moss and lichen-covered branches. These are just some of the things the Wild Ozark Nature Farm produces.

And that’s how a nature farm works. I didn’t plant seeds, or till, or do anything at all to grow these products, I just have to collect them.

Resource Management

Maybe nature does all the work of growing the produce, but, I do have to be aware of how much stress my harvest places on the the resources being gathered. I do sometimes propagate some things, like the ferns, to make sure more of them grow to replace the ones I took.

I also propagate the woodland medicinals, like the ginseng, goldenseal, bloodroot, and cohosh. With ginseng I use seeds, but for the others I use root division or seeds.

A bucket full of nature farm produce.
A bucket full of nature farm produce.

I make sure I don’t gather too many of the ferns from an area, even where they are plentiful. When there is a large fern, I’ll only take part of it and leave behind half of the root mass to continue growing.

If it is an unusual fern, or one that won’t do well transplanted, I leave it alone. Likewise, I am careful with the gathering of moss and lichens. Moss, in particular, takes a good bit of time to regrow in some areas. For this reason, I’ll gather from a different area each year. This gives the moss time to repopulate before I go to that area again in a year or two.

We follow the same practice of rotation with the bark from the shagbark hickory trees. The bark is what we use for Burnt Kettle’s Shagbark Hickory Syrup.

With some things, like gumballs and acorns, there is very little chance at all of over harvesting. The same goes for the groundfall items I collect, like the lichen or moss-covered bark pieces that have dropped to the ground.

Nature Farm Produce

Today’s harvest included:

  • moss
  • lichens
  • rocks
  • ferns

Value Added Products

So after I collect the botanicals, I can either sell them like they are, or make something else with them. Just like a traditional farmer does with, for example, strawberries. Some people want to buy the strawberries fresh and some might like some jam.

With the moss, some like to buy it fresh and ready to use in their own DIY projects, and some might like a Wild Ozark Fairy Garden.

A bag of moss.
A bag of moss.

How to Store Fresh Botanicals Like Moss

For the moss in that bag in the photo above, I’ll put it in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator. When packaged like this in a cellophane bag, the moss stays green and alive for weeks. If it will be longer than that before I use or sell it, I’ll take it out to get some light every once in a while.

I use the botanicals for various things.

  • The moss, to store ginseng rootlets and seeds

Packing the rootlets or the seeds on a bed of fresh, living green moss keeps them fresh far longer than without.

  • Moss and ferns, in Bowl Terrarium/Fairy Gardens

Bowl Terrarium

  • Moss and ferns, in glass globe fairy gardens
Our Fairy Gardens are available in round or teardrop globes.
Our Fairy Gardens are available in round or teardrop globes.
  • Everything, dried or preserved for use on the Forest Folk

Sorceress, a product from the Wild Ozark Nature Farm

  • Dried for use on the Fairy Houses
A wee little fairy house made from Wild Ozark nature farm botanicals.
A wee little fairy house made from Wild Ozark nature farm botanicals.
  • To sell as is to other crafters

Natural Habitats

The Wild Ozark Nature Farm provides lots of perfect habitat for growing plants like American ginseng. This endangered medicinal herb has a very narrow set of requirements to grow and I take full advantage of all the spots here that support it.

I sell the seedlings and sometimes the older plants at the farmer’s markets and also ship them out by mail.

4-Prong Ginseng with Red Berries

Other Nature Farm Products

Aside from the physical items directly related to growing or harvesting, the Wild Ozark Nature Farm also provides inspiration. I’m an author and artist and my work depends on this close contact with nature. Even my fiction draws on my relationship with nature.

Here’s my latest work of nature art, drawn from a photo I took of a green dragon plant here at Wild Ozark.

Green Dragon Drawing
Green Dragon Drawing. Prints available.

Thanks for Visiting

I hope you enjoyed this little tour through the nature farm. Every square inch of this 160 acres opens up worlds of possibilities and I can’t think of any other life I’d rather have!

Things I've learned since moving to the country.

Things I’ve Learned (Since Moving to the Country)

These are the things I’ve learned since moving out here to Wild Ozark.

I used to think I lived in “the country”, before we moved out here. That was thirteen years ago and I quickly realized once we burnt the bridges and sold our house, that we had no clue what it meant to live in a rural place.

So here it goes. Here’s my start to the list. Remember to check back later to see if I’ve added more. Maybe leave a comment to prompt me to do it, if it’s been a while and still nothing else is here.

Moving Even Small Rocks in Winter

I made a little video the other day, just to illustrate this one. It’s terribly funny the first time it happens to you. And it’s funny when you forget and it happens again. For those of you who live where ice and snow have been normal all your lives, just ignore me here. But this is the sort of things that astounds people who move from warmer climates to one with real winters.

I learned this the first winter here, but refreshed my memory the other day. I’m out of breath in the video, but not from trying to move the rock, ha. I’d just finished rolling some logs in place so Rob could come pick them up with the tractor. We’d been cutting a dead tree away from the driveway.

An Exploration of our Wild Ozark Bluff

Yesterday we took the day off from our usual daily work and hiked around Ozark bluff that follows our driveway. Every time we travel to and from the house, we look at it and comment that we’d like to get out there and explore a bit sometime.

Exploring the Driveway Ozark Bluff

This one isn’t that far off the driveway and not much of a climb to reach it, even. We’re just always too busy on our way to or from doing something else. In the winter, great icicles cling and span for sometimes many feet as the water dripping from a spring freezes on its journey groundward.

This day was not too cold, though, and yet not so warm that the snakes would be active. No ticks, either. Perfect weather for a little walkabout at the bluff!

 

Looking for critters in our Wild Ozark bluff
Rob looking for critters.

Signs of Life

I like looking at all the signs of life and trying to figure out who and what lives and travels where. There’s a whole story of life here, a hidden society of wood rats, chipmunks, bobcats, foxes and skunks. Probably others, too.

A critter hole, entrance to a home for some small animal.
A critter hole, entrance to a home for some small animal.

Signs of life are everywhere, though we didn’t see any of the residents. I wondered if they hid just out of sight, watching us and wondering what we were doing in their world.

A well-worn path.
There’s a well-worn path between the two trees, to the right of the left tree.
Droppings from an out of sight Ozark bluff critter. Maybe chipmunk.
Droppings from an out of sight Ozark bluff critter. Maybe chipmunk.

 

A nest of sticks and twigs. Probably a big wood rat, lol.
A nest of sticks and twigs. Probably a big wood rat, lol.

 

Dirt Dauber mud homes, still occupied. Did you know these insects collect mostly spiders to feed their young?
Dirt Dauber mud homes, still occupied. Did you know these insects collect mostly spiders to feed their young?

Not all of the life forms were animals. A few plants are still green, or at least *living* at this time of year, too.

Bronzed by the frost, but still thriving.
Bronzed by the frost, but still thriving.

 

Another not quite green but still alive. This is either rattlesnake or grape fern. I can never tell the difference until they “bloom”.

We have both northern and southern maidenhair fern here at Wild Ozark, but they grow in two different locations. I find the southern all over the shady rocky bluff and the northern in the more moist and shady habitats where the ginseng likes to grow.

I find these ferns often in the Ozark bluffs. Adiantum capillaris-veneris L., Southern maidenhair fern. Trying to poke itself out into the light from underneath some rock layers.
Adiantum capillaris-veneris L., Southern maidenhair fern. Trying to poke itself out into the light from underneath some rock layers.

Signs of Past Life

And then there were signs of things that once lived or moved on to different phases in life.

A vacant dirt dauber nest.
Not too recently departed snail.
Not too recently departed snail.
A find on our exploration of the bluffs. An empty cliff swift nest made from mud and bits of hornet's nests.
An empty cliff swift nest made from mud and bits of hornet’s nests.

 

A tree that once lived here.
A tree that once lived here.

Textures and Layers

My favorite thing to notice and photograph out here is the texture. There are so many layers and shapes in the Ozark bluff. Rocks layered on top of shale, all of it made from sediment many thousands of years ago. The Ozarks aren’t really “mountains”. They’re ocean bottom. Dissected plateaus from the bottom of an ocean that existed even before the dinosaurs.

Odd Bumps and Formations

Wavy bumps
Wavy bumps

 

Bumpy ceiling bumps.
Bumpy ceiling bumps.

 

Weird iron oxide bumps.
Weird iron oxide bumps.

Hiking Partner

Bobbie Sue is over 10 years old now, but she still likes to join us on our hikes.
Bobbie Sue is over 10 years old now, but she still likes to join us on our Ozark bluff hikes.

 

Happy New Year

May 2017 be all you hope for. After we finished with the hike, we got all gussied up in our swashbuckler costumes and took some cool photos. Here’s my favorite. How did you spend New Year’s Eve and what’s on the list for 2017?

the Wild Ozark duo, having fun.
the Wild Ozark duo, having fun.

Hiking to the Wild Ozark Corner Bluff

A while back, I posted about our exploration of the bluffs along the driveway. This time we went hiking to what I call the “Corner Bluff”.

It’s not far away, either, but takes a bit of effort. 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.

Most of our hiking trips are short ones carried out right here at home, because we have so many places on our own property that we haven’t explored. Here’s a great compilation about long hiking trails in the USA for those who enjoy extended adventures on foot.

The photos below are from our hike to the Corner Bluff.

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.

Freezing Fingers for Nature Art – Photos, Bringing Hay to Horses on an Icy Morning

It was 12* F as the sun came up over the mountain yesterday morning. I headed outside to feed the animals, and freezing fingers were in the forecast. When I fed the horses, I walked across the creek to check to see if they needed more hay yet. They did.

Anytime is a good time to get good nature photography around here. Rob warmed up the tractor and I grabbed my “real” camera and we headed out to bring hay to the horses on an icy morning.

Angles of Light

While crossing the creek to check the hay, I noticed how beautiful the sunlight was on the skin of ice by my meditation rock. All I had with me was my cell phone, so I took a quick photo and decided to bring the real camera back out when we brought the hay.

Early morning rays on the creek.
Early morning rays on the creek.

By the time I got back down to the creek, when we brought the hay, the moment was gone. Such is the ephemeral life of sun sparkles and light angles. But it was still pretty nonetheless.

However, there were at least still some sun sparkles. Sun sparkles are so beautiful in photos and is a form of nature art where all I have to do is capture the image. They looked so magical spilling through the rocks!

The photo below is available on stretched canvas at Redbubble in various sizes. The largest is 30″ tall and it is $109. The photo enlarges if you click on it. The title at Redbubble is “Sun Sparkles (vertical)“. You can get the image on various other items, like cell phone cases, iPad covers, thermos mugs, etc. It also comes as a metallic print for $29.00.

Sun Sparkles, nature art photography for the wall.
Sun Sparkles, nature art photography for the wall.

I have a horizontal one, too.

Sun Sparkles (horizontal), nature art photography
Sun Sparkles (horizontal)

Horse Eyes

I love horses’ eyes, so I take a lot of photos of them. Most of them don’t come out because they don’t stay still long enough. Or they close their eyes just as the shutter clicks. For the longest time, they’d bolt when the shutter clicked, but at least we don’t have that issue anymore. Here’s a good one of Comanche’s eyes. It’s available at Redbubble on lots of different products.

Comanche's Lovely Eyes
Comanche’s Lovely Eyes

I particularly love the way the tote bag and the tank top came out:

Tote bag featuring Comanche's eye.Tank top with Comanche's eye.

Patterns of Ice

On the way to where we bring the hay to the horses, there are big perpetual mud puddles. The springs feed them, and they only dry out during the driest time of year in late summer. Most of the time, they’re not actually muddy at all until we drive through them with the tractor.

In winter, the ice crystallizes in such interesting patterns. These look like puddle fingerprints.

Ice Fingerprints in the puddle.

Any little inclusion gives the crystal unique shapes.

The ice crystals around a small piece of debris.
The ice crystals around a small piece of debris.

Moving water gives interesting form to ice, too. I love the globules of ice and the satin texture of the water still liquid. The following photo will be available on items from RedBubble too, but I haven’t finished uploading it.

Ice gathering on leaves at water's edge.
Ice gathering on leaves at water’s edge.

Fingers Frozen

By the time I’d fed the animals, checked the hay, then rode the 4-wheeler to open the gate when Rob brought the hay, and then lingered around taking photos, my fingers were frozen. When I couldn’t feel my index finger well enough to push the shutter button anymore, I went back in.

Oh the sacrifices made to make or capture Nature Art.  My freezing fingers thawed out quickly enough by the woodstove.

After we were done warming up inside, we went back out into it to cut a couple of dead trees and pull them out for firewood. Thankfully the sun had come out and it warmed up to nearly above freezing by then. Everytime we cut wood, I find lots of pieces I’d rather use for nature art than burn, so I have a little pile of “holds” by the back door. One day I’ll have to make a post on those and give some hints on what I plan to do with them.

Enjoy the rest of your winter!

Black and White Cloudscape #nowordsneeded

Cloudscape in black & white.
Cloudscape in Black and White

 


#nowordsneeded and the title of the photo are all I put on these posts. If you’d like to participate in this Twitter and Blogging meme, use the hashtag in your title and leave a comment with a link to your post. It’s open any day of the week. I post them randomly, so no schedule, either, lol. Tag @wildozark on Twitter if you want me to see it sooner rather than whenever I browse the hashtags.

Guest Post: A Nature Enthusiast’s Guide to Southwest Missouri

A note from Madison: I get many requests by content providers to do guests posts here on the Wild Ozark blog. Most of the time, the subject matter isn’t closely related enough to nature or any of the site topics. However, southwest Missouri is a destination for folks all over the Ozarks and British Solomon’s post is a good fit.


A Nature Enthusiast’s Guide to Southwest Missouri

Though many people are familiar with St. Louis and the Mississippi River, there is a lot more to Missouri. The southwestern part of Missouri is filled with numerous recreational activities, including a wide range of outdoor adventures. In southwest Missouri, the Great Plains meet the Ozarks. This mix of terrain and plentiful access to public lands makes the area an ideal destination for the nature lover. Though it isn’t possible to list every site of interest in the area, here is a look at a few of the area’s outdoor attractions.

Roaring River State Park

As its name implies, Roaring River State Park is home to a fast-moving river that sweeps through the park. The park is home to 3 separate campgrounds (with another one nearby). The campgrounds have a mix of sites for campers using tents and RVs of different sizes. Roaring River also offers a lodge for overnight guests as well as rental cabins. Roaring River State Park is one of the few state parks in Missouri to be stocked with trout, making it an ideal destination for the avid angler.

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a 10,000 acre park that offers many different activities for visitors. The park offers tram tours, horseback riding, hiking and biking trails and much more. Much of the park is handicap accessible so everyone can enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Park visitors can expect to see elk, bison, waterfalls and lots of peace and quiet.

Dogwood Canyon, Branson
(Picture courtesy of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park)
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
(Picture courtesy of Dogwood Canyon Nature Park)

Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake is one of the most visited sites in southwest Missouri. The flood control dam provides many water based recreational activities. Boating, fishing and water skiing are some of the more popular activities. Table Rock is served by a number of marinas, restaurants and other related businesses. Sky Harbor Resort is a waterfront resort built on Table Rock Lake with its own private dock for guests to enjoy. Table Rock State Park provides other recreational options and more accommodations, so you never have to leave the beautiful scenery.

Neosho Bicentennial Park

Southwest Missouri is dotted with little gems that are easily overlooked. The city of Neosho is home to the Neosho Bicentennial Park. The park offers a meandering bike trail that mountain bikers will love. Prairie State Park, located near Missouri’s border with Kansas, offers visitors from the east an up-close look at the topography of the Great Plains. The park is home to native grasses, bison, cactus and other plants and wildlife indigenous to the area.

These are just a few of the outdoor recreation spots in southwest Missouri. The area is well served by Interstates 44 and 49, making the region easy to reach for those looking to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

© 2018 British Solomon

British Solomon is a contributing writer and media specialist for Sky Harbor Resort. She regularly produces content for a variety of travel and lifestyle blogs.

Elderberry blossom

Build your Herbal Armory!

Useful plants grow all around us. It’s time to start building your herbal armory of plant allies now.

My book, 10 Common Plants worth Knowing in a Long-term Survival Situation, will introduce you to ten at a time. I’ll help you make allies of them, enabling you to build your herbal armory.

  1. All-Heal
  2. Beebalm
  3. Echinacea
  4. Elderberry
  5. Red clover
  6. Red Raspberry
  7. Red Mulberry
  8. Persimmon
  9. Spicebush
  10. Witch Hazel

An Heirloom

This book is meant to be written in. I’ve given space to record your harvest locations, identification notes, place to write things that you think will be important for anyone trying to follow in your footsteps in the next generations.

Read More

Day 9: Nature Journal Series

Grapevine & Insect Observation

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Entry Day 9: Grape Leaf and Insect Observation

Nature Journal entry from Day 9.

About this journal entry

On Day 9 of my daily journaling stint, I didn’t feel like getting off of the porch and I wondered if I could find something nearby to draw and journal about.

Well, I found a good topic, but it was hard to draw the subject. At least it’s an interesting observation worth capturing in a journal entry 🙂

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.

Day 8: Nature Journal Series

Acorn on Weathered Stick

Wild Ozark Nature Journal Entry: Day 8, Acorn on Weathered Stick

 

 

Nature Journal entry from Day 8.

About this journal entry

On Day 8 of my daily journaling stint, I couldn’t help reflecting on the sounds of trees dying in the distance. Chainsaws and crashing punctuated the otherwise peaceful land.

I really dislike the amount of logging that happens around here. We have no old-growth forests left anymore. I know of only one spot where very old trees grow and it’s in a very hard to access place. You can only reach it by climbing bluffs, and the old trees at the top of that bluff are probably more than fifty years old.

Maybe they’re really old, because logging trucks can’t access it. Maybe that forest escaped even the days of dragging logs by mule.

The Ozarks once had a lot more pine trees mixed in with the deciduous oak and hickory, and in that hard to reach place there are large pine trees. This is why I think it might be one of the last original stands of our area.

In our front yard we have two very old oak trees. Both of them are likely more than a hundred years old. One of them are featured in a later Nature Journal entry.

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.