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.
Predator 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, not published yet, 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.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.