Tis’ The Season!

No, not that season….but you’re close!

In these parts, beyond the political season it’s deer season that takes center stage!  Here in the Ozarks it’s kind of a holiday, the schools are even let out of session to allow students to fully participate. People make plans all year long to spend some time with friends and family in the deer woods. They often travel great distances from larger cities to small rural areas like this to hunt, drink lots of beer,  eat deer meat, and secure their bragging rights for the coming year. Its a time where men bond with their sons (or daughters) around a campfire in the wilderness. It’s also an opportunity for people to play lots of practical jokes on one another, hopefully get them on film, and tease them mercilessly all year long about it!

Speaking of bragging rights, this monster buck that was taken in Iowa back in bow season…

31 points I think!

It’s not always the biggest deer that makes for the proudest conversation.  Check out this picture below of an albino deer! The gentleman who shot it said he thought he’d shot a goat!

Hold on, it gets even weirder, a friend of mine told me a story about a deer he’d shot that had a third horn coming out of it’s head kind of like a unicorn…(he has it mounted on his wall at home) He said that Bass Pro Shops out of Springfield,Mo. had offered him 20,000 for it and he turned them down!

I know…crazy!

Basically, it all comes down to the available food supply and when the doe’s come in season. That’s what determines where you’ll find them, How many acorns they can find determine how deep in the woods they’ll be. The scent of the does are what makes the big bucks crazy enough to run out across an open field and get shot! This year the doe’s have come into season early so hunting will be somewhat more challenging. This area is really great for hunting! Deer, turkey, you could actually survive pretty well living off of wild game around here. The other day I was listening to a couple of guys talk about fishing for walleye, strange thing was they were complaining that you couldn’t hardly throw a line into the water without catching a doggone small-mouth bass!

Psalm 104:27

These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

Psalm 42:1

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.

The Memories…

It’s been quite a memorable summer in a lot of ways!

The heat was definitely one reason, just about everyone has memories of how they found sweet relief from it. Whether it was in the pool or the pond, in a lake or a stream, most remedies involve finding some COOL water!

They say that summer days are “okay” but the nights are made for love…

Speaking of love and summer night’s, my wife and daughter both “love” all of the little house books which were originally written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  So when we read in a local publication that the  Ozark Mountain Players were performing a play on Friday night August 6-7th  in Mansfield, Mo. called Laura’s Memories we decided to go! We drove the short distance to Mansfield early in the afternoon and took in the tour that’s given daily of the author’s home and the museum which is also on the grounds. It was interesting even for me, to see things like the actual fiddle which belonged to “Pa” and other personal family items.

It was a wonderful night of theater under the stars at the newly built outdoor amphitheater!

I very much enjoyed the overall presentation! An actress who bore a remarkable resemblance to the real Mrs.Wilder introduced each scene in which the players re-enacted stories from her books.

The “Farmer Boys” were quite entertaining!

During the intermission, playwright Terry Spyres took the time to meet and talk to my daughter. She was very nice and my daughter was thrilled to meet her!

I ask you, can there be a better way to spend a summer night then at the fair?

What memories!

I don’t really remember where I was when President Kennedy was shot, I was very young, three to be exact. But I can speak with remarkable clarity about the first time anybody ever gave me a five dollar bill. It was on the way to the fair. We were about halfway across the Glenstone viaduct when my father’s large hairy arm reached over the white leather front seat of our 1963 Buick Riviera into the back seat holding two crisp five dollar bills which he fanned apart with his thumb and index finger towards my brother and I.

I was couldn’t of been much more than six years old…

I have no doubt that I spent at least part of my windfall on a pineapple whip ice cream cone. I think they probably still sell them there although I’m sure they’re not as good now. And corndogs, the kind that they make fresh! I always appreciated the medium sized paint brush that was there to use for slathering on the mustard, “these people really know how to eat!” I thought.

Who hasn’t walked through the gauntlet of carnival game row? Can you remember the scary guy that barked you down?  The guy with an earring and numerous tattoo’s chain smoking a Camel no-filter who by the insistent tone of his gravelly voice left you no choice but to,

“Try a free throw kid, every ones a winner!”

How about a Demolition Derby?

It wouldn’t be a proper fair without some type of a grandstand show! Whether it’s a concert, a truck pull, a beauty contest, an actual stock car race or whatever. I’m partial to dirt track car races myself, the kind that put enough red clay dust into the air that you can actually taste it! Along with the horrendous noise of the un-muffled engines, the burning smell of rubber, gas and oil, it’s an experience that never fails to get my adrenalin pumping! It’s sort of a man thing, although I have seen lots of women get plenty excited rooting for their favorite driver!

I need to turn this little trip down memory lane back towards the house…I hope that I’ve reminded you of some special memories you have of summertime. I hope that I’ve provided my daughter with some good times that she’ll be able to look back on with fondness someday. I’m thankful for my memories, they’re like snapshots we keep in our hearts of the moments when we forgot about everything else except the fun we were having! I’m also thankful to God for how He continues to care for me and my family in these tough times. Who like my own father, knows my needs and who’s gifts to me aren’t based on what I deserve but instead on His great love for me!

Thanks Dad…

Remember is a place from long ago
Remember filled with everything you know
Remember when you’re sad and feelin’ down
Remember turn around

Remember life is just a memory
Remember close your eyes and you can see
Remember think of all that life can be

Remember

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Harry Nilsson-Remember

Land Of Many Springs

 One of the great joy’s of blogging I’ve found is in sharing the unique and special things about where I call home with the rest of the world.

The area where I live is known mostly for being a hunting, fishing, floating, camping/hiking destination. During the spring it’s turkey season, summertime around here is all about the river. When the chilly winds of winter begin to blow the town is overrun with people dressed in camouflage who are looking to bag that big buck!  In the winter months the local people rest up!

I’m not much of a hunter, but what I do enjoy is seeing the abundant wildlife practically everywhere you go around here. The deer are somewhat tame and will sometimes just stand there  next to the road allowing you to get a good look at them as you drive up . The other day I saw two hen turkeys scurry across the road in front of me with their collective brood of about 10-15  in tow.  The spring hatch-lings, they were beautiful in their tan colored juvenile feathers!

Perhaps the predominant characteristic of the area I live in is the abundance of naturally occurring springs. The water they provide is literally the “life blood” that freely flows throughout this part of the state. Their cool blue effusion’s and the underground waterways that they represent are a precious resource that’s value cannot be overstated.

Now that I’ve said my little speech we can get on to the good stuff…

This is Greer Spring

Pictured here is the much celebrated and often photographed upper outlet which join’s together with the water from the lower outlet and flows into the Eleven Point River more than doubling it’s size! It’s the second largest spring in the Ozarks, second only to Big Spring which is located in nearby Carter County, Mo.

Originally the spring was harnessed by Samuel Greer to power a grist mill in 1859.

To the right is the lower and much more substantial source of the spring and the one time location of the aforementioned mill. It’s an incredibly beautiful area that’s easily accessible. Various hiking trails that skirt the surrounding hillsides provide some excellent photo opportunities!

One of the most interesting and beautiful springs is Turner’s Mill Spring! Located in what was once a small logging village called “Surprise” Mo. it’s a must see if you’re in the area!

This picture to the right is what remains of the wheel which using the spring supplied the power needs of the small community.

 

Our next stop on the tour is Boze Mill Spring.

Many things about Boze Spring really stood out to me. The setting is unique in one respect because of the approach to the spring from the trail. If you look closely at the area between the trail and the deeper turquoise blue of the main spring you can see the shallow sandy area that’s  ideal for wading in! But be warned, the water here is in my opinion colder than any spring I’ve ever been in! It practically numbed my legs within minutes of wading into it!

 

I’ve been a Missouri resident my whole life and an avid outdoors person as well.  As a typical young boy I was fascinated with reptiles, frogs specifically. Having said that, I found it remarkable that as I approached the spring I was welcomed by a strange sound. Strange in that I only vaguely recognized it. The “noise” was coming from frogs.  Their call was different from any frog I had ever heard, and for them to be active in the middle of the day is also unusual. As I sat there on the bank they entertained me with their “calling” to each other.  Here in their secluded paradise I wondered how many thousands of generations had lived and croaked here in this place and provided the ambiance for thousands of people who had sat just where I was on it’s bank.

This last spring is in many ways also the least.

It’s water volume is small and I’m not really even sure of what it’s “official” name is. I’ve heard it called “Panther Creek” spring, I tried to research it and still couldn’t find any definitive information about it. It’s located less than a quarter mile downstream from the Whitten access on the Eleven Point river. It’s just a hole in the ground that sits less than a hundred feet back off from the main channel but what I found interesting about it is that it makes it’s own noise…

That’s right, it’s a “Talking Spring

My daughter and I had walked up the creek that flows from it one day a few years back. I remember hearing a noise that at first I assumed was coming from the insects that were everywhere. Something about it seemed out of kilter though, it never stopped! When I paused to concentrate on it more fully I noticed that it seemed to emanate from the spring it’s self!

That struck me as being an impossibility at first, “Can sound travel in water?” I’d never seen or heard of such a thing and upon a closer examination I saw what appeared to be small rocks that were caught in it’s flow. The waters effect upon them was to toss them upward in the current of the spring and then suck them back down so as to imitate a volcano spewing lava. During this process,they constantly made random contact which was the source of the “clicking” sound I was hearing.

I’ve really only scratched the surface of listing all of the springs in this part of Missouri. I barely mentioned Big Spring which is the largest, and I didn’t even mention the appropriately named “Mammoth Spring” which is south of here just across the Arkansas state line.

My intent here wasn’t really to provide an exhaustive list, instead my goal is to celebrate who it is that gives life to not just this little backwater part of the world but to everyone everywhere!

In this world there may be “Many Springs”  but there is only one true source of life!

John 7:38

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.