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.

Advertisements

Down to the river…

river shots001

Hi! Altonwoods here, (not my real name)…And I’ll be your guide today as we go “down to the river” to do whatever it is that people do at the river! Yesterday was the last day of school around here and my daughter has been bugging me to take her. I’ve also been wanting to try out the new camera I bought my wife for mothers day, (awwwww, so sweet of me!) another reason is I wanted to try and get another shot of this plant that I found last year about this time down here!

2495901412_7478b6d23e_b

This is it…It’s like a giant pink honeysuckle that smells amazing! I found out it’s called a Mountain Azalea…So , we went in search of it but we were too late! It had already bloomed. After that we decided to go down and see the big spring that’s kind of back in the woods.

These are pictures from last year but it still looks the same. We parked the car and started walking down the trail, the dirt down there is just amazing, black and moist, the product of hundreds of years of composting, plants and flowers blooming, sun is shining, life is so good! That’s when something happened, my wife Grace (not her real name) slip’s and falls trying to cross a small creek in a very muddy area. I heard her saying that she was going back to the car and a moment later she falls AGAIN! Boni (her real name) and I are over by the spring and I hear her screaming! When we got to her she was laying on the ground, crying, telling me that she thinks that she’s torn her rotator cuff and that she feels like she may pass out from the pain! (she fell backwards and “caught” herself, that’s the way I tore mine)

So, several things go through my mind just then…

1) All week long we’ve been talking about Jesus,healing, doctors, prayer, medicines, Christians, etc…

2) Was I going to have to take her to a hospital?

What happened next went exactly like this.

It’s Boni and me, crouched down next to Grace, listening to her wail, and then my daughter Boni say’s…

“Somebodies gotta do something!”

I knew what I had to do, so I reached down and laid my hand on her arm, and asked for her to be opened to the healing that was promised to us by Christ, and that her pain would go away, then I stood up and watched as she, after just a moment, got up and walked off a distance, I heard her say “Thank You, the pain is gone!” Which I really must admit was a surprise to me in a way. I believe in healing, I just was a little shocked that it could happen like this, all I know is what I saw…

So we just went on with our day, thanking Jesus!

river shots012

Here we are at my favorite swimming hole, we ate sandwiches and chips and we drank root beer! This is the Eleven Point River, most of the water comes from Greer Spring a few miles upstream. It’s a trout stream, the water temp is about 58 degree’s and it takes your breath away when you go in! Here’s a few more pic’s…
river shots011

Beautiful Boni with a ham sandwich in her hand

river shots010

Our heroine, “Grace”

river shots009

And of course, yours truly! signing off from, “Down at the river!”