Contrary to popular opinion, neither I nor this fat squirrel are advocating for communism.
I’ve looked in and around Grotto Spring dozens of times, but today as I spluttered along Spring Street having left the Eureka Springs Post Office, I pulled the jalopy over and hopped out.
You may not know this and I often forget, but Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a pretty little place.
As many times as I’ve been here, I don’t remember that face above the little bench. I wonder who it is? Deity? Local barkeep?
This looks like it always did. Stairs into a little cave. A nice place to cool off on a hot July day. Of course, it’s the middle of winter.
This looks the same, too. Except what’s that ahead at the back of the cave? Perhaps I have just forgotten it.
A closer look shows it’s probably part of a local system of magic. Not sure how it works but there’s several items around the Virgin of Guadalupe: coins, Wrigley chewing gum, a .45 round.
I was gone barely 25 minutes on a trip to town and found the county road covered. Was that in the forecast? Does it matter?
Yesterday I found myself at a deserted Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Springfield, Missouri. For misanthropic reasons, I enjoy any park best when I’m the only person about.
Standing at this sign I was unprotected from the wind and the 40 mph gusts (per KSMU radio) tried to rob me of my $3 baseball cap. Looking straight ahead and slightly to the left, there is as pretty an Ozark springhouse as I can remember seeing. When I stepped inside it I heard something slip into the water and believe I could see a frog floating in the dim light. My night vision isn’t what it once was, and I was avoiding soaked boots on such a cool morning, but I now wish I wasn’t such a coward. All my frogs are asleep this time of year.
Walking across the windswept field to the springhouse, I couldn’t help but notice ample evidence of armadillo activity. I returned to my vehicle using a slightly different route and found one armadillo finished with its earthly digging.
In narrow parts of the hollow, the north facing slope and the south facing slope are in close proximity but very different. Halfway up the north facing slope I noticed this unused split cedar post near an old fence. On the south facing slope, it wouldn’t have the moss growing on it like this.
Higher up I saw my yellow escort was awaiting an indication of our direction. He is generally quite mission oriented on forest incursions.
Out of nowhere Percy Cat made his presence known on a low bluff.
I followed him along the face of the layered rock wondering his objective. Apparently, he wanted to show me the close relationship between stone and tree.
Realizing I’d forgotten a chore, I stepped out into the cold accompanied by a fat but quite yellow bodyguard. In the darkness we heard a strange noise overhead. We were not alone.
Down in the hollow this morning, everything just looked wet and muddy. It wasn’t until I stepped out on the porch and looked up that I saw the ice. The house and mud is at about 1350 feet above sea level. Here I’m looking from the garden spot toward the north rim of the hollow, which is about 1500 feet elevation. Just that small difference in height and the trees have ice.
I took the following photos in the vicinity of our mailbox on the county road at an elevation of about 1525 feet. The pines and cedars were especially weighted down, but there were also a few branches down off hardwoods. Please be advised that I don’t know how to photograph ice, and these are evidence of that.