Category: fields and forests



airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 023 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 037heron airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 086 airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 091

airstrip, mayholler, maple trees on B 052

It was a chilly morning, we could see our breath steam out as we traveled in the fields and forest.

Thistles still raise their heads, pink blossoms bright against the fading vegetation.

A solitary heron breaks the blue above the creek.

The maples begin to show their colors at an old deserted house place. Well kept by the hunters who inhabit it twice a year.

Red, gold, orange sentinels line the highway.

Ripples sing a chorus at the beaver pond.


blood moon eclipse 043A blood moon eclipse 044A blood moon eclipse 049a blood moon eclipse 050ablood moon eclipse 049ablood moon eclipse 044AWay before early thirty this morning, I hauled camera and tripod outside to watch the eclipse.

As it commenced, I noticed the ‘wild things’ around Sunrise Ridge seemed to be upset. Owls, coyotes, and foxes blended an eerie harmony across the Ozark hills.


battle of Pilot Knob 150th anni 064nurse prepared for the battleAnd there I was! I’d read about Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix and other women, making a difference for our men in battle.

I knew I had to help. My brothers, Johnny, Clint and Lucas were out there somewhere. Their infrequent letters filled with tales of things so horrifying. Lives were daily lost for want of nursing skill on the field and in the ragged tent hospitals.

Maw cried, but helped me make my dress, the red trim marking me as a nursing volunteer.Now, here I am following the unit into a skirmish. A bag of bandages and a bottle of white likker in a bag at my hip. Not much to do with, but more than many had.

The drummer boys, no more than 10 or 12 have been shooed away into the woods or back to the earth berm fort behind us.

I can hear the crack of rifles, smoke from the cannons hangs heavy over the field in front.

As I watch, a man out front falls! Those around him carry him back to where I now lay upon the ground. Rifle balls sing over my head like a swarm of mosquitoes. It is all up to me, to help this man.

More are being dragged this way… Where are the ambulances? Blood, blood, blood! Can I do enough to save even one?


One of those ‘perfect’ June afternoons, my toes want to be dangling in cool creek water, splashing gently in the rocks, helping the little ones catch a minnow or crawdad, smelling the wild flowers, listening to the birds and bugs sing the time away… then maybe some hotdogs and s’mores over a camp fire to finish off the day.
Cedar Grove camping trip 2012 010
Better yet, camping along a river, but for today, I will have to be content with just the thoughts and promise of these things to come.


Recently, several of our chickens have gone missing.
We are now down to four hens and one young chicken.
They are free range critters and only go into the coop at night or to lay eggs in the nest boxes. Not long ago, Hubby found a large black snake in the coop. It is no longer there.
Over the last couple of weeks, the outside dogs have been raising a ruckus at night, and a few times I have heard snarling noises around the place.
Yesterday, after the loss of two more of the young chickens we were out checking the game camera and there for us to see was a bobcat. May or may not be the decimater of chickens, but the evidence surly points that way.
In a court of law, I am pretty sure said bobcat would be convicted on circumstantial evidence.
We’ve had the live trap set for a few days, maybe we will catch the culprit, without losing any more chickens.


We went camping on the Mississippi River last week with family. Tents, no electricity, no running water.
“Real” camping, well sort of, I admit, we had portable sanitary facilities and propane stoves for cooking.
The stars were so bright along the river that you could see well without the lantern or flashlights. The campfire made a welcome glow late in the evening.
Night cries of owls, coyotes and herons complimented the quiet hours.
A fine added touch was watching a recreated paddle boat travel past one afternoon.

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so

It only takes a moment to go back 100 years or so


Yes, it was a grand trip, and it makes us really appreciate hot showers when we get home.


jelly 006motto
This little fellow was ‘hiding’ on a corn stalk in the garden.
It led me to wonder first of all how he had gotten 3 feet up on the stalk and then why he chose to do it in the first place.
Sort of like people, who often tend to make me wonder about their antics, ideas and actions.


Sometimes, it is funny how my mind works.
It all started today, when my daughter, Tara Banks, posted this on her blog. I highly recommend that you click the link and read the post.

http://craftytara.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/so-there-i-was/

Reading it brought back a lot of memories. Mother used to make these ‘toad in a holes’ on her big square griddle, and in later years we would whip them out to hungry kids while camping.
Enjoying many a sunrise on the river or at the beach, Hubby and I used a cast iron skillet for the delicious morsels. Sometimes on the trusty Coleman stove and more often over an open fire nest to the coffeepot. Kids waited patiently, or not for their plates to be filled.
The thought of those camping trips reminded me of some books we bought long ago. Dian Thomas produced “Roughing it Easy” and “Roughing it Easy 2″. I went to look and sure enough I do have them! Worn and well used.
That led me to a search on Amazon.com. Both books are still available.

If you are a seasoned camper or are thinking about it for the first time, there are many fun and interesting ideas to make your trip more enjoyable.


gooseberries, blueberries blooming 003
Today on our walk, Hubby and I came across a troup of ballerinas, pirouetting just for us.
Clad in gossamer, swaying in the slightest breeze, these delicate ballerinas dance.
I look at them and see not only the beauty in these blooms but the promise of ripe gooseberries to come.
Chubby, tart, basketballs of purple and green.
Sturdy enough not to crush when picked and make a jam or jelly with a distinct tangy flavor.
Two patches endure, and have for 30 odd years, over at the ‘old house place’ where my late mother-in-law first started them.


Years ago, our family and many others made frequent trips to this little spring to bring home water for household use. Back then, the water came down a moss – covered wooden trough and flowed across the road to the creek.
Often the kids played in the creek while the adults filled the water containers. I remember more than once, hearing my grandmother say, “I wish we could turn it off, so it won’t run out.”

Spout Spring, B Highway, Reynolds County MO

Spout Spring, B Highway, Reynolds County MO


I have no idea when the trough was replaced by pipe, I had not been there in years, but this morning while Hubby and I wandered about, we thought it would be a good plan to stop by for a drink and a look.

red sunrise, spout spring, old places 073
I followed the pipe up under some rocks and found the ‘real’ spring flowing out of the hillside. May-apple umbrella leaves have sprung up around it and some water cress is growing in the tiny pool formed before it runs into the pipe.

We were a lot more conscious and conservative of our water use back then. Each use was considered and each drop accounted for, not like we are today, with a seemingly endless supply at the turn of the tap.

I took an empty water bottle from the truck, filled it and enjoyed a deep satisfying quaff of cold clear water. Ah, the taste, and even more the memories.

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