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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Swallow Tails Along the Buffalo

           We drove down an access road that leads to the headwaters of the Buffalo near, just west of Owls' Knob. The Rue Anemone is dotting the forest floor, while redbuds and dogwoods blooms lace the canopy. Ferns are uncoiling, buckeye is flourishing, and the leaves of maples, elms, and sumac are budding. Violets, buttercups, and bellwort speckle the emerging greenery with purple and yellow.
           The clear water glimmers an aqua color only seen in spring, before the algae makes the river appear green. The mild sun and warm winds stir up the butterflies. Yellow Swallow Tails and Zebra Swallow Tails dance and frolic along the shore in swarms. Their flighty wings do not take a moment's rest for the wind keeps them struggling.
           Often in summer, butterflies will dance together or collect upon the stain of a spilled soda. But today they were busy, tracing the waterline, examining the rapids, and visiting every budding leaf and bloom. I sat among them with my camera, but they couldn't wait for technology. They would not be captured in a frame. Such beauty can not be contained.
a yellow swallow tail beside the buffalo river

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