About Me

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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.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Shallow Water

Green Heron
Creeks and rivers are still very shallow. I went to one of my favorite swimming spots and found that the pools of water were not only shallow, but the water quality was poor. Perhaps this little branch of the white river has always been slightly polluted. It is beside a rural bridge where thoughtless people can so easily drop trash off the side of their truck and into the shadows below. Normally their trash is carried down stream. But this year's stagnant pools revealed every coke can and chip bag. Also, there was an oily or white shimmer of scum on the water's surface.
Blue Heron
Despite these signs of carelessness,  there was no lack of life in these waters! Turtles were thriving, basking on a log sicking up out of the water and floating near the surface ready to plunge into the depths at any moment. Fish filled the water so thickly I was afraid if I stepped into the pool they would come lapping onto shore.
Of course, herons were attracted to these fish filled pools. As we approached the river a small green heron perched and watched us suspiciously before flying into a nearby sycamore tree. Further downstream, a blue heron flew to the far bank and watched us from there. As I crept closer, the huge bird kept its eyes on my every move, but was reluctant to fly away from such a beautiful buffet of fish. After creeping very close, the heron opened its huge arching wings and lifted itself into the air. As it crested the trees it stopped flapping and began to soar.

Watermelon Sprout
Before we also decided to soar away, I spotted a watermelon sprout growing up from between the river rocks. There its seed had fallen after been spat from unknowing lips. The sprout reminded me that not everything humans carelessly discard is garbage, and even amongst the garbage, life grows onward!


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