Mar. 28, 2004

This week spring happened. Looking out across the hills you can see many of them have a dusting of green, and walking through them you find most of the understory trees have leafed out, and while most of the canopy trees are still bare, even that will change in a hurry if it hasn't already in the few days since the weekend.

So even though winter might rouse himself and bite and shake us yet, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that we can kiss winter goodbye and give a hearty hello to spring.

Saturday Sophie and I explored some along Hurricane Creek up near its headwaters, and though we didn't find much in the way of spectacular scenery, we did find some places that may call for burning a few frames of film sometime. We also came across, and had to fight our way through, an area that must have been clear cut some years back, as there were no large trees in it and it was choked with saplings. Most of the recently logged areas I see these days are not clear cut but are left with a coverage of mature trees. So I hope that is the current practice and that we've seen the last of clear cuts in the Ozarks.

We were blessed with a pretty good rain Sunday morning, and that combined with certain errands that had to be taken care of meant that Junie and I got a late start on Sunday. After spending a while up on White Rock Mountain to survey the progress of the greening, I felt obliged, in view of the nice rain we got, to at least try to get to a waterfall and shoot it.

So Junie and I set out from the Hurricane Creek bridge to hike up the creek a ways and then into a hollow where last summer we had scouted out a waterfall described in Tim Ernst's waterfall guidebook. Fortunately we would need to ford the creek only once on the way out and once coming back, since even though it wasn't dangerously high, it was running a little higher and pretty fast due to the recent rains. As it often seems to be, the hike in this case was much shorter in memory than in fact, and we arrived at our destination not long before sundown, and since I wanted to get back across the Hurricane while I could still see where I was stepping I hurriedly squeezed off a few shots and headed back, not even taking time to explore the pretty fall just downstream from the main one.

While we were still deep in the hollow I could see Richason Mountain across the Hurricane from us turning red and clouds above us gold as the sun, which had long since slipped behind the hills on the west side of the hollow we were in, began at last to set. Even so, we got to the ford across the Hurricane while there was still plenty of light. When I heard several times what I thought was a coyote howling, and Junie stopped and noted it too, I quickened my pace some. Though I don't think a coyote would take on a dog the size of Junie, I'm not completely convinced that there might not be some that would be nuts enough to try. Once I was driving along a forest road after dark and would have had a coyote in my lap if my window hadn't been rolled up about half way. Once you've met Craze E. Coyote, you have to wonder if he might not have a cousin somewhere else in the woods.