ozark autumn

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richland creek

Once when I was showing some of my slides to a small group of people, one acerbic fellow popped up with the question, "If this is the Ozarks, then where's the trash?" I didn't say the first thing that came into my head, i.e., that even if there had been trash there, I wasn't going to take a picture of it. But his statement showed that he hadn't seen any more of nature than he could drive to on paved road in 30 minutes.

Of course, he did have quite a valid point, that many of the so-called natural areas convenient to population centers are marred by trash and garbage. But in my experience, the amount of refuse you are likely to encounter in a given spot is inversely proportional to how far you have to drive and, even more importantly, how far you have to walk to get to it. I guess the people who are willing to go to a lot of trouble to experience nature are serious enough about it that they also take the trouble to preserve the quality of natural places they visit.