So much can happen from day to day, especially in the spring. On March 30 we headed south to Bella Vista, Ark., to spend Easter weekend with family. That evening we visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville too look at the newest displays there. The next day, with temperatures near 70 degrees, we decided to visit Tanyard Creek Nature Trail to see how much water was coming from Lake Windsor over the falls of Tanyard Creek.
Northwest Arkansas and Southwest Missouri had been inundated with rain so the creeks, rivers, and lakes there were higher than usual. That, combined with the pleasant weekend weather, made Tanyard Creek Trail a popular place to visit. The 2.2 mile, easy trail is dog friendly and has several features other than the falls. There are identifying markers throughout, such as at an Indian bluff shelter and another at an old homestead, as well those identifying native plants and trees along the trail. There are also a static bridge and a swinging bridge over the creek as well as plenty of rock to rock crossings for the more daring.
The mayapples were coming up and the redbuds were in bloom when we were there but we found no morels. We did, however, find icy roads and about a dozen traffic accidents as we headed north through Kansas City to our home some 300 miles away. Remember: Spring if fickle, especially when you live in Missouri.
After getting a new fishing license for the first time in a couple of years, this morning seemed like a good time to, uh, test the water.
I grabbed a rod and reel, a tackle box, my camera, a water bottle, a boiled egg, an apple, and, just in case I felt really lucky, my fly rod and some flies. It’s a good thing I took the egg and apple because not a single strike was to be had on the ponds at Emmett and Leah Seat Memorial Conservation Area. All I caught was morning solitude, the smell of blackened earth left from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s controlled burns this spring, and the sound of birds.
In fact except for a half dozen swallows sweeping insects above a pond and two turkey vultures having a road kill squirrel for brunch there were few bites of any kind. I did, however, lose two lures. But I’m happy to say I lost them to submerged logs and not to a tree limb like the one pictured above.
I began watching a couple of cardinals from my front porch soon after they laid three mottled brown eggs in a nest in a spirea bush on the east side of my porch. I didn’t realize the nest was there at first but heard Mom and Dad’s chirping each time I was near the nest. Here, the couple bring food to one of their young who has left the nest too soon and is alone on the ground. For the past few days I’ve been helping the cardinals by making sure the neighborhood cats stay out of the yard. Tomorrow I must be out of town so I wish the family well.
The squirrels are my regular distractions and the robin is making a nest beneath the eves on the east side of the porch. I’ve got a couple of doves with a nest in a crabapple tree nearby but they’re pretty shy. There are also a couple of cottontails around the house that excite my dog (I will try to get photos of the rabbits, too). The dog, Daisy, smells the rabbits but doesn’t always see them immediately. This morning, for example, I saw cottontail when we went outside but led Daisy away from it but that didn’t stop her from giving a thorough search of the spirea bushes where the rabbits like to hang. The robin is making a nest on the west side of my front porch, beneath the eaves. A couple of doves also have a nest in a crabapple in my yard but they have been too shy for photos.
This morning I picked green onions from my garden to make coleslaw. This afternoon my narcissus is covered in snow. Snow in March, you ask? Yes, this is Missouri.
It’s been snowing off and on all afternoon but now it’s sticking. Of course it will all be gone by tomorrow and by Monday the temperatures will be back in the 70s. That’s just the way it is and the way it’s likely to be at least until late April or early May.
I can remember one April several years ago when nearly three feet of snow kept me from town when we lived not too far north of here near Russell, Iowa. I don’t think that’s going to happen here this year but who knows. Although I’ll be wearing shorts again next week tomorrow’s just the first day of spring.