“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings can’t live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” – Evo Morales
Today I am going to address something that really gets my Scooby-Dos in a bind. Littering and pollution. Really? This a subject that we shouldn’t even have to discuss. Why do people insist on trashing Mother Earth? Has she offended you? Are you just down right lazy? Do you just not care?
If you have read any of my blogs you are privy to my romance with Missouri rivers and streams. In my journeys I have covered a lot of miles on the rivers. I can’t think of any time on the river that I didn’t find a gravel bar trashed, tires in the river, appliances, etc. and it is heart breaking.The problem seems to be getting worse instead of better. I know there are more people that float the rivers than there were 10 years ago. However there seems to be a greater group of people who do their best trying to clean the rivers up.
In Missouri we have Operation Clean Stream. There are various teams located throughout the state that police different areas and streams and have an organized clean up once a year. Usually the fourth weekend in August. It is unbelievable the amount of trash they collect each year.
In August of 2017, Operation Stream Team volunteers removed 539 cubic yards of trash and 2,029 tires from Missouri rivers. There were 1,934 in attendance at the locations of the Arnold Area, Big River (lower and upper), Bourbeuse River, Meramec River (middle, lower and upper), Huzzah and Courtois.
You can find out more at openspacestl.org. and there is a Facebook page called Missouri Stream Teams.
“If you can’t be in awe of Mother Nature, there’s something wrong with you” – Alex Trebek“We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.” – Margaret Mead
We really need to get a handle on this. It isn’t that hard to haul your trash out with you. It isn’t going to take up anymore room than it did when you took it in. Maybe we need to start charging a deposit on cans. I know folks will still leave them however there will be more people collecting those cans to turn them in instead of just leaving them. I know when I was a tad pole I would pick up soda bottles to make extra money. Just a thought. Don’t kill the blogger.
What is it going to take to get people to respect Mother Earth and keep her clean. The rivers are faced with trash and pollution problems that aren’t going to go away unless we the people do something about it. I know, I know. I hear you shaking your head thinking we have a lot of other problems that need to be addressed. Well my friends this is a serious problem and it needs to be addressed. Clean water is needed for survival on this orb and if we run out of it the outcome isn’t very pleasant. It is our life and future. Please stop destroying the waterways with pollution and trash. PLEASE!
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Clean water is essential for life and we just can’t keep ignoring the problem. Spread the love!
“A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” – Laura Gilpin
I was finally afforded an opportunity to spend some time on the Big River. I decided to kayak and fish the St. Francois State Park area of the river. I went on a Thursday so I had the park pretty much to myself. I was even able to accommodate myself with some time to read some of Emerson’s work. The only distraction I had was the chirping of the crickets and the crackling of the fire.
The river was really low. It was hard to fish and float. I did manage to catch some fish though. Not very big but when you are fishing with an ultralite with 4 pound test they don’t have to be very big to have fun catching them. I did catch enough to consume for supper on the second day.
My time spent on the river is always magical and mesmerizing. It has been that way since I was a snotty nosed kid. I cherish the world of the river and the way it can recharge my spirit and soul. To see the fall painting that Mother Nature had brushed onto the foliage was a site to behold.
The first day on the river I never crossed paths with another person. I had the river all to myself and it is hard to explain what a great feeling it is. My mind races trying to take in all the wonderful things that I am surrounded by everything grabbing my attention at once. Even though I have been here before I feel like a child in a candy store.
I wish I could explain the “peaceful easy feeling” that I experience upon every visit to the river. It is quite refreshing and it gives one a great opportunity to find themselves.
The downside of the river is that everything cooked on an open fire tastes amazing so therefore one tends to eat too much.
Funny how many times I have read this book and when I get out on the river and clear my mind of all the garbage it has accumulated since the last visit, I find something I have missed. Emerson did not believe that one could simply change society by changing the laws, or by imposing new regulations. For one to effectively change the laws of a state, the minds of the citizens must be changed first through culture or education. Forgive me for getting off subject. This is food for another blog on another day.
I am a realist and I know the river doesn’t work as well for some as it does me. Not everyone is comfortable on the river and not everyone likes to fish. I urge you though to find your “river” in life, no matter what it is. Then share it with the rest of the world. Spread the love.
I also realize not everyone likes reading Emerson. In closing I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you enjoyed it. I wish you luck in finding your “river” and “Emerson”.
Source: Silver Mines Recreation Area
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” – John Muir Our National Parks
I would like to share with you an area in Madison County Missouri located along the St. Francis River. It is a piece of paradise named Silver Mines Recreation Area. It is part of the old Einstein Mines where the Einstein Mining Company began mining silver, tungsten and lead in 1877 and ceased mining in 1946. The area is known for its Precambrian and felsite rocks.
Silver Mines offers a variety of recreational opportunities and is abundant with historical and geological wonders. The St. Francis River is the only river in Missouri classified as a “white water” river. It is very popular with kayakers during the spring high water. Parts of the river are used for swimming, other parts are good fishing and the state holds an annual kayaking competition the third weekend of March, providing the water levels are sufficient. There is a two mile trail that follows both sides of the river with some breath taking views, for those addicted to hiking.
When I was younger we would meet my grandparents there and camp for the weekend. I took a couple of walks down memory lane and I recalled all the good times we had there. It was all tent camping and sometimes it got rough. There were some great camp sites and the park was well maintained. The area is alive with spectacular scenery and is occupied by many varieties of wildlife.
“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks.” – John Muir
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out til sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir
“Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they could, they would be destroyed – chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones.” – John Muir
Well I hope you enjoyed reading and I thank you for taking the time to do so. We are blessed with some very nice state parks in Missouri and I tip my hat to the Missouri Conservation Department. If you have never been here, be sure and put it on your bucket list. Spread the Love!
I remember when one of the local colleges offered an eight week course for folks that wanted to be a farrier. Over time I had a few clients who told me,”Well this will be the last time you will have to shoe ole Dobbin.” Me: “Oh yeah. You selling him?” They would go on to tell me that they had signed up for the 8 week course at the college and they would be doing their own shoeing. Out of 6 clients that signed up for the class I only had one client shoe all four feet of his horse. He then hired me back, said he had enough.
Then there are the ones that sit there and watch you as you work and they tell you, I think I can do that. Looks pretty easy. Then there is that age old question, ever get kicked? Really?
Then there are the bargain hunters. They have no loyalty to their farrier. They are just looking to get the cheapest price they can. I remember one time while fueling my truck a guy hollers over at me and says, how much. I said $2.55 a gallon. He said no, how much? I said, well it will probably hold around 30 gallons today. He immediately says, NOOOO! How much do you charge to shoe horses. I said, do you have a farrier now? He said yes but I thought you might be cheaper at which I immediately replied, you couldn’t afford me. Yep, they are loyal to the end.
Then you have the internet farrier. Yep you read it right. This is the group that cruises the internet to learn everything they can find concerning ” How to Shoe Your Horse”. So while you are shoeing their horse they are standing looking over your shoulder telling you what you are doing wrong. I mean geeze, these guys are pros. They learned from that all important school “Lame Horses or Us.”
Then you have the farrier that if someone doesn’t agree with your assessment of his/her shoe job they swell up like a little bantee rooster and get their feelings hurt. Bring a horse into a room of 4 farriers and you will get 10 different ways to shoe the horse. The lovely world of horseshoeing. Also be prepared to be told you charge too much.
Then there are the great things you get to experience. I remember one such time. I was on the back end of the horse with its back leg over mine when all of a sudden the horse made a gut sound that sounded like a freight train roaring down the track. I just got out of my mouth, well he shouldn’t colic any time soon, when all at once its tail went up and yep, liquid road apples come out of the back end like it was coming out of a power washer. Before I could get out of the way it hit me on the side of the head and my back and…..never mind just trust me it was a mess.
Seriously though, I am proud of my trade. I am a firm believer in continued education. It is hard work and you have to be well disciplined. It is too easy to get up in the morning and say, I think I will call in sick today. You have to be a business man and be able to deal with the public.
I am semi-retired now. I still have around 40 head of horses on my books. I am thankful for all those who helped me better myself. Dr. Don Walsh, Dr. Amy Rucker, Dr. Joanne Kramer, Kelly Case, Bob Schantz, Dr. Thomas Loafman to just name a few. If you decide to walk the path of a farrier I urge you to seek out continued education through clinics. Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop, along with Homestead Veterinary Hospital, Dr Kramer and Dr Rucker have some great workshops during the winter months. Be sure to check them out.
Thanks for reading my blog. I deeply appreciate it. If you are considering a career shoeing horses I wish you well. It is hard work but take pride in yourself and your work and it can be a real rewarding experience. Spread the love!
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson wrote this sometime in the mid to late 1800s I believe. I came across it a couple of years ago and it came up on my radar again. In today’s world and my age I consider just waking up on the right side of the dirt as a sign that I have succeeded. If he were to write that today I really wonder what he would have said?
………This is to have succeeded. In life? Love? School? I am going to approach it as “in life.” What is success? According to Merriam-Webster, outcome result; degree or measure of succeeding; attainment of wealth, favor or eminence; one that succeeds.
I racked my little brain and I couldn’t think of anyone that I can say is breathing easier because I am alive. As far as “a redeemed social condition” I had to wrestle with this one and I am not sure I have the right idea however I think Emerson is referring to a certain social group (culturally, politically, economically, etc, really guessing here)one may have helped beat gambling addiction, alcoholism etc. in one of those groups.
To appreciate beauty. Wow, now that could be a loaded gun. I know how society seems to label beauty, usually they don’t look past the outside beauty. I am of the opinion that beauty is the whole package. One can be beautiful on the outside but so ugly on the inside. I see people that are bullied, ridiculed and treated like low class citizens because they may carry a few extra pounds, a noticeable scar, birth mark etc.. The majority of folks just seem to look at a person on the outside without finding out what their heart is made of. They could have a heart of gold and no one ever notices. Seems so sad and such a waste. If you are a person that looks at the “whole” person and not just the outer shell I truly believe that is a true sign of success and you have my utmost respect. So many people are incapable of it.
Oh my gosh , the light bulb just went off!! I thought of someone that breathes easier because I am alive. My doctor. I mean how did I overlook that. After all if I was on the other side of the dirt my doctor would lose that income. After all the money is in the treatment not the cure.
Aw, the betrayal of false friends. Now this is one that can hurt. What is that little saying going around the internet, oh yeah. The only reason some folks are alive is because I don’t want to go to prison, or something like that anyway. That can be a tough pill to swallow. There are some really cold people in the world and they don’t seem to have any problem hurting other people. I think some folks just crave the feeling. Here is another real sign of success I think. If one can truly forgive a false friend that betrayed them I think that is another true sign of success.
I don’t know if it because I am getting old and less trusting, it just seems harder and harder to find the best in others. There is so much dishonesty and hate in the world today that it is hard to trust. To find the best in others you are going to have to trust them. In the past I have recommended horse trainers. These were trainers that I thought they knew what they were doing. Boy was I wrong. I have saw what I thought was good in a lot of folks and just set myself up for a hard fall. With me it is a tough one and if it is something that I have to accomplish to have succeeded in life, I may be running a little short on making it.
Once again thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. I truly wish everyone a successful and prosperous life. One filled with success and good times. Spread the love!
I didn’t get on the river until around 4:30 p. m. and I knew I wouldn’t have time to do a lot of fishing. I did realize that the retreating sunlight should present some great photo ops so I began looking for those shots that would show the amazing beauty of Mother Nature.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My mind was working overtime and my imagination was like that of a 60s “flower child” who had taken a hallucinogenic drug. I took several pics of the rock I had named “Alien Rock” trying to capture what I was seeing in my mind. I think the above pic was the best picture to portray what I was seeing and I hope you can see it too.
To me it looks like an alien’s head slowly ascending out of the water just revealing its eyes and nostrils that had just broke the surface of the water. I imagined it rising completely out of the water revealing a body as tall as the bluffs around it.
Well, maybe I am losing it. Maybe the crazy stuff going on in the world is finally taken its toll on me. Maybe I have drank too many Jack and Cokes in my life time. Naw, one can’t drink too many Jack and Cokes. I got it, I need to quit drinking the kool-ade! That’s it!
“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulghum; All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Thoughts On Common Things
Was the alien there extracting lead from underneath the river bed; after all this is part of the old lead belt, or was he looking for a McDonald’s fish filet sandwich? Maybe he is stashing green kryptonite in case he ever had a run in with Superman? Was he a game warden in disguise spying on me. Oh so many possibilities!
Hello, earth to Wayne. Well back to regular programming. Once I figured out what the alien was doing I began floating back to what the locals call the “Bone Hole” and fished as I went. I managed to catch a small largemouth and several small perch. I think the alien must have scared the fish off. Oh crap, it is getting dark. Where did that alien go? I am skeered I tells ya!
“Logic will get you from A to Z; Imagination will get you everywhere”. – Albert Einstein
I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. I am a firm believer that great artists ( painters, writers, musicians, etc.) are full of imagination. I feel it is a must to be really good at what you do. I think we need to emphasize it more than we do. One can not suffer from too much imagination; well maybe I need to rethink that one.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is deeply appreciated. Remember to spread the love.
“The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.” – John Muir
It was a little late in the evening when I decided to load the yak and do some fishing on the Big River. I spent more time taking photos than fishing. There was a hint of the approaching fall season on the leaves of the trees. The temp however left one shaking their head in disbelief, as I did, wondering if we were going to bypass fall this year. I could see that my sanctuary was preparing itself for a dance with autumn.
“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano, Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)
The river is my sanctuary. I feel safe there. I feel content and satisfied no matter how bad life has been to me. You can talk to the river and if you listen very carefully you will here its answer manifested in the sounds of the rapids or the croaking bull frogs. The river has been responsible for some great concerts in the past. It usually starts with a choir of crickets and bull frogs, followed by the bass created by the beaver slamming its tail upon the water. Then if you are lucky you will hear a pack of coyotes join in with their howl and high pitched yips. If there is a full moon overhead reflecting its beautiful light upon the river; then it is a perfect night.
In my sanctuary I recharge my spirit and cleanse my soul. I become one with the river. If you learn to use Mother Nature’s river you will be surprised at what it can do for your self esteem. If you have never meditated on the river you have no idea how you can really cleanse the garbage from your mind that you acquired by the negativity that tried to creep into your life.
The next time you are on the river slow down and observe what really goes on. Focus on all the wild life that lives within the banks of the river. Do yourself a favor and even start keeping a Journal of your time on the river. Notice how the riparian system works to make the river better. There are so many things that work together to keep the river alive. If you have never been on the river then by all means make plans to visit a river near you.
As a point of clarification, I really do like all rivers even the big ones. I prefer the Ozark streams to the Mississippi or the Missouri. The Show Me State has been blessed with several pristine streams. The Bourbeuse, Current, Jacks Fork, Meramec, Courtois, Black, Eleven Point just to name a few.
Now for the part that gets my panties in a wad and always will. PUHLEASE! Pack your trash out with you. Don’t leave it laying around on the sand and gravel bars. NEWS FLASH!!!! One does not need a special permit to buy trash bags. They are readily available and if you need instructions as how to use them I would be glad to give you instructions. No one has ever reported any deaths that can be attributed to picking up your trash.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
John Muir was known as “John of the Mountains” . He loved the wilderness but had a special place in his heart for the mountains. My friend David Tripp calls me the “river sage” which in return I usually give a pretty good chuckle. I love the wilderness also but I call the river my sanctuary.
I want to thank everyone that took the time to read my blog. Thank you. (All photographs were taken by me.)
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St. Joe Park is located in the old “lead Belt” area and is made up of 8,238 acres that was donated to Missouri in 1976 by the St. Joe Minerals Corp after ceasing operations in 1972. It has an off-road vehicle area, two campgrounds, equestrian camping and trails, hiking and bicycling trail, picnic sites and lakes for swimming and fishing.
The historic mill buildings still stand on the site and it has been designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site. They also have a museum that houses some of the old mining equipment along with an impressive collection of geological specimens.
There are four stocked lakes in St. Joe. Monsanto is the largest that is 30 feet at the deepest point and around 25 acres. Then there is Apollo Lake, JoLee Lake and Pim Lake which is the smallest. Boats can be used in all four but only electric motors are allowed. They do rent kayaks and canoes. One drawback to me, that definitely keeps me from getting too attached to this place, is the hours of operation. From April – September the lake opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 8 a.m.; October – March 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.. I really wish they would reconsider their hours.
If you want to fish Apollo or JoLee lakes, you must obtain a fishing pass from the park office. There are no launch fees. One can catch bass, crappie, catfish and an assortment of pan fish or perch. The park uses a “slot limit” of 12 inches to 15 inches for bass. You can keep anything under 12 and over 15 but you can’t keep fish that fall in the slot. One practice they do that I do like is that they pass a card so you can record your catch of the day so that they can have an idea of what is being caught. It is done anonymously.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
I have fished Lake Monsanto three times. It is a peaceful place through the week however on the weekend it can draw a crowd. The lake has a lot of mill foil in it and a lot of standing timber and a multitude of objects to get your line hung up on.
I prefer to use a Rapala floating minnow. If you watch what you are doing you don’t get hung up as bad. I also use the live bait mode also: night crawlers. If I am out there just to relax I just use an empty hook. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give Lake Monsanto a 5. If the state would change the fishing hours to allow early and late evening hours I could learn to like it a little more. (Hint, hint) Maybe even issue a special permit if a person wanted to do some late night catfishing.
Someone asked me the other day if I ever get tired of fishing. For the record, “no”. I can never get enough fishing. When I am fishing I can feel my spirit feeding off the positive energy of Mother Nature. I sleep better when I have had a full day of fishing.
Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to spread the love.
“Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.” – Mark Twain
This a true story however the names have been changed to protect the pranksters. No humans were hurt and there was said that you could hear equine laughter throughout the barn.
One morning some years back, I arrived at ABC Stables where I had scheduled 4 complete sets of shoes. I backed the trailer into the area set up for farriers and I began setting up to shoe horses.
The barn had hired a barn manager about 3 years before. He was an old cowboy who had paid his dues. Quite the jovial sort of fellar. Everyone called him Bubba. He really enjoyed a good chaw of tobacco and was an excellent horse handler. He was there to hold the first horse I was shoeing that morning because sometimes he didn’t particularly like my cologne or something and would make my life as miserable as a horse possibly could.
Now we are down to the last character in the story. He was kind of like Tiny Tim, Dirty Harry and Barney Fife all rolled into one. We called him Jim Bob. Now Jim Bob had just recently bought a 15.1 hand buckskin quarter horse. Now it just so happened that he bought it off a fella by the name of John Boy. Now John Boy was such a crook that he could make a used car salesman and a politician seem like outstanding citizens.
Now John Boy had told Jim Bob that the horse he sold him was 15 years old and only rode to bingo games by a little old lady from Pasadena. Well Jim Bob had the vet out to float his horse’s teeth and he asked the vet how old he thought the horse was. The vet without hesitation said 20 years old. Now Jim Bob had a slight dilemma, how old is ole Dobbin? This worked overtime on the mind of Jim Bob and the real problem was that Dobbin wasn’t registered so there was no record of his birth. All this is what led to the happenings in the barn on this particular morning.
I was shoeing the horse who on that morning was giving me fits because all I had was regular ole shoes and no “Air Secretariats”. Bubba was doing his best to make the ole horse stand still and it was about to get on our last nerve. Then, along came Jim Bob crying like some 3 year old child who had their ice cream stolen right out of their hands. Oh woe is me, I have a horse and I don’t know how old he is.
Well I wasn’t really in the mood to deal with him soooooooooooooo, DRUM ROLL, yep I said it, “Jim Bob there is one way to tell how old that horse is, count the anal rings and that will give you a real good idea how old he is.” Well Bubba almost swallered his tobacco and he chimes in, “Damn I forgot all about that!”
Jim Bob is standing there looking at me with this goofy look on his face and says, “Please tell me, how does one determine the age of a horse by counting the anal rings?” I said, well you know how a tree grows a ring for one year of age. A horse grows an anal ring for every 5 years of age. By now he is looking at me like I am crazier than a bedbug. He then says I can’t even believe that I talk to you two at which time Bubba and I blurt out at the same time, but it is the truth. He turns and walks away cussing us the whole time.
I was just getting ready to nail a shoe on the second horse I had to do when Bubba starts saying, lookie there, quick look. So I put the horse’s foot down and look down the shed row and………..yep, there was Jim Bob holding the horse’s tail up with one hand and running his finger around the rectum of Dobbin looking for anal rings.
Needless to say Bubba and I begin laughing so hard that Bubba almost swallered his tobacco again. I had tears running down my cheeks I was laughing so hard. Then…yep Jim Bob caught us laughing and was madder than a wet hen. He cussed us up one side and down the other. He didn’t talk to me for three months.
I hope you enjoyed my story. Thanks for reading and remember to spread the love.