“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level +with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.” Henry David Thoreau
nature – a creative and controlling force in the universe (Merriam-Webster)
Nature can be beautiful and peaceful, then without warning she can create a mile wide path of destruction in a few minutes and take lives along with it. After the storm clears Mother Nature can leave one speechless with her painting skills by painting a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
She gave the spider the ability to build a web of precision and beauty, then it is used to trap an unsuspecting victim, at which time the spider scampers from its hiding place to kill its prey. She painted insects colors that would blend in with its surroundings and male birds bright colors while she painted the females colors that would make it hard for enemies to see them.
Mother Nature use to keep things balanced in her world then along came man who thinks he is smarter than her. He creates pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified seeds and levees along the rivers. Then there is pollution and littering created by man. Roadsides are rife with litter and I don’t know how many sandbars i clean up along the river. Man is one of Mother Nature’s biggest enemies.
“Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.” Henry David Thoreau
Every time my eyes feast upon the sight of fall foliage I think how lucky I am to be able to enjoy the works of rt created by Mother Nature. I often wonder how long before litter dots the area that I am standing in. We have all ready made a large area of the Gulf of Mexico uninhabitable for sea life. When will the folks responsible for the litter and pollution start appreciating Mother Nature? Are we going to ever learn how important she is to our own existence?
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I ask all of you to slow down and really observe what Mother Nature has given us. Think before you throw that litter out of the window. Learn to respect her and appreciate her and help her keep nature balanced.
In Memory of
Thomas Robert Burnette
January 31, 1915 – November 14, 1992
“Mining is a dangerous profession. There’s no way to make a mine completely safe: These are the words owners have always used to excuse needless deaths and the words miners use to prepare for them.” – Tawni O’Dell
Mr Burnette was a resident of Flat River, MO and he worked in the lead mines. He worked at the St. Joe Lead Number 9 mine in Farmington, MO and at the Pea Ridge Mine. He dug ore for nearly 30 years. When he worked in the mines they didn’t do blood tests to check for lead poisoning. During his time in the mines he cut a finger off and got caught between two ore cars and suffered a broken hip that had to be pinned. After he healed up, back in the mines he went and worked there until he suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire at the age of fifty-eight. His daughter remembered seeing his checks and said he cleared fifty dollars a week. He was married and reared five children. He is just one of many who worked in the mines and his family is just one of many that have all the memories of their families working in the mines.
The Old Lead Belt is located deep within the eastern Ozarks of Missouri. The Southeast Missouri lead district is a major part of the lead belt and has been a major player in Missouri’s economic and social fabric for more than 280 years. In early 1700 a European by the name of Pierre Charles LeSeur led the first mineralogical expedition into the Mississippi Valley. Missouri’s ore deposits have made it the nation’s major source of ore for over 90 years. The abundant ore deposits brought thousands of workers to Missouri, where over the years they created 1,000 miles of abandoned multilevel mine tunnels, 300 miles of underground mainline railroad tracks and a legacy of 108 years of mining operations in the area.
Drum roll……………., I am stepping onto my soap box. Here is my beef. In 1923 St. Joe Lead CO. purchased the Federal Mill No. 3 lead-concentrating complex. They all ready owned nearly 950 acres in Bonne Terre that was bought in 1864. In late 1975 they donated the Federal mine mill complex and its adjoining lands to Missouri for the purpose of creating a state park. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources took possession of the 8,244 acre tract in 1976 and named it St. Joe Park and in 1980 the 25 acre mine mill was designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site.
I just visited the site along with Mr Burnette’s daughter and step son. I am appalled by the way the state is letting the old mill fall into ruination. I know money is tight but they could do more. This site holds a lot of memories for the miner families in Bonne Terre, Desloge, Park Hills and the surrounding areas. People died in these mines. Why let it die off? This could be an amazing tourist attraction for these towns. This site has so many possibilities. There is so much history here. PLEASE don’t let it fall down and disappear into the past.
The 16,00 square-foot mine-mill powerhouse is being developed into a large museum providing information and the history of the mining business in Missouri with displays and old mining machinery and a huge collection of minerals. It is a start but the site has the potential for so much more.
In 1981 Doug and Cathy Georgens bought the rights to the Bonne Terre Mine and invested their money in the mine and have built it into a diving mecca. They have daily tours also. I have took the tour myself and it is fascinating. The state of Missouri could save the history of mines in St. Joe and should do just that. I urge them to set up a fund that people can give to the mine exclusively. I also urge them to start funding the mine and start rehabbing the buildings. Please for the sake of those that worked in and died in the mines save the mine.
In closing I ask for anyone’s help in saving this mine. Please write your representatives and if you haven’t, take the tour. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Help save the history of Missouri’s mines.
“I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?” – Mother Teresa
I grew up in the 1960s during the Vietnam War, the British invasion of the Beatles, the assassination of John F Kennedy and when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr made his “I Have A Dream” speech, as well as his assassination. I also saw man walk on the moon.
It was also the time when young people began to revolt against conservative norms of the time and removed themselves from mainstream liberalism. A new “counterculture” was born. The participants in this new movement were known as “hippies”.
“To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.” – John Locke
How many of you remember the “Hippie”? Rejected established institutions, criticized the values of the middle class, the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons were a huge “no no”, championed sexual liberation, were often vegetarians, and promoted the use of psychedelic drugs. Peace, love and drugs.
There was a lot of love to go around in this group. Often times living in communes. ridiculed and despised by most of America. Peace! Love! I think for the most part people were afraid of them because they didn’t understand them. This is purely my opinion and I have no facts to back it up. One thing for sure is that today’s society could use some of the love they were trying to spread around.
Love thy neighbor! How can you love your neighbor if you don’t know them? Why don’t we know our neighbors? Are we too busy? We don’t care? Trust issues? I remember when everyone in the neighborhood knew each other and when someone was in need the others were there. Neighbors cared about each other and were like one big family. I can’t remember where it all changed. Maybe it changed so slowly I just missed it but how I wish those days would return. Neighbors looked out for each other and their property.
I hope one day America can return to those days. It is still alive and enjoyed by much of rural America. Hopefully some day it will catch on in urban America and take root in the cities. Personally I think society could benefit from everyone loving their neighbor like they love themselves.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and if you did then please hit the like button. Love thy neighbor, be kind to one another and spread the love.
Is it that we are afraid of them because we don’t understand them
“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” – John Muir
I came upon this quote a couple of years ago and since then I have revisited it several times. It has tugged on my mind from time to time and caused me to think heavily upon it. I realize it is short but there is a lot to learn from these few words.
Funny how life works. I for some reason could never exactly wrap my little mind around this quote a friend called and in conversation mentioned a work by Ralph Waldo Emerson titled “Circles”. My good friend encouraged me to read it and a light bulb went off over my head like in the cartoons. Nature is nothing more than a circle.
Native Americans were very spiritual and they believed dearly in the Sacred Circle. The power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. Everything the power of the world does is done in a circle. The sky is round, earth is round, moon is round, bird’s nest is round and the sun is round. Their tipis were even round.
The butterfly lays an egg, the egg hatches and becomes a caterpillar, then the caterpillar forms a cocoon then another butterfly emerges. The riparian system along the rivers are constantly repairing themselves except where man has made it impossible for it to repair itself. Leaves on the trees appear in the springtime and give shade to the forest floor so plants can grow. The leaves drop off in the fall and then fall to the ground where they self compost into the ground adding the nutrients that plants and trees need for proper growth. Perfect circles of existence.
The creatures of nature have no time to rest. Have you ever watched a spider spin its web? I spent three hours one day watching just that. How could something that seemed so simple be so fascinating? I never saw something work so hard non-stop. The intricate design of the web itself left me speechless. The spider worked relentlessly against the wind and every time there was a setback the spider would overcome and work on. Nature provides creatures with food during the spring, summer, and fall, then they are on their own. Just an example of the circle of life in nature. The weak will not make it and they will die and that spring newborns will take their place.
Nature is so much more than pretty flowers, trees, animals and sunsets/sunrises. It has to balance things too as it goes along. Man has made that job pretty hard by meddling in Nature’s business. When we eliminate predators the end result is more animals that multiply unchecked because of our interference. We add levees and cause major flooding instead of just leaving it alone and letting Nature take care of it.
Nature can be relentless and forgiving. Nature can create a tornado that leaves destruction for miles and when the storm moves on, produce the most breathtaking painting anyone ever saw in the form of a rainbow.
” The laws of nature are written deep in the folds and faults of the earth. By encouraging men to learn those laws one can lead them further to a knowledge of the author of the laws.” – John Joseph Lynch
Man needs to learn these laws and everything in nature would happen in a perfect circle. We build levees and dams to tame the rivers, we develop chemical applications to control bugs, weeds and unwanted grasses. When we do this we interrupt that natural circle. We do it in order, supposedly, to produce more food with less expense. We do it in the name of saving the world. What if we push Nature to the point that she deems it necessary to rid herself of meddling humans in the form of volcanoes, massive earthquakes, “perfect storms” etc.?
It is time for us to do something about all of the polluting and destruction of Mother Earth. Clean up the trash that plaques the countryside. It is time to start respecting Mother Nature. I do a lot of floating and I don’t know how many gravel bars I have cleaned up, It disgusts me the lack of respect my fellow humans have for what Nature has given us.
This is a subject I am very passionate about. It sickens me when I see all the litter along the roads and countryside. It is time to give Nature the respect she deserves. I am sorry this was a little long. I apologize. I hope you enjoyed my blog. If you liked it please hit the “like” button to let me know. Thanks for reading.
“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.” – William Hazlett
I grew up in the 60s and I used to watch my grandma and mom can. They canned everything from sausage, fish to dill pickles and beets. Sometimes she would can 75 quarts of green beans. I remember how great they tasted.
I recently canned some catfish tomatoes and thought I would share it with those that can. My grandparents were from Arkansas and this is the recipe my grandma had. They go real well with fish and I love it with BBQ. I hope you like them.
Grandma’s Catfish Tomatoes
1 gallon quartered green tomatoes
1 pint hot peppers cut up
1 pint white vinegar
1 quart quartered onions
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup salt
Bring to a boil or until tomatoes turn light green. Gently stir a couple of times. Once they come to a boil take them off the heat and spoon them into jars and seal. They don’t need a bath. Note: It doesn’t seem like a lot of liquid but as they cook the tomatoes create a lot of liquid. I also recommend you cook in steel not aluminum.
Well thanks for reading my blog. Hope you enjoyed it. Warning: It is spicy. Enjoy!
“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron
Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I have been fascinated by nature. It has always had a calming effect on me and when surrounded by it a place to think. We are lucky to have so much wilderness at our disposal so that we can experience it first hand and not have to just see it in pictures. There are some people who have never had that opportunity and I am very grateful that I have been able to enjoy it first hand.
I have been lucky enough to view nature from horseback, a kayak and backpacking. When it seemed like the world was closing in on me and I became anxious I would load my horse up and take off some where on the weekend and ride and camp out. As I would ride along the trails drinking in the beauty of nature I could feel all the negativity in my life melt away and I would become relaxed and refreshed. The effect nature had on me always amazed me. It was a natural sedative for the troubles I had bottled up inside of me.
My favorite gift of nature has to be the river. It is so easy for me to become one with the river. The water that flows between the banks makes the river and gives life to the river like the blood that runs through my veins gives me life. I am at peace with myself on the river. As I drink in the beauty of the river along with its mysteries, my spirit begins recharging itself and my soul awakens making me feel very much alive. Aggravation begins to shed itself from my mind and I feel a new tranquility surround me.
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature’s sources never fail.” – John Muir
Don’t take my word for it. Take the time and go out and discover nature for yourself. Close your eyes and listen to everything around you then open your eyes and absorb all the beauty around you into your mind. You will be glad you did.
“I believe that there is a magnetism in Nature,which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” – Henry David Thoreau
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. If you liked it please hit the “like” button. Be kind to one another, spread the love and take time to enjoy nature.
”Distance is only as far as we let it be” – Wayne White
Living proof that even a blind hog can find an acorn once in a while. This quote came about one day while interacting on Facebook with my friend David Tripp. He was on his way back to Texas after a week of fishing and visiting in Missouri. He was talking about the geographical distance between Missouri and Texas but we didn’t seem that far apart.
With new technology and social media we have, there is no reason that a thousand mile separation has to seem that far away. There are so many tools available to us today that we can change the feeling of being so far away. We can virtually call anywhere in the United States and stay in touch. We can share posts on Facebook, IM each other, use our phones to text one another and use apps like Skype, Linked In, Twitter and so many others to stay in touch.
With all the available tools we have at our disposal there is no reason that a thousand miles has to feel like a long way. We can share our vacation as is happening. We don’t have to come home and get pictures developed or set up the movie camera to share our vacation with friends and family. We can do it as it is happening.
I remember the Bell telephone commercial sometime in the 70s that use to say ” Reach out and touch someone.” and I had no idea what he future had in store for us. I know the verdict is still out as to whether all this new technology is good or bad for us, however it can make us feel like next door neighbors even if we are separated by a thousand miles.
“Technology gives us the facilities that lessen the barriers of time and distance – the telegraph and cable, the telephone and radio, and the rest.” – Emily Greene Balch (Note: Born January 8, 1867 Died January 9, 1961)
Thank you for reading my blog. If you liked it please let me know. Be kind to one another, spread the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.
“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” – Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
I have had some people ask me what it is that attracts me so much to Big River so for this blog I thought I would share why this river has mesmerized me with its beauty and mystique I cherish so much.
Big River begins near the summit of Johnson Mountain near the ghost town of Enough. It flows through the Missouri counties of Washington, Saint Francois and Jefferson then it empties into the Meramec River near Eureka, MO. It flows through Washington State Park, St. Francois State Park and through the Lead Belt mining district. It meanders 145 miles through the Missouri countryside. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, rock bass, longear sunfish, bluegill, channel catfish, flathead catfish and red horse suckers are some of the fish that can be found in the Big River.
“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the river words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.” – Norman Maclean A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
I seem to always be drawn to big the Lead Belt area of the Big River. The 108 years of mining in that area took a toll on the Big River in the form of contamination by lead. There is a contamination warning on certain kinds of fish caught in the Big River. There are pipes that go into the old mines that are still in the river. I am not sure what they were used for. I was told that they were old test holes, used to pump water out of the mines and numerous other things but do not know for a fact what exactly they were used for.
I spend a lot of time camped out at night in this area. It seems to hold so much mystery within the banks of the river. Sometimes there seems to be a presence with me as I go about my night of running limb lines and sitting by the camp fire. Not an evil presence but like another presence in another dimension. Sometimes when I am running limb lines and the fog is lifting it looks like spirits rising from the mines out of the water on their way to somewhere else. Some nights it even makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. Oddly enough it is a pleasant feeling. At times I have even thought that maybe they are wanting to share their secrets with me. Maybe it is the past inhabitants of the ghost town Enough wanting to converse with me. The mystery stirs my soul deep inside hoping that one day they will share those secrets with me. One night while I was sitting by the fire I smelled cigarette smoke like someone was sitting right next to me smoking a cigarette. Am I crazy? Maybe, maybe not.
A couple other things that attract me to the Big River is the beautiful scenery and last but not least the fishing. My photos will never do the beauty of the river justice. The tall bluffs and rock formations and the lined banks of beautiful trees make the Big River a great place to float and enjoy life. If the river could talk I wonder what it would say. Would it tell me about the people that came before me, tell me about how it was before they started mining. Oh the things it could share with me.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog. I hope you find it interesting. Maybe some night you will get to camp along the banks of the Big River and you can tell me if I am crazy or not. Be kind to one another, spread the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself
Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
Life can be so complicated and full of twists and turns. Are you living it to the fullest or are you just merely nothing more than a slave. Are you one that runs up your credit cards? Do you live from paycheck to paycheck? Do you suffer from instant gratification? Instead of saving the money to buy something one buys the merchandise on a credit card because they want it now. So you run up your cards and you can’t pay it off. Now you are a slave to the banks/credit cards. Credit cards can become a financial burden that can make it harder to enjoy life.
Are you a workaholic? You just have a need to work. If you are then you need to step back and reevaluate where you are. If you are single then you are only hurting yourself but if you are married, then the whole family suffers. You will begin losing touch with your family. Children need their mother AND father.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”– Norman Cousins
When we are young it seems we have so many dreams and things we want to accomplish in life and then as we grow older some of those things start to die a slow death. Perhaps it is because we give up too soon or as we grew older we lost interest or in our mind, thought they weren’t attainable. Never give up.
“It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
I realize I am no one special, no doctor or shrink but I am going to share what I think one needs to do to live life. Slow down, look around and take a good look at the things in nature that surround you. Maybe my elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top but I take great joy in watching a honey bee work a flower, a spider spin it’s web. I love to hear the birds singing in early dawn as I watch the sun rise. I love sitting on the river and watch the wildlife starting their day in the early morning dawn. At night on the river I listen to the symphony presented by the bull frogs and crickets. The crack of a beaver’s tail warning the others. These things are simple but rejuvenate the spirit. The greatest thing is they cost you absolutely nothing but slowing down and taking the time to enjoy them. That my friends is what I call living life at its fullest.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If you like please let me know. Be kind to one another, spread the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.
“In the end, the whole internet thing kills me. because you can use it as a positive thing or you can read into all the negativity. And I think you’ve gotta put out positive energy, put out cool viral stuff, and then just stay out of people’s opinions.” – Nikki Sixx
I use to be one of those that laughed when I heard people talk about negative and positive energy. Yeah right! Drink some more kool- ade. Then when I was going through a tough time I started thinking about it more and reading what I could about it. Sooooooo I began living the idea and I could tell it helped immensely.
My biggest challenge was social media. The internet seems to be becoming overrun with negativity. So many people seem to dwell on the negativity that it isn’t long before you start losing sight of all the positive things in your life.
“Negativity spreads faster than any Justin Bieber song.” – Vanilla Ice
Negativity can destroy enthusiasm, destroy self esteem, cause anger and hate, and can cause depression. It can cause you to lose friends and alienate from those special people in your life. It also kills our creativity.
The picture I chose represents the fast paced world we live in. I believe that causes a lot more negativity in our lives. We need to spend more time just for ourselves and take more time relaxing. We need to focus on our dreams and goals and keep the negativity from ruining those things for us. We need to laugh more, enjoy life more and surround ourselves with those that love us.
“The thing that I have learned is that there really is no joy, and nothing ever good is going to come from negativity. Those are thoughts that, even if you were presenting an honest version of yourself, there’s just no point in sharing.” – Stephen Amell
Thanks for reading. I hope you found my blog helpful. Be kind to one another, spread the love, and don’t squat with your spurs