Life Is Like A River

St Francis River

On a recent visit to Silver Mines Recreation Area, I sat and watched the water of the river flowing under the bridge located in the park.

When we arrived at the park the water was up and running over the bridge I was sitting on, now watching the river run under the bridge. Like life the river has its lows and highs.

St Francis River

As I sat looking up river I watched as the river rolled past the rocks headed for its final destination. It rolled past the rocks so gracefully not letting it stop it or slow it down. These rocks could represent the obstacles in our life. We need to approach our obstacles in life like the river deals with the rocks. We need to learn to roll around them and leave them behind us like the river and be thankful they are behind us.

St Francis River

At the end of the rapids there are deeper pools of slow moving water. Those waters represent the slow, peaceful times in our life when we can relax and enjoy the peace in our lives. A time when we can reflect back on where we have been and what we have accomplished. A time to be thankful for surviving all the obstacles we have faced.

Shabby Chic Painted Rooster

Shabby Chic Painted Rooster

Today the city of Caledonia had its Blackberry Festival, and the little town was flooded with visitors from out of town. We decided to take some time and go check it out. While walking around the little village the Shabby Chic Painted Rooster was able to grab our attention and we decided to take a closer look inside.

The shop is known for their famous Fragrance Cookie and Tart Melts, and Warmers, Goat’s Milk Soap, Lotion, Hand Crafted Sweatshirts, Vintage Items and Home Decor. Hours: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday their hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m… They are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There was plenty to see and had a great selection of items for sale. You can reach them at 636-232-8509 and they are located at 129 S State Hwy 21, Caledonia, MO 63631. shabbychicpaintedrooster@yahoo.com

The Campfire

“The campfire is the most important part of camping. It’s far more than just a source of heat or light. It’s the heart of civilization. All other activities revolve around the fire.”

David Lubar

Many a night I have sat in front of a campfire and watched the flames perform their magical dance. A campfire can calm the soul and renew the spirit.

It’s a place where stories are born, world problems are solved and some of the biggest fish are caught. It’s a place for singing with an acoustic guitar showing up occasionally.

The campfire is used to roast hot dogs, make s’mores a favorite of the young ones. Let us not forget it is the perfect place to tell a ghost story.

If you have never sat around a campfire put it on your bucket list. A lot of friendships have been made around the campfire.

Pickle Springs Natural Area

Pickle Springs Natural Area is located in St. Genevieve County in Missouri. Inside the area is a 1.9-mile loop that is rated moderate. Average time to cover trail is 52 minutes. It is popular among hikers, trail runners and bird watchers. The trail is open all year-round, but you will have to leave your pups at home. Dogs aren’t allowed.

The area was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1974. Inside the area you will find unique rock outcroppings, seasonal waterfalls, bluff overlooks, shallow caves and be prepared to cross wet weather creek crossings. You might want to take along a pair of binoculars or camera. There is ample wildlife to spot. The area has some steep uphill climbs, bridged creek crossings and you will find the trail is well maintained.

You will find 250 species of vascular plants and rose azalea. Creek inhabitants include four toed salamanders, pickerel frogs, green frogs and southern leopard frogs. Also found in the creek is a crustacean, amphipod, known to be only found here.

From Farmington, MO, take Highway 32 east, then Route AA east, and Dorlac Road north.

People Are Great

I don’t remember when I started blogging but I have been doing it for awhile. I have met some great people blogging. I have learned a great deal about lizards had Saturday morning coffee and learned about the deep cold a friend experiences way up north. There are so many that I have met and I consider them friends.

Everyone of you are special to me and I enjoy your work. I did receive a very nice comment on my Aging post and the crazy thing I really needed to hear that. It really made my day. Thank you sooooo much.

In closing I want you to know that every like and comment I get is very appreciated. I can’t thank you all enough really.

Aging and Birthdays

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Mark Twain

I have never been big on celebrating my birthday. I remember one year my mom called to wish me happy birthday. I told her it wasn’t my birthday, I didn’t know what day of the month it was but it didn’t stop me from opening my mouth and inserting my foot. My mother was quick to remind me that she was there for the delivery, yes she said it, and that she should know. Once again mom was right.

I remember as a kid I thought 40 was old. I thought you moved into the old folks home at that age. I had no idea how wrong I was. As I celebrated my 25th birthday, I came to realize that people lived into their 60s, 70s, and even 80s. Ok I never said I was the sharpest tool in the shed.

I never really thought I would make it to my 60s. But to my surprise I just turned 68. I have reached that point in life where my body and mind seem to be arguing a lot. My body says you really aren’t going to do that are you? You better think about what you are doing and my mind says hold my Geritol and watch this!

Devil’s Honeycomb Trail (Hughes Mountain)

Located in the Hughes Mountain Natural Area is a trail called Devil’s Honeycomb Trail. It consists of glades, savanna, old fields and it is half forest. Polygonal columns of rhyolite make up what the locals call the Devil’s Honeycomb and is located at the highest point of the mountain. It is one of Missouri’s geologic wonders.

Around 1.5 billion years ago the rocks were liquefied by volcanoes associated with the St. Francois Mountains. The molten rock contracted, and as it cooled cracked and created multi-sided columns and created a rhyolite formation that locals named the Devil’s Honeycomb. The Precambrian rock outcrops are among the most ancient, exposed rocks in the United States.

The Hughes Mountain Natural Area is located off highway M, 3 miles southeast of Irondale.

Are Black and White Photos Appealing?

“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.”

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams was an American landscape photographer and environmentalist. He was well known for his black and white images of the American West. He created many black and white masterpieces, but I think his most famous is “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome. I know the first time I saw it I wanted to be a photographer.

I am a long way from being an Ansel Adams but I like black and white pictures. I just don’t know that there is really a good market for it. I guess I will find out. The top photo is a picture I took of one of the buildings that was used to process iron ore located in Park Hills, MO. It is now the property of Missouri and is a part of St. Joe Park. It has been designated a Historic Mine Site.

Building located within St. Joe Park and was used in the processing of iron ore.
A conifer located in Hughes Mountain Natural Area near Irondale, MO.
Cedar tree located in Hughes Mountain Natural Area that has seen better days.
The view on Hughes Mountain.

I recently was able to take a hike on the Hughes Mountain Natural Area trail. The trail is rated moderate is an out-and-back trail, 1.6 miles long.

I decided to be creative.
Some more of my creativity.

I hope you enjoyed my photos. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Color or black and white?

Hughes Mountain Natural Area

Hughes Mountain is located in southern Washington County in Missouri. The area was designated a natural area in 1982. It is made up of a combination of igneous glades and three types of forests. Precambrian rock outcrops found in the area are 1.5 billion years old making them among the most ancient, exposed rocks in the United States.

The area is named after the first European settler, who arrived in 1810, John Hughes. The Conservation Department purchased the land from the Hughes family. The rhyolite formation located at its highest point is known by locals as the Devil’s Honeycomb. Because of my late start and other time restraints I was unable to make my way to this area. Another trip is planned for the near future.

Glades located within the area are natural openings located on the western and southern slopes where native grasses and a variety of wildflowers can be found. Glade plants include little bluestem, broomsedge, poverty grass, flame flower, prickly pear cactus, yellow star grass, spiderwort, and wild hyacinth.

The trail is 1.6 miles long and is an out-and-back trail near Irondale, MO. I found it to be a moderately challenging trail but was fairly well maintained with trail arrows. On average it takes 48 minutes to complete however time gets away from you when snapping photos. The trail is open year round and dogs are welcome but they must be on a leash. The trail is popular among birders, hikers and runners. However, if you see me running, run, because something is chasing me.

NOTE: All pictures were taken by me and the property of Double D Acres LLC and may not be used without my permission.

More to A Photo

Storm moving in

Pictures can only show what is happening. Being void of sound and smell it leaves the viewer to their own imagination to fill in the rest.

How about you? When you look at a photo do you stop there or do you imagine more?

When you look at the above photo do you imagine the sound of thunder in the distance? Can you feel the breeze from the storm and smell the coming rain in the air? Can you hear the wind in the trees?

I am one who try’s to add another element to the photo that the photographer can’t. It adds a new dimension and can even add to the excitement of the photo.

It would be interesting to hear what others think.