UPDATED Monday morning - meeting the cubs

03/01/10 It is early this morning, the girls have gone off to school, and as the sky turns from black to navy blue to something lighter (it is cloudy so no sky blue this morning) I am looking forward to a brand new month, warmer temps, and lots of RAIN!

I had a long to-do list yesterday, but by noon I was ready to hide the list and head out the door. And so I did, taking the two dogs with me (my lovely bride had to make a run up to Missouri to collect Amber). It was about half sunny and the other half cloudy, with the temp climbing up towards 50, which felt just warm and wonderful. I decided to hike with a purpose, so I drove over and parked near a drainage that I had never set foot in before. My plan was to follow a depression in the forest downhill all the way to a main creek that flowed through the area, with the hopes of finding a waterfall somewhere along the way. I didn't have a clue if there would be any there, but the topography was right, there were bluffs in the area, and we had some water flowing, although not enough water so I did not bother to haul my big camera gear with me, only a point and shoot. This would be half-work, but also half pleasure just to get out and enjoy a warm and wonderful early-spring afternoon in the woods with my dogs. Also both Aspen and I continue to grow wider, so we really needed the exercise!

The upper part of the drainage was clogged with lots of ice damage - once tall and impressive giant trees that had been looked up to for eons had been toppled and were now obstacles that I had to climb over and around, which made the going tough, but with Lucy in the lead she often found more open lanes for me to go through. Amazing how much damage that big ice storm last year did - damage that will last for a long time. One thing about hiking through the damage out in the open forest instead of along a trail or old road is that you are free to wander around and through the maze instead of being forced to a certain corridor where you have to climb over it all. I ended up hiking a lot farther to go around this stuff, but that was OK - it was all downhill and pretty easy.

The gentle terrain quickly turned into very steep and rugged terrain, and in places it was tougher to find suitable lanes to hike/slide down through in between all of the giant trees. But eventually I got below the ice damage altitude and it was clear sailing from that point on down. The depression had turned into an actual creek, with flowing water and lots of small boulders - many of them moss-covered and pretty. This little creek was soon joined with another creek coming in from the left, which doubled the flow of water. Looking up from the intersection I realized that I had already dropped down quite a ways from my car. It was STEEP country!

Since the walls of the canyon were now so darn steep, I decided to just hike along in the bottom of the creekbed, which at that point was nearly level and easy walking. Aspen enjoyed splashing in every pool he could find. Lucy - always the trailblazer, charged on ahead to see what she could find, sometimes even running up out of the creekbed to scale to steep canyon walls above - she is not a water lover.

And then I looked ahead and saw the creekbed disappear - YES, that is what I was looking for! I also could see another main drainage coming in from my right, a drainage that looked as large as the one I had been hiking down. There are many twin falls in Arkansas, and there are at least two different types of "twins" possible. The classic Twin Falls - like in the Richland Creek Wilderness - is where two different creeks meet right at the spot where a bluffline crosses them - one pours over the bluff from the left side, the other from the right side, and both pour into the same pool below and become one. The other type is where two falls are created from a single creek that is split at the point where it pours over a bluff, which is what Compton's Double Falls is - and also Triple Falls near Camp Orr.

The falls that I came upon was the first kind, and is rare - two different creeks met and poured over the same bluffline, and the emerald pool below was just beautiful! I sat down to let the GPS unit fix on this location, then scrambled around a little bit to have a good look at what I had found. Neither falls was very tall - perhaps 12 - 15 feet - but the setting was really nice. Was this worthy of putting in the guidebook? I would have to reserve judgement for the next time I visited - which would be when there was a lot more water. We'll see.

I continued on downstream above the creekbed, but soon was forced to drop into the creekbed due to the very steep and tall side walls of the canyon. It was easy hiking down in there as the creek was wide and pretty level. And soon I came upon another waterfall, shorter than the twin falls, but still very nice. And it emptied into a beautiful emerald pool. But there was no way for me to get down below, so I was pushed on up the steep side slope once again. Both sides of the creek were now blufflines and I was unable to return to the creekbed. As I passed another neat little waterfall I sat down to look the situation over - it was really nice down in there, but I could not find any way to get down - blocked by bluffs on both sides. It was REALLY steep and rugged, and was difficult to even stand up where I was. Looking downstream I could see yet another waterfall, but the earth fell away from this one and I could tell it was going to be a very nice waterfall - but could I get down to it? No way for me to access the upper part, so I hunted around for access to the bottom.

Aspen and Lucy both helped me search for a way down and finally we found it - after having to climb up and over several GIANT beech trees that had been toppled by the ice storm - or perhaps by wind damage. I landed on the creek about a hundred feet below the waterfall, and I could tell it was a nice one - YIPPIE! A small horseshoe canyon had been created by the bluffs curving through the creek, and hidden in the back was the waterfall, being guarded by a pair of large boulders. It was like walking into a dream - there were curtains of icicles, painted bluffs, and the waterfall spilling into an emerald pool - just beautiful! This falls was the tallest of the bunch, probably 20 feet tall, and the setting was SO NICE. But it was a bit of a hump to get down into this waterfall, and of course, I had to hike back OUT also - still not sure if it was going into the guidebook or not.


I continued on downstream, knowing I was about to join the main creek in the area, and I passed a beautiful emerald pool that only had a small falls feeding it. I jumped up onto a large flat boulder next to it and snapped a photo. My goodness these pools are just so beautiful right now - I keep saying that word - guess I need to find something else to say, but they would all mean the same thing! Soon I reached the end of the drainage and all three of us sat down for a rest alongside the larger creek.


Looking up, I spotted something - another drainage coming into the main valley floor only a couple hundred feet away - that was not normal. And then a light bulb went off - I had been there before. Many moons ago I followed along the top of the main tall bluffline in this wilderness area to a point where there was a split in the bluff. Below the bluff I quickly came to an amazing "triple" waterfall - a single creek had split into thirds. And this falls was pouring off the big bluff - the falls was at least 70 feet or more tall. Since this tall waterfall was out in the middle of no where I never did include it in the guidebook, but now that I have discovered this other really neat waterfall down here low and nearby, I think this area will most certainly be included! (I will have to return when the water if higher to take photos of both.) One other note about the tall falls above - the area around the base of that waterfall was filled with blooming umbrella magnolia trees, and their aroma filled my lungs with their heavy nectar. Plus the sun was shining and there was a broad rainbow - it was like a tropical paradise!

While I was sitting there in the creekbed yesterday, plotting the route I would take to get back UP to my car, Aspen made a discovery - the skull and horns of an eight-point buck! He doesn't get to gnaw on wild bones very often and I could tell he was a happy camper. The deer had probably died of natural causes since we were so far away from any roads, and deer season had been so long ago that the bones would probably have already been eaten by local rodents. I let Aspen play for a little while, then we gathered up and turned towards the top of the mountain.


It was REALLY STEEP at first, and I got lucky and the bluffline was mostly broken up and so we were able to make it up through that area just fine - other than being fat and out of shape. Up, up, and UP we went, until we got to the top of the ridge and the terrain leveled out. The next half mile or so was just wonderful easy hiking through open forest. There was one area that was clogged with what seemed like a thousand small beech trees, each covered with tons of soft, golden leaves that were glowing in the warm afternoon sunshine. And then we got into the ice damage, and the next half mile was not much fun - giant trees down everywhere. But at least the terrain was mostly flat and easy hiking, it just took a while to find passage through all the mess. Finally we curved around the top of the ridge and made it back to the car. We ended up going in a big circle - just like I had planned - with the first part being all down the creekbed, and the return trip being up on top of the ridge. It had been a great hike for all of us, and a new waterfall to boot!

HEADS UP FOR A NEW WEB PAGE. At some point this week we are going to launch a completely new and revised web page - AND all of the internet addresses will CHANGE! For the time being we will include either automatic or manual links to the new pages, but eCLOUDLANDventually those will disappear so you will need to replace any bookmarks that you may have. Our HOPE is to join our online store with this Cloudland site, which means you won't have to go back and forth any more if you want to order books. My lovely bride has been working almost non-stop on the new page, designing it from scratch, including all of the online store stuff and secure shopping cart. It is all designed to make it easier for everyone. In the meantime, if you see glitches, this is why!

03/02/10 Just a quick update this morning. Something is going on with the weather maps. Yesterday the radar showed a mixture of rain/snow/ice here much of the day, yet not a single drop or flake of anything came down. This morning the radar is clear yet the girls got SNOWED on all during their drive down to Boxley to catch the bus. Yes, I know all of the explanations for this - but the bottom line is that we simply can't believe even the very accurate radar maps all the time - so why do we bother? (I just stepped outside to take the deck cam photo and it was snowing here too!)

Our friend and fellow photographer, Mark Hardgrave, will be giving another one of this great slide programs in Russellville this coming weekend. Mark is perhaps the best bear photographers in this part of the country, and this program will be filled with giant grizzly bears from Alaska, plus lots of beautiful scenery. It is all for charity, and you get to eat a lot of SWEET TREATS! The program is this Saturday March 6th at 7:00 pm at the Russellville First United Methodist Church.

03/04/10 It is VERY bright outside early this morning - looks like several days ahead of cheery blue skies and warmer temps. March is the beginning of spring, and while not much has sprung out green up in the hills yet, it is on the way and I expect to see the first wildflowers just about any day now. In fact that reminds me - I need to get out and hunt for the first flower - probably the very same actual flower that has been the first in line for the past several years.

I got to spend a lovely couple of hours yesterday with a group of young ladies from the Mountain Home area - all part of the WHO hiking club. We walked through forests of giant beech trees and tiny young beech trees too, with all of their golden leaves swaying in the warm noon-ish breezes. When I was getting ready to take a group photo of the ladies, I discovered that my camera was gone! Certainly I had not dropped it while on the trail since there were so many eyes to have found it. Later in the day I hiked back to a location where I had sat down next to a tree to grab a quick nap before the ladies arrived. I was quite excited to find my little camera, right where it slipped out of my pile vest pocket! By the way, just before the girls lined up for the group photo (I used their cameras), one of the white military jets we see here often flew over. I informed the girls that most of the time when one of these jets flies over the cabin, Pam will run outside and flash them - I told them it was just part of the wilderness that all women were expected to do. I didn't get any takers though!

I am on dog poop duty this morning. The girls left early this morning for Strawberry, Arkansas, where both of our Jasper HS basketball teams are in the state tournament (4-hour drive each way). I'm headed into town later for a long list of errands, which include a visit to the Animal Care Clinic in Fayetteville for the dogs annual checkup and shots (they have a special chair reserved just for Aspen since he visits so often!). Since the vet always wants a poop sample from each dog, instead of him "collecting" this while we are in his office, I always follow the dogs around in the woods until they make an automatic collection - I have small plastic bags with each dog's name on it. I guess I can add that to my list of VIP jobs - Head Dog Poop Collector!

Enjoy the sunshine while you can - I'm doing RAIN DANCES every day since I need RAIN, RAIN, AND LOTS MORE RAIN for waterfalls. You can always soak up the rays when summertime hits.

Our new web page is getting closer to going live - we hope maybe sometime in the next few days? I'll post the new link here when that happens.

OK, I'm off to the woods with my little plastic bags - hope you have a splendid day!

03/05/10 - I've added some of David Hadlock's photos from his trip into Boen Gulf - click here.


FIRST WILDFLOWER OF SPRING! It was the end of the day when I decided to go have a look and see if we had any wildflowers in bloom. Sure enough, the very same little trout lily was up and in bloom - YIPPIE! This same plant has been the first to bloom on our property for the past several years - no other flowers around it were even up out of the ground yet. From the looks of the bloom I suspect this flower had been in bloom for at least a couple of days, so for those who like to keep track, I would say that our first wildflower bloomed about March 3rd. This is pretty close to the average for here, so it looks like springtime is right on schedule!

03/07/10 It was a wonderful early spring day here yesterday, and I took the pups on a ramble around the mountain. We passed through wide-open forests of towering hickory, oak, black gum, and beech trees. The forest floor was soft and clean, but void of any wildflowers. In fact the only flower I saw was the little trout lily that is pictured above. That little flower must have some extra something in the root system since it always blooms early, often a week before any other flower in the area. 


A group of boulders on the other side of the river that we can see from the cabin - each is about the size of our cabin!

We hiked down to a little creek that was running clear, and even the small pools were emerald. I noticed that even Beaver Lake yesterday was GREEN. Must be something in the water this winter! (it is normally BROWN) Aspen enjoyed splashing around in all the pools and up the creek, although when he got into a deep pool and started to swim I had to stop him - he has a hole in his arm where a drain plug was removed on Thursday by the vet, and I didn't want him to fill up with water!

While the dogs played I sat down next to a small waterfall - it was only about two feet wide and no more than eight inches tall, but it was beautiful and a feeling of great joy came over me. I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to size - thinking that bigger is better - but that is not always the case in life, and certainly not with waterfalls. I'm always looking for the tallest ones, but there is great beauty in smaller falls too. I guess the point is to look for beauty in whatever you find - no need to haul a measuring tape into the woods with you!


Young beeches glowing in the afternoon sunshine


Benny has been busy plowing the new garden at their place - this is the cabin you see just before entering Cloudland

Now that we have had a bit of sunshine, please DO A RAIN DANCE so we can have lots of great WATERFALLS!

03/09/10 Something weird happened last night. There was a very strange noise outside. When I stepped out to investigate I was hit with an incredible aroma that I'd not smelled in a very long time. Could it be? YES! It was RAINING - YAHOO!!! Few things refresh the soul as much as rain, especially when it has been such a long time coming. And it rained for several hours. This morning as the sunshine broke through the clouds it revealed pure and clean and sweet air, void of the stinky smoke we've had of late. The river below remains green - not muddy or up and running wildly. This was a soaking rain, just what we needed right now. Waterfalls running better? Yes, but just by a little bit. We will need several inches a week to keep them up to peak, but I will take whatever I can get - but please keep up the rain dances!

The new web page has been up and running now for a couple of days with several thousand hits - so far, so good. OOPS, why did I say that?! (fingers crossed, breath held) For a while some of the files will remain on the old site (like the Journal archives), but most files will live at The old online store is still active, but we have links there to new web page for most of the products. The new web page and online store that my lovely bride created is great for customers (MUCH easier to find stuff on), and for us too (much easier to process your orders). We will continue to tweak things - let us know if you find any problems.

SPRING PHOTO WORKSHOPS. We only have a couple of spaces left in the April 23-25 waterfall (and whatever else we can find) shooting workshop, and still space left in the beginner's class on May 8th, the one-day photo workshop on May 15th, and the new Photoshop class on June 26th. See the workshop page for details.

Jonquils are blooming down in Boxley Valley, but they are not quite in bloom up here on the mountain just yet - probably will be in a few days though. I've not seen any blooming tree yet - the popcorn and wild plums will be the first. Then redbuds should begin to pop out in a couple of weeks, and finally in April the dogwoods will arrive. Wildflowers should begin to appear in the lower elevations in the next couple of weeks. And if we can get a few days of rain each week then we will have lots of waterfalls to view and enjoy all spring! I'll keep ya posted on all this as I find it.

03/12/10 Kind of weird light this morning. It is cloudy, very still with no wind, but it is rather yellow outside. I guess the clouds on the eastern horizon are thin and some of the early sunshine is filtering through. All of the corn that Pam has put out on rocks in the woods has disappeared again - deer. We must have the fattest deer on the mountain with three or four feeders nearby, and now Pam's rock corn feeder! All bird feeders have been moved to the windows in the drawing room to keep them away from bears.

A couple of days ago, just when it seemed like the cabin was going to BLOW away due to high winds, I decided it was time to head into the woods before the cabin took off like in the Wizard of Oz. I guess this would be considered a bushwhack - I had a destination in mind, instead of a ramble, where there is no place in particular I was headed. The locals historically have called it The Big Point, although I don't really know of any locals that have gone there in a long time. It is the very tip of a long, flat ridgetop that is just to the north of us, on the other side of Dug Hollow. Hiking there and back from here would give the dogs and I a nice hike and burn off a few calories.

The wind was blowing pretty good when we left, crossed the nose of the ridge that our cabin sits on, then dropped on down into Dug Hollow. I followed a patchwork of trails, fields, old logging roads, and my favorite - lots of bushwhacking through open forest! Well, SOME of the forest was open and easy hiking, but much of it had been damaged by the ice storm last year and the going was slow and rough. Soon I was standing next to the creek in Dug Hollow, much to the delight of Aspen, the water dog! The creek and waterfalls were all flowing and singing a nice tune for a windy day. But we did not linger long - this was the halfway point out to the Point.

Oh, but I must say that as I was dropping down into Dug Hollow the amazing aroma of WITCHHAZEL filled the air and my lungs - it was like, well, heck, there is nothing else like it! It is a scent quite unlike anything else, although White Shoulders perfume does come close. Funny though - I never saw a witchhazel bush, but there must have been a bunch blooming down in there somewhere.

We made our way around the top of the bluffline on the opposite side of Dug Hollow, and then I made a discovery. Normally I take this route to a spot along the bluff that is only a 6-8 feet tall, and hop off of the bluff and then go down below it and back upstream to access a couple of really neat waterfalls before. But on this day I continued on along the top of the bluffline and found an easier way down through the bluff - in fact it was a TRAIL! And not only that, but a trail a horse/mule could have come up/down through, and it even had switchbacks! No doubt it was another one of many historical trails in the area - and it did not look like there had been any traffic on it in many years.

We continued on along the top of the bluff to a spot where there was a nice view out over Dug Hollow and downstream to the Buffalo River below. You can see how tight this little canyon is - and speaking of canyons, Magnolia Canyon is just out of the photo to the right.


We worked our way through some broken bluffs, up to the next bench, then eventually on up to the next bench. There was a smaller bluffline running along the upper end of both benches, and it was fun to explore the little hollowed-out places in come of the bluffs. The overhang may only be a few feet tall, but once you get inside you can stand up. Aspen found a tiny puddle of water way back under one of these and had a big gulp.

As we neared the far end of the ridge the straight bench we had been following started to turn sharply to the left, and we came upon a pile of giant sandstone blocks. And the WIND began to blow. And I mean really BLOW! We worked our way down through the giant blocks and finally landed on The Big Point - there were bluffs above and below us all around. And out in front, and to the right, and to the left, and DOWN to the river, was the biggest view in the entire Upper Buffalo Wilderness Area! I could see several miles upstream, and many more miles downstream - all the way into the upper end of Boxley Valley. But the incredible view was overtaken by the HOWLING WIND. I bet the wind was a steady 40mph or more, with gusts even higher. There was no sun, just black clouds, and I wondered for a moment or two if it was such a good idea to be out on this windswept point! This was the day of "scattered tornadoes" on the weather map, so it probably didn't matter too much where I was.

thepoint Part of the view from The Point (the line you see below is the Buffalo, Boxley Valley is on the left)

And then a cold chill went right up and down my spine - Lucy was missing. I yelled and called and screamed and looked in as many places as I could, but she was no where to be found. Five minutes passed. Then ten - this was not like Lucy to be gone that long. I hesitated to go too far looking for her in case she came back to The Point looking for me - no telling where she would go after that. I felt a little like Dorothy looking for Toto. So I sat down and tried to collect my thoughts - and held onto the rocks tight to keep from being blown away. It did not look good - that strong wind and all the tall bluffs. I could not lose our dear Lucy.

And then the dark clouds above opened up and a shaft of bright sunshine shone down on the wilderness, and this beam illuminated a section of the emerald river below. It was like a scene from heaven and took my breath away. I turned around and there was Lucy, acting like she had been there all the time. I was very happy to have this little dog back safe and sound!

As soon as we left The Point to head back the forest got very still and quiet - not a wisp of breeze anywhere. Nothing but black clouds above. I was startled by a pair of birds that flushed up nearby (the dogs where exploring farther down the hill). They were either snipe or woodcocks - I can never get a good enough look to tell which - I probably could not tell which anyway since the look so much alike! But with their stubby body and long beak it is one or the other. I've seen at least one pair of these birds on just about every hike I've done lately, although the other day Pam and I saw just a single bird over at the edge of the East meadow. Used to be I would go years without seeing one - so their population is certainly on the rise.

It did not take us long to get back to the cabin - no more wind and it was just a nice pleasant hike - especially since Lucy was with us!


The first toothwort wildflowers of the season.

Pie Supper at Boxley Church, March 20th, 5-8pm. This is a dinner and auction to help raise money to restore the famous old church/community building. I hear they already have some really nice stuff to auction off, including two brand new generators! A couple of my prints will be in the silent auction, but I suspect they will be minor items compared to all the other great stuff. This will be the first of several benefits to raise cash for the much-needed restoration - they hope to get underway with that process in May.

By the way, we have a NEW PRINT OF THE MONTH I just posted that you might like. It is in celebration of the coming of spring - wild azalea bushes will be arriving by the end of this month!

03/15/10 We got a rare opportunity yesterday to tag along with Arkansas Game & Fish officials as they collected reproductive data on a black bear momma with two cubs. They try to collect this data from every female black bear in Arkansas each year that is fitted with a radio transmitter collar. (Note that due to obvious restrictions required to protect the bears and people, these trips are not open to the public - we've been trying for many years to go on one of these trips, and finally got our chance.) My lovely bride and I, along with her dad, Ron, went with a handful of game and fish officers to a remote location near Fifty-Six, Arkansas - I lived and worked at Fifty-Six back in the early 1970's.

The terrain was very steep and rugged, and covered with many large trees that had been toppled by the great ice storm last year. Turns out that one of those downed trees served as cover for the "den" of this momma bear and her cubs. I've always thought that black bears dig back into a hillside or crawl back into a cave for the winter, but it turns out that is not always the case. In the Ozarks, most black bears simply crawl into a rock crevice or back up under an overhang to spend the winter. In the Ouachitas they tend to dig out under a bluff or rock outcrop. In the swamps they will often den in a large hollow tree. But sometimes they will simply find a comfy spot out of the way right on the ground, or in this case under the downed tree. I was frankly quite surprised to see this - and wondered how many bears I had walked right on past and never saw!

Bears don't actually hibernate in Arkansas anyway - male or female - but mommas who are bearing cubs (which they do every other year after they reach 3-4 years of age) will spend most of the winter in the den location, and won't eat or drink the entire time from mid-November until late March or April when cubs are ready to go see the world. The bears are frequently wide awake, as we discovered yesterday.

The game and fish officials rigged up a special dart that was filled with a drug to calm the momma bear down while they worked on the cubs. They want to keep track of a lot of data, including how many cubs are born, their size, weight, age, and other stuff. The momma normally will just lay there and watch - not much else she could do anyway in her drugged state, thank goodness. But yesterday, things did not go as planned.

Once the officials got the dart gun all ready, they crept down to the giant root ball where the momma and cubs were located - we remained up on the hillside looking down, but were not able to see the bears, who were on the underside of the giant root ball. One officer was on the right and pointed to the other guys with the gun to approach from the left since the momma bear was facing him - so they could dart her from the rear. Before the guys with the dart gun could get into position, the momma bear got up and ran out from under the tree, within a couple feet of the first guy (who is the chief of the bear division for Game and Fish), and headed on down the steep hillside and up the opposite side. She was a LARGE cinnamon bear, and moved REALLY FAST - holy cow, we expected her to be small and thin by this time in the year!

They returned to our small group with two small bear cubs, one very much a cinnamon bear (a girl), and the other a darker color (a boy). As the officials worked on one of the cubs taking measurements, everyone got a chance to hold the other cub - with the understanding that the little guy had to be kept wrapped up against your body and covered to keep it warm. It was quite an experience to say the least - to be this close up to such an amazing wild critter. The cubs were about eight weeks old, and weighed 6-7 pounds each. Their CLAWS were quite well developed, and SHARP!

The work went fast and in what seemed like no time, the cubs were returned to the den site under the fallen tree. I snuck down the hillside to take a few snapshots of the little guys before we left. Momma no doubt was keeping a close eye on everything and would return to her cubs as soon as we left. By the way, the den site was extremely clean and smooth - the adult bears don't pee or poop all winter!

On the way back out to the highway we stopped to look at what used to be a major part of my life - a spring that flowed out from the bottom of a small bluff. The spring did not look like much - an opening a few inches tall at most - yet hidden behind that tiny opening was at least a mile-long water-filled cave system that I spent a couple of years exploring with scuba diving gear - alone. This was back in the mid-1970s when I was really young and perhaps not too smart - cave diving alone, especially into places where no human had ever been - was rather dangerous. These explorations were a huge part of my life - some of the most incredible stuff I've ever done - but also proved to be valuable to the scientific community as well. I connected this spring and underground river to a large dry system under the hillsides above, AND discovered what has turned out to be an entirely new species of cave fish in the process (my find was included in the book FISHES OF ARKANSAS book before the new species had been identified). I won't get into those details right now - as this could fill an entire book alone - but I will say that standing there at the spring yesterday brought back a great deal of emotions - from excited euphoria to the depth of depression as I faced death more than once back in there. My time spent back under that mountain during my youth was, well, a highlight of my life that few folks ever get to experience.

Morning morning. The sun has just now appeared on the eastern horizon - it is calm out, and I can hear scores of birds singing and rejoicing that SPRING is only a few days away. I love springtime in the Ozarks - no other season on earth can top it. But I need a lot of rainfall, so please keep up the rain dances - those have not been too effective yet this spring! And I just realized that today is MONDAY - I hope you have a wonderful week!


Game and fish guy loading the dart gun for momma


This is the ground den, under the fallen tree - note the cubs, and how clean the sleeping area is



They collected all sorts of data on each cub


Measuring - the girl cub was longer than the boy cub



Incredible BLUE eyes!




My lovely bride, her dad, and the old guy (in the green)


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Cloudland Cabin Cam, March 16, 9am - cool and cloudy and calm