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Going Prehistoric!

Big Piles of Dirt An almost five story tall prehistoric mound sits before me. As I watch the sunset over the ceremonial grounds I stare in awe over the ingenuity of the people that once lived here.  Contemplating this huge mound, I start thinking about how visitors describe the mounds at first sight. “Those are some big piles of dirt.” Calling them big piles of dirt is an oversimplification. First impressions we have...

The Park that was a Farm

Entering Crowley’s Ridge State Park, the first things you notice are the trees.  As you wander through the park you will see a wide variety of trees, shrubs, vines, and flowering plants.  Looking at all of the greenery it might be hard to picture the land as a farm, but that is exactly what it was before a determined group of people decided that it needed to become a park. In the early 1800′s a man named...

Petit Jean State Park: A Place Where You Can Go Ho...

“Experiencing the changes in life over the years has meant more to me than simple aging.  It has meant watching the landscape and the world become more tame, drab, and developed.  Human life and wildlife are both losing their world.”   – Barbara Kerr I have spent more than a few hours in January reviewing Ken Burns’ recent documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and have learned a...

It’s About the People

The elderly visitor stood at the first marker on the Knapp Trail, gazing out across the plaza area, a wide expanse of open grass. The wind carried the scent of many wildflowers straight toward his uplifted face.  He had rather long, dark hair shot through with streaks of gray. It was stirring in the breeze. His distinct facial features quietly spoke of his Native American heritage.  He was leaning on a walking staff. A...

The Rich Musical History in the Arkansas Delta

In honor of Black History Month, I decided to go a different way with this week’s blog. Here in Arkansas we have so much to celebrate, yet so few of us know about our rich, colorful history.  This has bothered me for years. Some time ago I asked my grandmother why I had to search so hard to find Arkansas history- why we didn’t have all the historical markers and buildings that other states around us had.  She had one...