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Month: February 2010

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…

Read More Going Prehistoric!

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.…

Read More The Park that was a Farm

“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 great deal…

Read More Petit Jean State Park: A Place Where You Can Go Home Again

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…

Read More It’s About the People

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…

Read More The Rich Musical History in the Arkansas Delta

  Taking Hide and Seek to New Levels   Do you remember playing hide and seek as a child?  I never understood why it took my mom 15 minutes to find me hiding under my bed.   I remember thinking she is not very good at this game.  Now, as the parent of a rambunctious little two-year old boy whose volume is always on full blast, I get it.  Lets…

Read More Modern Adventures

Yes, it’s true:  The rise and fall of the timeless Black and White Rivers shape life and history at Jacksonport State Park. It’s been a stressful and sad week here, and it’s only Tuesday as I write this. We began this week learning that, by alleged vandals or turn of fate, the beautiful Mary Woods No. 2 had sunk. This wasn’t her first experience with disaster. Back in 1984, in…

Read More The Mary Woods No. 2 – Life on the River

Words get cheaper by the day.  So do pictures.  The technological revolution has made almost everyone an author and photographer.  When I started in this line of work some 26 years ago, pictures required film.  Film cost money.  As a result, much more care was taken when aiming the camera and hitting the shutter. The same is true for the written word.  In the days before word processors, when everything…

Read More Words Get Cheaper by the Day