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Random Articles
Parks—Places Where “Everl... If you asked me what I ate for dinner yesterday, there’s a good chance I...
Because words can’t... Instead of a regular post today we decided to leave you with a lovely visit to...
Hidden Treasures In mid-March, I gave a talk to the Woman’s Club of Cherokee Village, AR. When...
Spring Fever! It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when...

Making Arkansas Natural

Arkansas’s motto is “The Natural State”. The natural state just doesn’t mean having nature. If that were true all states can claim to be the natural state. We have to support and be our motto. A part of the State parks mission is to protect and manage our natural resources. I would have to say that each park does their best to uphold their mission…in the park. What we need is for all Arkansans to prove that we can...

Songs of the Woods

I almost always have music playing.  I have radios, cd players, mp3 players, and music on my computer and phone.  But when I go hiking I don’t take anything for music.  Nature has its own song. The rhythm section is filled by the frogs.  Frogs aren’t the most melodic animals, but add a beat to the song of the woods.  Cricket frogs have a clicking noise that to me sounds like marbles clacking together.  Green...

The Once and Future Mather Lodge

On December 1, 2010, Petit Jean State Park’s historic Mather Lodge closed its doors – but not forever.  The lodge closed for more than a year’s restoration, renovation and major rebuilding.  On the first of December, for the first time in nearly a half-century, the day had come again to begin construction on a modern new restaurant to adjoin the old lodge – a restaurant designed by architects to capture the park...

Laughing and Learning

One more time, I go over the list in my hand. Baskets of wool, mohair and cotton, check drop spindles, check koolaid for dyeing, check gallon jars for koolaid, check Hand cards, check Niddy noddy, check and on down the row. I think I’m all packed to teach the first day of the Sheep to Shawl class at the Ozark Folk Center’s Folk School. The students in the class will be spending three days immersed in fiber, the language...

The Outdoor Classroom

The best use of my park is as a classroom.  The thing I love to see are young people using their senses to enjoy this place that I have loved all these years.  My greatest hope is that through this contact that they will learn more about their world and come to care for the park.  What could be a more important goal of this special place? The first school field trip which I have a record of visiting Queen Wilhelmina is the...

Distracted by the Birds at Petit Jean State Park

My office at Petit Jean State Park may be a bit cramped, but I am fortunate to have a window right beside my desk to let in the afternoon sunshine and allow me to see the comings and goings of some of the visitors to our park visitor center.  However, it can be a bit challenging to stay focused on my work at the computer when the birds come to visit.  We interpreters like to feed the songbirds, and this helps folks who come...

Exploring Nature on the Trails at Cossatot River S...

“The book of nature has no beginning as it has no end.” (Jim Corbett) I am excited to tell you about the four trails we have and how our longest trail (“River Corridor”) is now completed for you to “experience the seasonal natural beauty along this wild and scenic river.” Starting with our shortest trail, “The Waterleaf Interpretive Trail.”   This trail begins at the Visitor Center and includes a section of...

Spring Fever!

It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! –Mark Twain In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. – Margaret Atwood Who’s ready for spring? Signs of this much-anticipated season are everywhere, from fields carpeted...