The show goes on. What are you missing?

Ozark mountains near Winslow Arkansas

East of Winslow and West of Combs, Arkansas, in the big middle of the Ozarks we see a pristine winter vista unavailable in warmer months. The well-worn gravel road which meanders past this was, except for yours truly, unpopulated by vehicles. The absent drivers, unfortunately don't know what they missed. The view is south and the setting winter sun is to the right. Soon it will be dark.

In winter months when trees are “nekkid,” Mother Nature reveals some stunning views she conceals during warmer months. Much of what you see is nature’s wild side, camouflaged when the weather is hot and sticky. We started this story on what you might be missing on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot com. To see two other winter pictures with other prosaic meanderings, click here, a very cool thing to do.

Back in February 2009, we found a similar set of circumstances in the woods of central Arkansas, near the Ouachita River. You can compare seasonal visions of the outdoors to the movements of a Dvorak symphony, or a Bach concerto. Each has its individual signature. Each stands on its own as a vital part of a greater creation. Each has its audience rewards. Missing a season is tantamount to arriving late at the concert or leaving early, both of which deprive one of the full experience.

Ozark mountain bluff

A bit further east, a rocky Ozark mountain bluff says, " ... look at me." Not a bad idea now. In four months, this will not be visible. The brownish spots are leaves shed from the mountain's population of oak trees. The bluff and the road are separated by a deep depression in mother earth, not visible when trees are fully clothed. I looked over the edge and decided to back up.

The mountains are sparsely populated by people with an independent streak. They simply will not or cannot abide city life. Thank goodness. If these stalwarts abandoned the sticks, we would run out of barns to photograph in a few years.

Ozark mountain barn

Now being used as a barn, I suspect this structure began its life as a home. Times got better, and the protagonists constructed new quarters. Sooner or later, the original domicile was recycled to "adaptive re-use" as a storage facility, or for all intents and purposes, a barn.

On this trip, after these shots, the short winter days ushered in darkness at an exponential rate. I rolled back to the cabin satisfied that I had seen things observed only by a fortunate few. Not a bad feeling.

Sometimes, the photos on the blog loose a bit when uploading. Click here to see high resolution versions of all of this week’s pictures including the Corndancer shots which are just fine on that site, but heck, I included them as well. Also I gave the gallery a 2009 name, but that’s my first mistake this year (heh-heh).

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind