Friday, November 12, 2010

Leaving Arkansas

Any time you leave a place you've really enjoyed, you wonder what didn't you see? Here are some things we wished we hadn't missed, but will definitely check out for next time in lovely Arkansas...Biking the Bona Dea Trail, (we saw glimpses of it on a short walk, and it looked beautiful...), the Holla Bend Nature Preserve. The Holla Bend Nature Preserve was just 8 miles down from Dardenelle, just a few minutes from our Old Post Road campground. It's home, sweet winter home resting grounds for birds migrating down the Mississippi Flyway during the fall and spring. Had we gone, perhaps we could have seen as many as 14 species of ducks and 4 kinds of geese using the refuge. Over the winter months of January and February, over 100,000 ducks and geese are taking advantage of this wonderful place that is protected for them. Bald eagles are common here then as well. In the spring thousands of songbirds arrive....many from tropical areas of Central America and South America. Those kinds of birds are usually the more colorful ones. Personally, I have on my bucket list a wish to see a painted bunting, an incredibly colored bird of beautiful plumage. Not everyone is into bird watching, but as we get older, it seems to interest us more! (Eldo says, speak for yourself, woman!) In case anybody is not familiar with "The Bucket List",  it's a great movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. They both have terminal diseases, become an unlikely pairing and proceed to go and do everything they ever wanted to do before they pass away. It's heartwarming, funny, and poignant.

Another state park that sounded really interesting, was Devil's Den State Park in the northwest corner of the state. The trails there lead to caves, crevices, and bluff overlooks! Yeah! Our kind of trail country! The Arkansas State Parks Guide is a wonderful booklet that we plan to keep for our return visit to the state. There are lots more places and state parks we'd like to see....we'll have to make a "travel" bucket list for Arkansas....s-a-a-a-y, that would be a great blog post inviting lots of comments, I'm sure!

Yesterday, a man came over from two sites down to chat a little with Eldy. He was an Arkansas farmer. They chatted for over an hour about every topic under the sun. Sometimes I wish I had pulled in more personal resources while I was teaching my special ed kids to help them learn first hand about things they only read about in books. There was never enough time to plan them! The farmer (we didn't catch his name to remember it) talked a lot about farming in the delta. I remember the 7th grade science kids having this vocabulary word to learn. How cool it would have been to make a personal connection with this farmer at the time-either thru internet, or a brief biography captured on video and dropped into science class for a few moments-- IF I were still teaching...Sometimes I still think about how I could take my learning from my travels and apply it to the classroom, especially with all the geology and rock formations we are seeing. It certainly brings a lot more meaning to sedimentary rocks when you can see them right in front of you on a mountainside!  Here, once again, all by itself, is my favorite photo from Arkansas....don't mean to bore you, I think it's just incredible that there are no rails, no warning signs marring the landscape, no fences between me and about a thousand foot drop three feet off the cliff in front of me....

Wait till you see where Eldo is Saturday!  See you then!

1 comment:

  1. I know painted buntings were all around in the NC mountains when I lived there, but I never saw any or maybe I just didn't know what I was seeing. I had indigo buntings at my bird feeder often and really loved that deep blue plumage.