April 2012

A pleasant walk through 145 acres of pristine woods. The Conservation Department advertizes Englemann Woods as, "a rare remnant of old-growth Missouri River hills forest" (see the entry on their natural areas site).

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Abandoned cabin sites announce themselves with daffodils in March.

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I happened to be in Poplar Bluff for a few days in early April. For a funeral, which seemed unseasonable, since it was about as springtime as I can ever recall it being. This spring--the spring of 2012--is one I'll remember for the rest of my days. In part because it has been so beautiful. And in part because the funeral was for a man who lived a life as beautiful as the spring.

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It was windy when I went to Meremec State Park in early March, and the hawks were out, soaring up the updrafts rising above the river bluffs. I noticed one first when I was walking along a gravel bar next to the river. I couldn't really get a good look at it, because it was so far above the river.

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Sometimes old roads go nowhere. But sometimes they do. In early March, I was wandering around Meremec State Park, piecing together unofficial trails, abandoned roads and obvious cross-country routes. I knew I was in an area that had had a bunch of river clubhouses before the the failed attempt to dam the Meremec, so it seemed wise to follow whatever evidence of previous use I came across.

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