In the Ozarks, history and nature each contain the other, each depending on the other. It is, I suppose, convenient to think about them as separate things. "History" is the thing people do to the landscape. They chop down trees, cut roads, build houses, clear pastures, run fences. And the things people do leave marks on the landscape, marks as clear and obvious as any written text. The world is a kind a parchment, and we are the pen the marks it. On the other hand, "nature" is everything else, the things that happen when we aren't around.

But I suspect that in the Ozarks, those distinctions aren't meaningful. Or, if not meaningful, then overly simplistic.

Instead, I see "history" and "nature" as being all part of the same whole, part of one cycle. We do things--cut trails, run cattle across glades, improve a spring branch for fishing--and wild plants and animals respond, some moving away, some not thriving, but others finding opportunity in the changes we make. And those wild animals changes those places, and invite different responses from us.