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Posts Tagged ‘joe neal’

  1. Secret Summer Garden of the Ozarks

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    June 4, 2012 by Joseph C. Neal

    I can’t decide what is best: swamp milkweed with masses of reddish-pink flowers well-attended by lady beetles and butterflies? Big colonies of what in later summer will be 8-foot tall sawtooth sunflowers attended by goldfinches on yellow flower heads, sky scraping sky blue? Or the buttonbushes, blooming right now, deep green with perfectly round white spheres of flowers, attended by monarch butterflies?

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  2. A Little Place Called ‘Heronton’

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    March 15, 2012 by Joseph C. Neal

    Great Blue Herons are standing on nests in the Illinois River bottomlands rookery west of Tontitown, on the road to Siloam Springs. Number of nests, about 35. Number of adults perched improbably atop mature trees, about 39. Nests are in tall white sycamores, forming picturesque contrast with winter grays of Wedington Ridge in the Ozark National Forest. I call the place Heronton. It’s one of the oldest “towns” in Northwest Arkansas. It’s the place where Great Blue Herons come to nest. You narrowly catch the festivities even at 65mph on Highway 412 as you cross the Illinois. Narrowly, because we’re dashing across that efficient bridge — with one eye on busy herons, another on that thunderous onrush of our times — 18-wheelers, pick-ups, my Toyota  — and with that active third eye, the mind, simultaneously sorting affairs of family and business — and probably on the phone  — our destiny . There seems no place to stop and take in the whole, including Heronton. I am reminded of how fast we travel, how restricted our space, like we’re astronauts in a capsule, cowboys and cowgirls blasting through 14 billion years of matter. A Great Blue flies toward the sycamores, providing us …

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  3. Birding Opportunities In The Dogdays

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    July 28, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    If the dogdays are getting you down, consider shorebirds or sandpipers. I know this may sound strange, but by late July it is possible to find around a dozen different species of sandpipers making the transit south through western Arkansas. Even non-birders know at least one: Killdeer.

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