Categories
US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 7, Oct. 11: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Back in the groove now, thank you.

Autumn leaves are turning in this photo taken last week.
Week 7; Taken Oct. 11, 2020 at 10:36 a.m. | Again this week, we took our walk a little later in the morning, since I still wasn’t feeling 100% after my bout with Covid. Hopefully, we’ll get out around 7:30 tomorrow morning. Feeling all better now.
Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 6, Oct. 4: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

We interrupt this series for a case of COVID-19.

I missed a week. Last Sunday, I didn’t get around to showing my latest weekly photo due to a case of COVID-19. My bout with the sickness from 2020, the year that just keeps “giving,” began with a low-grade fever on Tuesday, Sept. 29. My fever diminished a couple of days later, followed by extreme aches and muscle pains, followed by allergy-like symptoms shortly thereafter, followed by loss of taste and smell just night before last. And so it goes; fortunately, no more serious issues have arisen.

I’ll be posting again tomorrow, but wanted to add last Sunday’s photo before then. I’ll explain this little project below the photos, so keep scrolling if you’re a little confused.

Autumn begins to show its colors in this Missouri park
Week 6; Taken Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:49 a.m. | We got out later in the morning for this pic. The mid-morning light definitely has a different cast.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 5; Taken September 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Missouri park early morning in autumn
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Autumns begins to turn the colors in this Missouri park
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Indian summer in a Missouri park
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Summer still holds this park setting in a bright embrace
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 5, Sept. 27: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 5; Taken Sept. 27, 2020 at 7:49 a.m. | Overall, the photo has slightly less green this week. There’s a bit more yellow in the leaves overhead.
Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020 at 8:05 a.m. There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020 at 7:47 a.m.
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020 at 7:33 a.m.
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020 at 8:50 a.m.
Francie at La Petite Gemme Prairie last December.


Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

On another note: I am not adjusting any filters on these photos; however, I do sharpen them just a bit in my iPhone camera app.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 4, Sept. 20: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 4; Taken September 20, 2020… There are (in an ever-so-slight amount) a few more leaves on the ground.
Week 3; Taken September 13, 2020
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, become a follower to view my weekly post to see the latest incremental seasonal changes. Check out my blog for a travel stories and other narrative works.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Week 3: Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 3; Taken September 13
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, bookmark this post and then check back every week, clicking your refresh button to see the latest photo that’s been added.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
Uncategorized US (Missouri) US Travel

Watch summer bend to fall’s embrace

Survey the changing season with me every Sunday

Week 3; Taken September 13
Week 2; Taken September 6, 2020
Week 1; Taken August 30, 2020

Every Sunday morning, my husband and I take a walk through our local city park in Bolivar, Missouri. Near the back of the park acreage is this idyllic scene in the pictures above.

I’ve always thought this scene was especially pretty, although I’m not sure why there’s a lectern facing the trees. Perhaps the trees need a “talking to” every so often?

The idea struck me to take a photo of this setting, and then on each subsequent Sunday morning at about the same time, take another and add it to the post. Doing this would allow us to watch the seasons change in a minuscule amount from week to week.

Observe the fairest of the seasons…

If you’re like me and believe that fall is the fairest of the seasons, bookmark this post and then check back every week, clicking your refresh button to see the latest photo that’s been added.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to click like and become a follower for more posts.

Marilyn Yung | Her Writing Portfolio and Blog
Categories
US (Kansas) US Travel

Timing is everything: Fort Scott National Historic Site

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The dark buildings straight down this path include retail shops, restaurants, and a senior services center. During the fort’s early years as a frontier outpost, the view down this path would have included only empty open prairie.

Photos and fun facts from Fort Scott National Historic Site

Over the Christmas holidays, my daughter and I visited my hometown, Fort Scott, Kansas (pop. 8,000) in the southeast corner of the state. While there, we decided to visit what locals call “the fort” —  Fort Scott National Historic Site.

During my growing up years, I toured the fort numerous times, and my daughter had taken the tour when she was little. Even so, we were both up for a refresher tour of the fort that, in 1853, was closed by the time it was truly needed about ten years later.

According to American Heritage, “…the fort was a very peaceful place in its first years, sending escorts on occasional excursions West and troops to the Mexican War but seeing no action whatever nearby. In 1853 so little was happening that the fort was abandoned, its buildings sold. More bad luck: This happened just in time for Bleeding Kansas, the civil war that preceded the Civil War, when a fort here was truly needed.”

Yes, timing is everything.

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The hospital building at right contains the visitors’ entrance and gift shop on the lower floor. The upper floor contains medical exhibits, including a sick ward, and a multi-media theater.

We visited the fort on Thursday, January 2, and it was obviously a slow day for tours. We arrived at the entrance at 1 p.m. Park Ranger Laura Abbott was gearing up to conduct a tour that would begin in about five minutes, so we decided to wait a few minutes and then take a tour that she told us would last about one hour.

Since no one else was waiting in the visitors’ center, we enjoyed a private tour with Abbott. It was nice to be able to take our time and experience a more personalized tour than we would have experienced in the busy season. Plus, I was able to ask lots of questions and re-learn lots of forgotten facts, such as…

  • Fort Scott was established in 1842 and was one of a line of nine forts from Minnesota to Louisiana that promised a “permanent Indian frontier.”
  • Fort Scott was named for U.S. Army Gen. Winfield Scott.
  • Infantry and dragoons from Fort Scott left the fort to fight in the Mexican-American War from 1846-48.
  • The fort was abandoned in 1853 as the idea of Manifest Destiny took hold, causing the promise of a “permanent Indian frontier” to die.
  • Fort Scott served as a major supply depot for the Union armies and a hospital 
  • Fort Scott also served as a refuge for people fleeing the war, such as displaced Indians, escaped slaves and white farmers.
  • Kansas entered the Union as a free state on Jan. 29, 1861.
  • The 1st Kansas Colored Infantry was sworn in at Fort Scott. “This was one of the first African American regiments to engage Confederates in combat,” according to the National Park Service’s Fort Scott brochure.
  • The fort became a national historic site in 1978 after decades of random use and misuse, and the kind of neglect that just happens with old, always-been-there structures. 

These photos follow the route we took through the seventeen-acre historic site. The last building we toured was the Western Hotel, located just north of the large, square hospital, contains new interactive displays with video interviews with historical characters. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see two of those videos.

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This gift shop and book store is located inside the Visitors Center, which is located on the first floor of the hospital building. The hospital is shown in the top photo. Free tours start here.

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When we began our tour, the skies were bright with clouds and sun. Officers’ Quarters No. 1 and No. 2 are shown in the distance. Dragoon Stables are on the left. The Gunpowder Magazine stands at center left.

 

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After its initial closure in 1853, the fort’s Infantry Barracks became the pro-slavery Western Hotel in 1855. The building in the distance on the right was the anti-slavery Fort Scott “Free State” Hotel. The fort would become caught up in the controversy over whether Kansas would become a free or slave state during the Bleeding Kansas years before the war. 

Let’s start the photo tour…

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The Guardhouse, located right next to the Visitor Entrance, was where soldiers were stationed to receive arriving visitors, who could even sleep overnight on wooden shelving. The stone house was also used to discipline criminals in cells such as this one. 

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Ranger Laura Abbott shows us the Dragoon Stables…

Did you know that the colors of horses were used to identify army regiments?

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…and the Dragoon Barracks’ mess hall…

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…with its kitchen…

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…and the sleeping dorms upstairs. Enlisted men slept in the bunks, while non-commissioned officers slept in the narrow gray cot along the wall near the fireplace.

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Four enlisted soldiers shared each bunk bed. Yes, two men slept on each mattress. The beds were labelled with their names, which I’ve circled on the photo above. 

Did you know four men shared one bunk bed in the sleeping dorm?

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The laundresses worked and stayed in this room down from the mess hall. These quarters contained a bed on the opposite wall (not shown). 

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Park Ranger Laura Abbott leads the way to Officers Row.

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Inside the residence of Captain Thomas Sword, family and guests were entertained in these second floor rooms. The building contained three floors.

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The parlor at Captain Sword’s residence on Officers Row.

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On the third floor, the Sword’s clothing is laid out.

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The Sword Family enjoyed a large front porch view of the entire fort grounds.

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The Quartermaster’s Storehouse contains food and other basic supplies on three levels, including a totally dry stone basement.

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The Quartermaster Storehouse kept basic food supplies.

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The marks of a diligent craftsmen’s hewing marks still show themselves today in the storehouse.

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Audio narrations are available when you dial the number shown on cards at many points across the grounds. 

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Inside the Bake House, large ovens provided bread on a daily basis.

Did you know the army didn’t issue bread recipes until the late 1800s and that men were not allowed to eat fresh bread? Stale bread was thought to be better for digestion, according to a placard in the Bake House.

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Wooden spatulas needed to be long enough to extend through the entire ovens to pull out the bread.

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A tallgrass prairie trail shows what the area surrounding the fort would have looked like.

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Near the tallgrass prairie trail, you’ll see several tidy stone structures used to house carriages and other vehicles.

 

 

 

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Howitzer and artillery cannons stand quietly in the Post Headquarters.

Did you know that a howitzer was carried in three pieces by donkeys? It could be reassembled and fired within one minute, according to a placard inside the Post Headquarters.

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Artillery notes and inventories decorate the wall in the Post Headquarters.

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The backdoor and transom windows of the Post Headquarters make a nice picture, I think.

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The backside of Officers Row looks nearly identical to the front side.

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A perimeter walking trail borders the northern edge of the grounds. The banks of the Marmaton River are just a short distance further north of this trail. The river formed a protective boundary for the fort, eliminating the need for walls on Fort Scott, Abbott said.

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This structure is not identified on the park’s brochure and I didn’t ask the ranger, but if memory serves me right, it is a replica of the original well house.

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The ammunition magazine, a round brick building isolated in the middle of the fort, stored gunpowder. Notice the lightning rod (circled in red) placed precisely to keep lightning away from the explosives inside the structure…

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…like these.

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The upper floor of the hospital building, shown here, houses a sick ward and medical equipment and supplies. 

Did you know that many soldiers left the hospital in worse shape than when they entered, due to ignorance about sterilization?

According to a placard in the Fort Hospital, “In threading the needle for stitches, it was customary to point the silk by wetting it with saliva and rolling it between the fingers.”

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Abbott invited us to visit in early December to attend an annual candlelight Christmas tour of the fort.

Inside the Infantry Barracks, new displays and exhibits bring tourists back to the past when these areas composed Bleeding Kansas, a region torn between Union and Confederate causes and beliefs.

Interviews with a variety of area residents speak directly to you in these video displays inside the Infantry Barracks. Here are two previews of the video exhibits.

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New displays and interactive exhibits keep visitors involved and learning.

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Believe it or not, these bricks cause controversy in my hometown. Many people don’t like to drive on the rough, loud, and bumpy brick-paved streets.

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Fort Scott National Historic Sites owes its existence to Congressman Joe Skubitz, who served the local constituency from 1963-1969, and saw to it that this area be turned back into a historical tour destination.

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Park Ranger Laura Abbott wraps up our tour near the Bake House. Before moving to Fort Scott, she worked as a Park Ranger on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

 

Stop in at Fort Scott National Historic Site the next time you’re in southeast Kansas. Thousands of people cruise right by Fort Scott on U.S. Highway 69, which bypasses the town, as they make their way north to Kansas City (about an hour and a half away) or to points south. Plan out your itinerary to take a tour or just walk across the grounds; it would make a nice break on your journey. After all, timing is everything.


Thanks for reading! Touring the fort took about an hour and a half and was a great way to spend part of an afternoon. Also, it reminded me how fortunate Fort Scott, Kansas is to have this important historic site preserved and honored here. 

Don’t forget to tour the destinations near your home. Here’s a recent post about another local getaway.

 

Categories
US (Missouri) US Travel

La Petite Gemme Prairie: like none other in Missouri

A short afternoon outing west of Bolivar, Missouri

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Today after lunch, my husband, daughter, son and I ventured out to La Petite Gemme Prairie just a mile or so west of Bolivar. My son told me recently about this nature preserve, but we hadn’t taken time to go see it until today. We decided to take a short jaunt out to see what we could.

And honestly, this is likely NOT the prime time of year to see this sight.

It takes a keen eye, an ability to notice subtle colors and textures, and an open mind as to what exactly constitutes beauty.

Must a landscape always contain exotic foliage, flaming sunsets, and towering mountains to be considered beautiful? Can the somber, drab colors of deep December reveal their own beauty?

I’ll let you decide as you peruse the shots I took as we walked the 37-acre preserve.

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There’s a gravel parking lot sized for about four vehicles just in front of this sign. We parked here and then took out walking.

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Unspoiled prairie land…

For more background on the preserve, here are some details from the yellow informational sign that appears near the end of this post:

“The 37-acre area was purchased by the non-profit Missouri Prairie Foundation in 1977. It is owned by the MPF, and co-managed by the MPF and the Missouri Department of Conservation. A botanically diverse and scenic upland prairie on soils derived from shale and limestone, La Petite Gemme is a beautiful spot in which to relax and wander. The name is French for “the little gem” and recognizes the French influence on Missouri as well as the gemlike quality of the prairie wildflowers.”

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First, you walk up this mowed path to the top of the hill.

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The curly lines of these silver-hued leaves caught my eye.

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Francie, our Jack Russell-Rat Terrier, burned off some energy this afternoon.

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The dark dots positioned against the golden vertical lines of the grasses is a nice contrast.

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The color of these delicate leaves!

Here’s an impressive list of flowers and creatures that make this preserve their home. All of these are listed on the yellow sign that appears at the bottom of this post.

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Here is the view of the countryside further west of Bolivar.

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Once you’re at the top of the hill, the mowed path takes you back down to the other side.

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These unspoiled prairie grasses grow off to the side of the path.

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I love these roller coaster blades of grass that careen over, under, and around the tufts of native grasses.

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Wild rosehips dot the walking trail.

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This nest appears to have been built in the middle of the path. Either it blew onto the path from a breeze, or this place sees little traffic this time of year. Either explanation sounds reasonable.

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My daughter noticed this deer trail veering off from the walking path.

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At the bottom of the hill, you’ll meet an asphalt path that travels north and south. It’s the Frisco Highline Trail, a “national recreation trail that connects Bolivar and Springfield, Missouri,” according to an informational sign along the trail. The trail is 35 miles long and follows the former Springfield and Northern Railroad tracks. The trail is managed by Ozark Greenways, a non-profit organization working to preserve and enhance the Ozarks’ natural heritage. Open from sunrise to sunset, no motor vehicles are allowed on the trail. 

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Ahhh, siblings!

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Here’s a trail marker along the asphalt trail heading north. 

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These signs can be read as you approach the prairie from the north. Some close-up shots of the signs are below.

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Signs provide information about the flora and fauna… 

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…of the native prairie.

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I took this one final view after taking our walk through Le Petite Gemme Prairie.


Thanks for reading! It was a mild 65 degrees F when we started out for the prairie, but as we walked, the temperature cooled, the wind picked up, and as we loaded into the car, a misty rain settled in. Back home now, I can still hear the rain gently falling outside. 

 

 

 

 

Categories
US (Missouri) US Travel

It’s lonely at the top: Lady Justice in Bolivar, Missouri

From a distance, she looks pretty good.  But there’s more to her story.

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I took this photo last fall of the Polk County Courthouse in downtown Bolivar, Missouri. I’ve always thought the statue of Lady justice on top appeared unusually large. In fact, she is about thirteen feet tall (six feet shorter than the Statue of Freedom that tops the U.S. Capitol) and was placed on the building when it opened in 1907, according to the Bolivar Herald Free-Press. The statue is hollow and is supported by an 8-inch by 8-inch oak beam.

From a distance, she looks pretty good.  But there’s more to her story.

In her earlier years, Lady Justice held a sword that was 5-1/2 feet long in her right hand. In her left hand were the scales of justice. Unfortunately, time and the elements have removed both.

In 2001, someone found the sword  on the courthouse lawn; strong storms and winds had pulled it down. It had likely been weakened by a crack in one seam on the handle, according to this article. There are no plans to replace either the sword or the scales, since they are difficult to attach and maintain.

There are also no plans to fix other damages—such as bullet holes— to the statue. Long ago, pigeons perched on and around the statue and some locals decided to keep the birds in check. As a result, Lady Justice is riddled with holes, including one on a big toe that’s since been repaired, and another hole right between her eyes, a commissioner said.

So there Lady Justice stands… empty-handed, full of holes, and obscured by her great height. Yes, it’s lonely at the top.


Thanks for reading! You can travel around the world or you can travel in your own backyard. It’s how you look at what’s around you. Click “like” and become a follower for more travel stories. 

Categories
Life lessons US (NYC) US Travel

We didn’t need a hashtag on 9/11

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I took this photo in 1997.

#newyorkstrong would not have fit

 

Even if social media, widely available public Internet, and other similar technologies had existed,  the hashtag #newyorkstrong would have been the last thing I would have wanted to hear or see on September 11, 2001. It simply wouldn’t have fit.

#newyorkstrong would have reduced the public reaction to the attacks to gimmickry. We would have been concerned and shocked, yes; however, however we would also have been visible, “on trend.”

On September 11, 2001, gimmickry didn’t exist. Instead, gimmickry withered in the face of…

Honesty.

Desperation.

Confusion.

Rage.

Impossibility.

Ferocity.

Powerlessness.

Now, eighteen years later, the memory of 9/11 fades. The shock subsides. And perhaps I’m beginning to understand the natural and receding course of painful tragedy.