Blue Spring Heritage Center

This what Blue Spring is supposed to look like

Blue Spring is the largest spring in Northwest Arkansas, pumping 38 million gallons of pure water daily into the White River. I visited after 6 days of rain, and things were a bit flooded. I have to admit I prefer it au-natural

This is a bluff shelter where artifacts were found dating back 10,000 years, is on the National Register of Historic Places. I sat in this bench and imagined what it must have been like so long ago. Certainly there was not a bench. 😉

Bluff Shelter

Thorncrown Chapel

Thorncrown Chapel

When I entered Thorncrown, there was nothing but windows. There was little distinction between the outside and the inside. It softly proclaimed that all of creation is a cathedral.

Thorncrown Chapel is like the utterance of a proverb. It reveals, in a whisper that silence can speak to us, stillness can enliven us, and being present to the eternal lessons of earth can give cause and direction to better our lives. – Randall Connaughton

Eureka Springs Arkansas

5 rainy days in a row has not deterred me from getting to know Eureka Springs. Today’s agenda was to explore the historic downtown area. Conveniently there is a Trolley stop right outside the campground that loops around the city.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas has been a popular resort town and vacation destination since the 1800’s. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas surrounded by rivers and lakes, Eureka Springs became known early on for its healing waters, Victorian architecture and as a haven for artists.

  • Eureka Springs was a favorite of Robert Ripley of Ripley’s Believe it or not. The town has been featured many times in the cartoon
  • None of the streets cross at right angles and there are no stoplights in town.
  • According to local folklore, Jesse James and his gang hid in the caves around Eureka Springs.
  • The only city in America whose entire historic downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The Most Haunted Hotel in America

The 1886 Crescent Hotel sits high atop Crescent Mountain in Eureka Springs Arkansas. When built she was considered the premiere resort hotel west of the Mississippi. Now she is considered the most haunted Hotel in America.

The Crescent Hotel

She has served many different purposes across the years, the most notorious as The Baker Hospital, a Cancer Clinic owned by Norman Baker. A quack who claimed he could cure cancer without operation, radium, or x-rays. His cancer cure being nothing more than clover, corn silk, watermelon seed, and water. He convinced hundreds and made millions of dollars. He’d operate, amputate, and when it was all done, it was off to the morgue dumping the bodies into a cooler. While there is record of 40 people who died there, It’s believed more than 400 people may have died unrecorded. Some may still linger.

I took a ghost tour at the hotel led by a true story teller. I got to visit my first morgue and see for myself some of Baker’s bottles of proof. Next time in town I will stay the night in the hotel. In Michael’s Room 218 (said to be the most active room in the hotel).

For the Love of Marshes 💕

Perfect place to take in marsh life

I love all wetlands. Lately I’ve had easy access to many. The marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plants. They can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds.

This marshland is home to many shore birds, long legged waders, various gulls and pelicans. During an extremely high tide I sat in the swing pictured and watched all the birds do their things. I did not hear the crawdads sing, but I did imagine it!

Lost Bird Project

Eskimo Curlew

I stumbled upon this sculpture while visiting Galveston State Park yesterday. It is widely believed that the Eskimo Curlew is extinct. The only photographs ever taken of the Eskimo Curlew in the wild anywhere in the world were taken here on West Galveston Island in March 1962. The Eskimo Curlew Memorial Sculpture was installed on March 24, 2020 in Galveston Island State Park in Galveston, Texas.

I’m excited to visit several other Lost Bird Sculptures that I will be close to the next several months.

  • Passenger Pigeon Memorial Sculpture is in the Grange Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio
  • The Great Auk Memorial Sculpture is on Joe Batt’s Point in Fogo Island, Newfoundland
  • The Heath Hen Memorial Sculpture is in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
  • The Labrador Duck Memorial Sculpture is in Brand Park in Elmira, New York
  • The Carolina Parakeet Memorial Sculpture is in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Okeechobee, Florida.

From Destruction to Artful Rejuvenation

Angel cradling bunny

In 2008 Hurricane Ike covered most of Galveston Island in a tidal surge. The damaging winds and waves uprooted many of the city’s trees. Where many saw dead trees and waste, a group of home owners saw a chance to morph symbols of destruction to signs of rejuvenation.

Two Crested Herons

Artists breathed new life into something Mother Nature attempted to destroy. Whimsical tree sculptures have replaced the majestic Oaks that once lined many neighbor streets.

Tin Man and Toto

I enjoyed a self guided walking tour on a beautiful and windy day. The houses were also quite beautiful. Reminded me of a walk through New Orlean’s garden district.

Great Dane

Amos Rehabilitation Keep

Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK)

I had the best tour in a long time at the Amos Rehabilitation Keep. ARK rehabilitates marine turtles and marine birds from the coastal zone of Mustang Island and St. Joseph Island in Port Aransas TX. The Tour guide “Lucky” has been a volunteer for 12 years. She knew the resident raptors and other birds very well, and had a touching story to share for each of them.

One story is about the resident Barn Owl who refused to kill prey in order to eat. However, she was a surrogate mom to scores of orphan barn owls, all who successfully learned to hunt and kill their prey.

Another is about an ornery mean female barred owl, who fell in love with a male barred owl introduced to her enclosure, who then turned into the nicest owl ever.

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

One of the residents is a Kemp’s Ridley considered the most seriously endangered of the sea turtle species. This guy is missing a fin and has an air bubble in his shell.

Tory Amos

Tony Amos was a researcher at the Marine Science Institute, an arm of the University of Texas based in Port Aransas, Texas. During the course of his career, he was active in deep ocean research from the Indian Ocean to the Antarctic, focusing on designing, building and operating the instruments which collect information about the seas. he also found time to run the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) in Port Aransas, where he, with fellow staff and volunteers, provided shelter, food and care for injured birds and sea turtles.

Frida at San Antonio Botanical Garden

I got a two for one experience with the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Frida was passionate about the natural world, flora and fauna were integral to Her home, garden, and artwork. Since childhood, Kahlo collected plant specimens, both native and imported species, filling her garden and iconic blue home, the Casa Azul. Kahlo’s works are filled with colorful and compelling depictions of flowers, foliage, fruits, demonstrating both close observation of the natural world and engagement with the plants she encountered in her daily life. As an owner of many beloved pets, animals played both a significant role in her life as they did in a number of her works, helping her to effectively tell her stories through symbolism and emotion.

Natural Bridge Caverns

I have toured many caves across the US. This was one of the best I have seen. It is a wet cave with lots of the usual structures, and some not so usual. It was also my most challenging hike at 70 degrees with 99% humidity I climbed 193 stairs in only a third of a mile. I was a bit winded by the time the tour was over. It was definitely worth it