Spring 2019

6 03, 2019

Orphea’s Fence

By |2019-06-03T12:08:36-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

by Ken Smith via Luke Parsch, Ozark Society Vice President In 1959 when driving along the upper Buffalo River at Boxley, I spied an unusual fence—horizontal boards, but also, between its posts, cross-boards making distinctive “Xs”. And with artistic flair, the fence turned a right angle past a big, spreading tree. From roadside, I made a photograph. Years later, I met the person who must have designed that fence--Orphea Duty, the landowner. “Orphey,” as friends called her, knew her place in this world. Her father, Ben McFerrin--teacher, advocate for public schools, state legislator, lieutenant governor--had acquired this land with its two-story house facing Highway 43. And Orphea inherited the property. After her husband, Fred Duty, had died she remained there--Boxley’s postmistress, community leader, pillar of its Baptist church. Orphea had a definite sense of style. Only she could have designed that pretty fence at rural Boxley. Orphey and Fred were married on horseback; a photograph shows her in a nice riding habit. Her dress for social occasions was always tasteful, at times elegant. And anyone visiting her home for a meal, or even for coffee, found her table already set with china, crystal, and silver. Orphea Duty had enjoyed opportunities [...]

6 03, 2019

High-Pointing the States: Part Five – The Midwest Loop

By |2019-06-03T12:08:42-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

Here is the fifth in a series of my adventures to visit as many of the fifty US states' highest points as I can. Last time we took a look at a trip from October of 2014 to the southeast corner of the US: Florida, Alabama and Georgia. This time I will tell you of my tour of the Midwest following the Eclipse of August 21, 2017. My wife, Meribeth, and I went up to my Aunt's home in Sutton, Nebraska for the big eclipse. Her town was dead center on the path of totality. Nice! Following the event, we made our way towards the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul. Along the way, one of our first stops was the highest point in Iowa. After the fair, Meribeth would fly home and I would continue bagging high points in the Midwest. Iowa Iowa's high point, Hawkeye Point, is outside the town of Sibley. This is one of those easy ones: drive up, get out, take the photo. There is a patio and mosaic marker at the high point and it is surrounded by cornfields and a farmstead. Even at 1670 feet, it’s got a great view of the rolling [...]

6 03, 2019

Chert – One of the Most Common Ozark Minerals

By |2019-06-03T12:08:48-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

As an outdoor enthusiast relocated to northwest Arkansas more than a decade ago, the observation of abundant chert was one of my very first Ozark impressions.  And it was not necessarily pleasant.  The chert attracted my attention in the form of baseball-sized angular rocks hidden in the deep leaf litter of Ozark National Forest hiking trails.  These potentially ankle-twisting nuisances came as a real surprise and forced me to pay far too much attention to my footing when I would rather have been enjoying pleasant fall scenery.  Almost at the same time I began to notice sections of trail constructed into the sides of hills that seemed to have been deliberately paved with gray gravel composed of similar angular rock fragments.  By now all of this is a familiar part of my local hiking experiences.  But what exactly is chert, and where did all the chert in the Ozarks come from?Chert is a glass-like form of rock composed of tiny quartz (silicon oxide) crystals verging on a true glass where molten rock cooled so quickly as to be left with no crystal structure at all.  Trace minerals mixed in with the silica give the various forms of chert their color.  Common [...]

6 03, 2019

Dicamba

By |2019-06-03T12:08:56-05:00March 6th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

Dicamba has been around for about 50 years, first registered in 1967.  Originally made by Monsanto, (now owned by Bayer), with several formulations: dianat, metambane, banfel, banvel, banvel cst, banfel d, banfel xg, mediben, oracle, vanquish, diablo.   It is intended to control broadleaf weeds, particularly pigweed. An aside…Pigweed, known as Amaranthus, is an ancient grain.  Three species are globally cultivated as an important food.  It is used as a grain; the seeds are a good source of protein; a leafy vegetable and an ornamental plant (Prince’s feather).  There are about 60 species of Amaranthus. Dicamba use is restricted – one must have a license.  Farmers, road-crews, (both commercial and non-commercial), must be educated in its “safe” use.  It is designed to kill broad-leaf plants.  2-4-d, Round-up, Ortho, Bayer are also used on broadleaf plants.  Dicamba is more economic, more effective and takes less of the product.   Some plants are resistant and some not.   It is heavily used for GMO soybeans. Dicamba became a concern due to its tendency to vaporize from treated fields.  As spring/summer temperatures rise, it vaporizes and spreads via “drift” (winds) to neighboring crops not meant to be treated.   It can and has [...]

5 03, 2019

In Memoriam – Randy Ego

By |2019-06-03T12:10:57-05:00March 5th, 2019|Categories: Pack & Paddle, Spring 2019|

A dear friend and Ozark Society member, Randy Ego, 67, quietly passed away on Thursday January 17, 2019. Randy was seriously injured in an accident in October 2016. With the help of his devoted family, friends and his amazing spirit and strength, Randy kept up his fight to heal and remain with his loved ones, eventually returning to his home and community here in the Ozarks in 2018. Randy and his wife Cathy have been friends of mine almost since the very beginning of my own journey here in Buffalo River Country. One of my fondest memories is when Randy, Cathy and their children joined our group on the Ozark Society Colorado trip.  I remember coming back to camp after a strenuous day of hiking or rafting and Randy (God bless him) would have some freshly caught trout cooked up for appetizers and a batch of frozen lime Margaritas. I can’t ever remember anything that tasted so good or was so refreshing-simply wonderful! The family requests that memorials be made to the Chimes Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 40 Dennard, AR 72629