Cattails used to grow around the pond, but they died and a small patch of yellow irises took their place. The flowers ring the pond and look much prettier than how they show up in pictures. Above, you'll see a picture of the flowers in front of the fishing shack.
This is the time of year I love in Arkansas. The temperatures are bordering on hot and humid and there are frequent storms passing through. Everything is green and blooming, unlike late summer when everything dies from the heat and you can't possibly venture outside in the scorching temperatures. The woods smell differently this time of year, and it's a warm, green smell that's hard to describe. During childhood, I made forts and houses out here and played all sorts of make-believe games with siblings, cousins, and
friends. The memories whisper back to me when I go for walks. We ran these woods, and we didn't think anything of it. I memorized the types of flora like it was a game. We always kept a sharp eye out for snakes, and we all could identify Arkansas' venomous six.
Now that we are adults and contemplating buying properties and raising children in various parts of the country, we understand the value and benefit of such large pieces of land and wish we could somehow have our own wilderness in the corners where we live.
I never thought I would rely on my time in the outdoors for my livelihood. But when I moved to Minnesota, I happened to connect with a group of naturalists and historians. That job served as a bridge back to my profession, and I loved the gateway it provided to the Minnesota woods. Nature here has its own beauty, and I can appreciate the huge cottonwoods, the lack of snakes, the four seasons, the bald eagles, and the clear, clear bodies of water.