Thursday, October 17, 2013

Big Spring

On another field trip taken while in Arkansas last month, Connie and I drove to the Missouri Ozarks to see the Current River near the town of Van Buren. When I was a kid our family did lots of camping and canoeing here before it became a National Scenic River and the National Park Service started taking over.

One of our stops was at Big Spring, that feeds the Current just outside of Van Buren. You can see Connie taking a look at it in the picture above.

 Here's a closer view of the vent. The signs there say it has an average flow of 288 million gallons a day, that makes it the biggest spring in Missouri, and I guess gives it a greater flow than Mammoth Spring in Arkansas that we visited back in the summer. This part of Missouri is just a giant sponge with springs everywhere.

A pretty spring creek carries the water about a quarter-mile to a confluence with the Current River. I remember paddling up this creek to camp near the spring, while on a canoe trip with some high school friends in 1970. You can see beds of watercress growing all over the creek bed in this picture.

 This picture of a heron fishing in the creek was my consolation wildlife shot. I was lined up to take a picture of a whitetailed doe wading in the creek, delicately nibbling on watercress, when a cavalcade of fat people riding Harley-Davidsons roared by and she leaped over the bank in terror.

It wasn't especially hot that day, maybe mid-80s, but that area had to be the most humid place I have been in years. Sweat poured off of us the second we left the car. That made conditions right for this mist that appeared as we were leaving.


Matthew MAKAREWICZ said...

I just spent the weekend fishing on the Current last month. One of my favorite places to be. I fish the upper river near Montauk State Park.

Reid Farmer said...

It is a wonderful place to be. How are the leaves looking this fall, do you know?

Matthew MAKAREWICZ said...

They were just starting to turn when I was there. The hard maples and ash are coming on strong right now. It's kind of a mixed bag through out Missouri. I think they had more rain in the Ozarks this summer which usually means good color.