A Word of Explanation


February 23, 2015

The picture above really is the view from my back fence, looking across Mr. Spurling’s cow pasture (not visible in the photo) and towards a small section of the Ouachita National Forest. My place is a tumble down shack in the country but I have an enormous backyard. Queen Elizabeth’s 40,000 acres at Balmoral is nothing in comparison.

There really is a Serendipity Trail. It is about two miles from where I live and it is a pretty mile and a half loop with a lovely view at the halfway point. It is only one of innumerable hiking/biking/horse trails in the forest.

I really do live between Ink and Mt. Ida. It just doesn’t get any more literary than that and no, I’m not making this up. My imagination is not that stupendous. By sheer chance I landed in this amazing place. Yes, it was my choice, but I also found more here to love than I expected. I am also very close to Pine Ridge (of the old Lum and Abner radio show fame) and not far from Hole in the Ground.

Yes, there really is a Little Hope Baptist Church and a very lively and friendly group they are.

Montgomery County (named for the general who died at the Siege of Quebec) is about two-thirds national forest. We have lots and lots of trees and about ten thousand people. We are far enough south to grow live oaks and magnolias, although they are not native here, and far enough north to grow maple trees.

From my house it is about a thirty minute drive to the far western fringes of Lake Ouachita, very large and very beautiful as there are no houses on the shoreline, only a few scattered marinas.

We have black bears. We have mountain lions. We have alligators. I see bald eagles every winter although for how much longer I do not know. We are losing the fireflies and the bird numbers are plummeting here as they are everywhere.

The last of the virgin forest in Montgomery County was logged in the 1950s. Greed, greed, greed. We are, as a species, such slow learners that I fear that fact will eventually do us in. Never mind. It will probably be better for the total biomass of the planet in the long run.