One of the great joy's of blogging I've found is in sharing the unique and special things about where I call home with the rest of the world.
The area where I live is known mostly for being a hunting, fishing, floating, camping/hiking destination. During the spring it's turkey season, summertime around here is all about the river. When the chilly winds of winter begin to blow the town is overrun with people dressed in camouflage who are looking to bag that big buck! In the winter months the local people rest up!
I'm not much of a hunter, but what I do enjoy is seeing the abundant wildlife practically everywhere you go around here. The deer are somewhat tame and will sometimes just stand there next to the road allowing you to get a good look at them as you drive up . The other day I saw two hen turkeys scurry across the road in front of me with their collective brood of about 10-15 in tow. The spring hatch-lings, they were beautiful in their tan colored juvenile feathers!
Perhaps the predominant characteristic of the area I live in is the abundance of naturally occurring springs. The water they provide is literally the "life blood" that freely flows throughout this part of the state. Their cool blue effusion's and the underground waterways that they represent are a precious resource that's value cannot be overstated.
Now that I've said my little speech we can get on to the good stuff...
Pictured here is the much celebrated and often photographed upper outlet which join's together with the water from the lower outlet and flows into the Eleven Point River more than doubling it's size! It's the second largest spring in the Ozarks, second only to Big Spring which is located in Carter County, Mo.
Originally the spring was harnessed by Samuel Greer to power a grist mill in 1859.
To the right is the lower and much more substantial source of the spring and the one time location of the aforementioned mill.
It's an incredibly beautiful area that's easily accessible. Various hiking trails that skirt the surrounding hillsides provide some excellent photo opportunities!
Our next stop on the tour is Boze Mill Spring.
Many things about Boze Spring really stood out to me.
The setting is unique in one respect because of the approach to the spring from the trail. If you look closely at the area between the trail and the deeper turquoise blue of the main spring you can see the shallow sandy area that's ideal for wading in! But be warned, the water here is in my opinion colder than any spring I've ever been in!
I've been a Missouri resident my whole life and an avid outdoors person as well. As a typical young boy I was fascinated with reptiles, frogs specifically. Having said that, I found it remarkable that as I approached the spring I was welcomed by a strange sound. Strange in that I only vaguely recognized it. The "noise" was coming from frogs. Their call was different from any frog I had ever heard, and for them to be active in the middle of the day is also unusual. As I sat there on the bank they entertained me with their "calling" to each other. Here in their secluded paradise I wondered how many thousands of generations had lived and croaked here in this place and provided the ambiance for thousands of people who had sat just where I was on it's bank.
This last spring is in many ways also the least.
It's water volume is small and I'm not really even sure of what it's "official" name is. I've heard it called "Panther Creek" spring, I tried to research it and still couldn't find any definitive information about it. It's located less than a quarter mile downstream from the Whitten access on the Eleven Point river. It's just a hole in the ground that sits less than a hundred feet back off from the main channel but what I found interesting about it is that it makes it's own noise...
That's right, it's a "Talking Spring"
My daughter and I had walked up the creek that flows from it one day a few years back. I remember hearing a noise that at first I assumed was coming from the insects that were everywhere. Something about it seemed out of kilter though, it never stopped! I paused to concentrate more fully on it I noticed that it seemed to emanate from the spring it's self!
That struck me as being an impossibility at first, "Can sound travel in water?" I'd never seen or heard of such a thing and upon a closer examination I saw what appeared to be small rocks that were caught in it's flow. The waters effect upon them was to toss them upward in the current of the spring and then suck them back down so as to imitate a volcano spewing lava. During this process,they constantly made random contact which resulted in the sound I was hearing.
I've really only scratched the surface of listing all of the springs in this part of Missouri. I barely mentioned Big Spring which is the largest, and I didn't even mention the appropriately named "Mammoth Spring" which is south of here just across the Arkansas state line.
My intent here wasn't really to provide an exhaustive list, instead my goal is to celebrate who it is that gives life to not just this little backwater part of the world but to everyone everywhere!
In this world there may be "Many Springs" but there is only one true source of life!
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.