Bluebirds, Violets . . . and Missouri Master Naturalist : This Is Retirement?
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Bluebirds, Violets . . . and Missouri Master Naturalist

by Sherry Swanson on 04/15/11

The month of April opened with beautiful Bluebirds in abundance.  I am hoping that some have chosen to use our bluebird houses as their maternity wards.  And the violet children have blossom all over the campground making it a little difficult to mow around them, but I did.  As I look out from the back deck I can see many beautiful violet fields dotting the landscape.

Am I getting 'smarter' as I delve deeper into the Missouri Master Naturalist program?  The Ozark Plateau which includes Saint James is a beautiful area.  Within the plateau there are numerous sinkholes, caves, fens, glades, plant and animal species, domomite, karst and more. Our last field trip took us to Meramec River to collect fish and tiny invertebrae critters.  I was lucky to snap a photo of Dutchman's Breeches - that's flora, not fauna.  We also visited a wonderful campground in the area for disadvantaged people, Camp Brim Shire, right here in Saint James.  It was exciting to learn of the opportunities the disadvanged can explore at Brim Shire such as fishing, camping, studying native animals, and the joy of learning about the out-of-doors in a beautiful setting.

A new 'man toy' presented itself this week.  Neighbor Bob brought over his Stihl tree trimmer, as he and Don decided there was a need for dead branch removal.  Wouldn't want a pop-up camper to experience a fallen tree branch close up, now would we? 

And I finished painting the Women's restroom and shower area;  Yes, nothing says we're ready for campers than fresh paint!

 

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Miniscule red lichen on gravel road.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Teeny tiny toadstools        (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
So beautiful and delicate, the Southern Catalpa blossom.    (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
What?  Snail scat.     
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Reindeer moss with some Pixie Cups in the mix.   (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Christmas snow...and those deer just won't move away from the house!    (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Christmas Eve 2010 gave us a peaceful snowy day for trout fishing.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Winter camping during a snowstorm.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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Opening Day sunrise at Maramec Spring Park.    Copyright Sherry Swanson 2011
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
In the early morning, Don waiting for Opening Day whistle to blow.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Misty silence on the river.     (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Fishermen and Ladies...cast your rods!     
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Just before the Opening Day whistle blows by the bridge at Maramec Spring Park.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Jack Frost visited.      (C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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EXIT 195 on I-44 at Saint James, MO 65559 
Go 5.5 miles EAST on Highway 8 to park entrance on left
Watch for our flags!
Call for more information and reservations.  
573-265-5149
Email:  pheasantacresrv@yahoo.com

                  Cash, Check or

Sherry Swanson
Owner/Host/RV'er/Naturalist
Outdoor Enthusiast/Photographer
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Early April violet in oak undercover
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Delicate Dutchman Breeches in April
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Rock still life at Meremec River Access.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Missouri Conservation agent shocking fish for collection/identification
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Feeder streamlet to Meramec River
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Another feeder stream
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
    WHO We Are    WHAT We Offer    WHERE We Are   WHEN You're Here   HOW Much We Are   WHY We Have...     MAP of Us   SHERRY Says
Caterpillar form of the Giant Leopard Moth. 

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Columbine growing from a rock ledge.  
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Can you see how it got the name Dog-tooth Violet?  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Hummingbird nest made of spider webs and lichen.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Mr. Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Water from the spillway.  

(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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Cicada nymph hatching from it's 13 year slumber.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada nymph using the Hosta leaf to emerge.
c
Nymph has completely hatched and is waiting to mature.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada 'maternity ward' on the Hosta leaves.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Cicada almost ready to fly.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
Our little fisher girl, Piper, snoozing by the campfire.
(C) Sherry Swanson 2011
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A new spin on S'Mores

Place a broken up chocolate bar or pour chocolate syrup into an aluminum foil cup that you can create yourself, and set the cup near your fire to melt the chocolate.

Crush graham crackers and place them on a plate or fill up a plastic bag.

Toast your marshmallows as you usually would.

Dip the toasted marshmallow in the melted chocolate or chocolate syrup and then roll it in the crushed graham crackers.

This recipe is sure to be a hit with the kids, and it will only take about five minutes to prepare.
Gramps attacked by tattoo stamping kidlets.
Wisconsin cyclists on a week long 3,000 mile trip through midwest tented with us for the night.
We've tried every human way to remove the shifty little dirt-pushing mole.  Don had reached his limit and went on the attack.
Visiting while his son graduated from Rolla S & T, this camper 'hauled' his 'toy' in his toy hauler.
Quote from motorcyclist
Piper and Beck 'patroling' the campground.
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Enter . . . 
Memorial
Day
Critter
Sitings
The
Campground
Was
Alive . . .
Blue Birds, Violets 
and
Missouri
Naturalist
Opening
Day of
Trout
Season
2011
Yes, Virginia There Is Fishing in the Winter
Lots of Pictures Here