mission: MUSE - "where i live"
by guest muse julie
Where I live is in a region called the Ozarks, in Mountain Grove, Missouri, USA. I caution people about this area because, so strong is the hold it has over it's inhabitants, it becomes a part of a person, heart and soul. You get "drawn in" if you ever live here-and a testimony to that is the large number of families that have lived here for generations since it was first settled. It has a rugged beauty in its hills, forests, rivers, streams and lakes that is unmatched anywhere. The Ozarks also refers specifically to a region of people with a distinct culture and dialect. Although the region is no longer isolated as it once was due to modern technology, the dialect remains intact, especially in a group of natives.....I'm very struck by (the sound of) that when I am in a room of us and we've all "got our guard down."
I am one of these proud natives (who talks funny) with roots that go back to the original settlement of the area by people from the Appalachians. I want to give you a wide overview of the area so that you will remember that Missouri is more, so much more than its major cities of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.
This is my home on our farm. I thought it looked particularly beautiful framed by the autumn leaves. We have acreage here where we farm, and raise cattle and horses. I love to roam the farm and take photographs of it and it's inhabitants....there are the birds and other wildlife, too. But that's another subject for different musing by me.... :)
Tourism is quite important to the economy of Missouri. A wonderful aspect of this (that many people don't realize) is, many of our best sight-seeing opportunities are free to visit-including, our many conservation and wilderness areas! Let me show you a couple. The first one is Cedar Gap Conservation Area, located in the tiny community of Cedar Gap. I hiked it earlier this year. The wildflowers were blooming abundantly, and the vegetation was lush and green. The hills really seemed like girls in emerald party dresses adorned with colorful jewelry! We had received plenty of rain, and springs ran everywhere, along with the Bryant Creek at the bottom of a ravine. The area forms the headwaters of Bryant creek. It was magnificent!
The second is the wonderful Piney Wilderness, located near Shell Knob, Missouri. I went over this wilderness on muleback three times this year with my Dad. He was born in that area and knows every inch of it! (My grandparents had a farm which was taken by the corp of engineers to build Table Rock Lake). Here, I put together a few images that will show you this area's glory in the colors of fall. You can hike there too, and it borders Table Rock Lake, which is depicted in one of the shots in this collage:
The Ozarks is indeed a very special place. I am thankful and inspired by the fact that we have been fortunate enough to preserve parts of it much as it has been for a very long time for future generations. I hope you enjoyed this overview, and mini tour of where I live.
For more on my life in the Ozarks you can visit my Flickr photostream.
Until next time. Julie