Friday, November 12, 2010

Dressed in khaki



Bald eagles (8) and wild turkeys (25+) outnumbered belted kingfishers (4) on a canoe trip down the Niangua River this week. We had the river to ourselves and wildlife on a 74 degree day, with only a few strands of Mardi Gras beads and a fabric Hawaiian lei wrapped in a buttonbush shrub all that remained of what are surely loud and boisterous summer weekends on this Ozark river.



Bur oaks are common inhabitants along the Niangua, these thick, gnarled fire-adapted trees that produce the largest acorns in North America. We saw only one recently burned hillside on the way to the outfitter in this landscape that historically burned more frequently than any other in Missouri. Someone (not me) extinguished the fire before it reached the river which undoubtedly serves as one of the best firelines in the state. In long stretches of the riverbank, warm season grasses grow all the way through the riparian zone down to the water. Bank stabilization at its finest.





What we see today- barring the stray silver maples still in yellow -we'll see until March. Late fall came too soon this year and the outfitter won't open again until April (early March, if I ask nicely).

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to surpass the majesty of a bur oak tree?

Allison Vaughn said...

I don't think so...

Anonymous said...

A Henry Rowe Schoolcraft landscape. I love big hunkin bur oak acorns. Can't wait to launch on the Niangua this spring

Scott Merritt said...

"Bank stabilization at its finest". By "finest", I assume you mean "second only to atv tires strung on a cable"....hah hah :)

Allison Vaughn said...

Well, burned out cars are the best, and building material from demolished shoe companies is also good, esp. when formaldehyde-laden carpet is thrown into the mix for good measure. Go ahead and poison the river while you're at it...

Travis said...

i was looking at those bur oak acorns, thinking they were perhaps some of the largest i had seen; then i realized they were in your tiny hand. misrepresentation! found some in western illinois once that were the size of an Adam class baseball (khoury league reference). pretty sure the deer have to eat those with a knife and fork.