It's been a summer of scheduled appointments, of conferences, of not spending time in the natural world beyond the random trips to rivers and streams and the rogue woods hiking. Temperatures are high in late August in Missouri, so rivers and streams are more welcoming than ever. Daddy flies in from Louisiana on Tuesday, and Wednesday morning we're setting out for Big Spring country via St. James and Concord grape stands and earnest wineries like Heinrichhaus over on CR 1000. I told him to bring swim trunks, that splashing around in the Current River would be the best thing for him while we're staying at those fantastic Conservation Civilian Corps-built cabins at Big Spring that were not built for hot August nights. My grandpa Bacil worked with the CCC building Army barracks in the Gulf south, but they've since been torn down. I just can't wait to show Daddy how the Ozark National Scenic Riverways has done such a nice job (better than Louisiana) preserving the cultural heritage of that period.
Cicadas drone all day and night. Katydids don't start talking until nightfall, but when they start up, they are wonderfully vocal until the very early morning hours. Bats are still active at dusk as they flit around the street lamps hawking moths. While most folks recreate during June and July, I try to avoid people, so my recreation period begins when school starts and people disappear. I'm looking forward to a five day float on the Eleven Point River, to a trip to Arizona to see some of those ridiculously beautiful birds on their way south, and to shorter trips during aster and goldenrod season when the crickets start talking at night as they presage fall.