Lind Hollow Trail by Winter

Ordinarily, winter in northwest Arkansas is a time of sleet, ice, and bitter wind. We get lots of bitter wind and wet air that sinks deeper into your skin than the dry, snowy cold in the West where I grew up. This year, we have had only a few nights below freezing and plenty more days over 60 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 16 degrees Celsius). The consequences? All the spring flowers have bloomed. The leaves to follow, and those bring ticks. Fresh grass brings chiggers…I think I need to move back to Colorado.

I feel cheated by nature. I enjoy season variations, the good and the bad, and I still feel like stifling summer humidity just fled. Where are the beautiful ice and animal tracks in our routine, the single dousing of snow?

I shall indulge in my memories instead. I need one more opportunity to savor nature’s sleepy state.

Ozark National Forest hosts a disputed number of trails. Some are managed and hiked regularly, whereas others rarely appear in guide books but locals know where to find them. Lind Hollow Trail, an out-of-the-way path nearest to the hamlet of Boston, Arkansas, along State Highway 16, connects to many trails. I didn’t hike the entire length, but I followed a creek and took in the sights and sounds.

Lind Hollow Context
The trail and this creek start in the highlands and converge with another creek in the hollow. Moss has no problem surviving midwinter in this sheltered habitat.
Flowing Steps
I admire the way the creak swerves and has sculpted the sheets of rock decorated with more moss.
Patterns in Ice
More swerving patterns by the water. Lighter streaks resemble frozen waves bouncing off the elevated rocks.
Ice Face
Natural ice sculpture complemented by moss and leaves. Considering how brown Arkansas winters can be, this is a colorful shot. I may even dare to edit it again but with more daring color enhancements–I’m usually gentle with alterations.
Oaken Frost Marsh
Fallen log, thin ice sheets, and an oak leaf patch together like a woodland floor mosaic.
Lind Hollow’s side trail follows the creek downhill ends at this pool colored with dissolved lime in the water.

No ice this year. There was hardly any frost. I didn’t even hike for two months because I broke my foot in November. I skipped winter and now I have to welcome an early spring.


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