Lind Hollow Trail by Winter

Ordinarily winter in northwest Arkansas is a time of sleet, ice, and bitter wind. Lots of bitter wind and wet air, which cold sinks deeper than the dry cold in the West—yet they get snow, go figure. 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 with leaves to follow, and those bring ticks. Then there’ll be chiggers. I think I need to move back to Colorado.

Other consequences? 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 is the beautiful ice and animal tracks in our routine, single dousing of snow?

I shall indulge in my memories instead. I need one more opportunity to savour 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 have 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 mostly oak 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 that gets distracted from the main trail and follows the creek downhill ends at this pool accented 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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