The Snow that Wouldn’t Stay

Leaning rock next to the Lake Alma Trail.

Leaning rock next to the Lake Alma Trail.

Hiker-dog and I could almost feel the snow melting under our feet this morning. We walked from home to the trail rather than driving on snow. The little shaded road to my house was almost completely clear after our hike around Lake Alma.

This reminded me of the chorus to a song I wrote with kindergarten students years ago in south Arkansas after one of those rare snow flurries that were just enough to get excited about, but not enough to make a snowball for throwing.

What do you think about that?

Snow melting on my hat.

We went out to play, but the snow wouldn’t stay!

What do you think about that?

Ice flower

Ice flower

Since snow was fleeting, we watched for interesting ice. I had seen frost flowers, but never an ice flower quite this shape. Splashing water from the creek froze in this bell or flower shape. It was about two inches across.

McWater Falls

McWater Falls

The falls were barely flowing but the ice formations added something special.

Ice on the bluff at McWater Falls.

Ice on the bluff at McWater Falls.

Hike-dog checking out the Hexagon House.

Hike-dog checking out the Hexagon House.

Here’s closeup of the ice flower. Ice formations can surprise you sometimes.

Ice flower

Ice flower

This afternoon as I import these photos, the snow is mostly gone. The snow that wouldn’t stay was special for the few hours it was here. I’m glad we got out and enjoyed it.

Home Trail Through Fresh Eyes

Spur trail to McWater Falls

Spur trail to McWater Falls

Today I walked my “home trail” with a group of hikers from the Ozark Society.  We took four hours to hike the four mile Lake Alma Trail, but it was a pleasure.  Part of the enjoyment came from seeing this familiar trail through other’s eyes.  Areas I’d walked past without a thought became places they stopped for photos.

McWater Falls

McWater Falls

We spent a lot of time at McWater Falls before heading on around the loop.  Seeing these hikers’ appreciation of our little waterfall was gratifying.  It’s a good thing waterfalls don’t have egos.  McWater Falls would be the most arrogant of them all after today’s photo session. IMG_3592rr

Hexagon House

Hexagon House

The group spent time speculating about the history and backstory of the Hexagon House.

Albino Nandina?

Albino Nandina? No red berries.

One of the plants the group noticed were these nandinas that grow throughout the area.  Two plants stood out because of their colorless berries.  This was something none of us had seen before. IMG_3639rr The group was interested in seeing this well just off the beaten path.  The stonework appears to be more recent than the hand-dug well it covers.  The group enjoyed discussing possible dates for the development of this well and the nearby root cellar.

Interior of the well.

Interior of the well.

Rustic root cellar

Rustic root cellar

Frank taking a shot.

Frank taking a shot.

It was a good day with good people on the Lake Alma Trail.  It was also a pleasure to see the trail through fresh eyes. Follow this link to read more about the Lake Alma Trail. IMG_3650

Thanksgiving

McWater Falls

McWater Falls

Fall temperatures and long steady rain.  The perfect recipe for hiking and waterfalls. With only one hour available Sunday afternoon, I threw the tripod over my shoulder and headed out to McWater Falls on the Lake Alma Trail. A quick four or five shots and it was back to the trail head.

Walking the trail, I felt a sense of thankfulness for the movement of my legs, the air in my lungs, and the pumping of my heart.

Let the season of Thanksgiving begin.

Early fall color.

Early fall color.

Drainage below McWater Falls.

Drainage below McWater Falls.

Drainage below McWater Falls.

McWater Falls at sundown.

McWater Falls at sundown.

McWater Falls – Lake Alma Waterfall

Lake Alma Waterfall as viewed from the trail.

McWater Falls as viewed from the trail.

Every little lake should have its own little waterfall and so it is that we have Lake Alma Waterfall, a short distance from the trailhead of Lake Alma Trail.  We’ve been longing for some rain, not only because water levels are low, but because the creeks around Lake Alma and the Ozarks have been pretty dry. With recent rain, we’re finally able to see the Lake Alma Waterfall (Update as of April, 2013: The Alma City Council designated McWater Falls in recognition of Harry McWater who was instrumental in the construction of the Lake Alma Trail).

At approximately 12-feet tall this is definitely worth checking out. The shape, location, and pretty little drainage make this a great place to spend some time.  Give yourself an hour or more so you can sit and enjoy the sight and sound.

Read my blog about the Lake Alma Trail for directions on how to get there.  The spur trail to this waterfall is only a 25-minute walk from the trailhead.  The spur is about one tenth of a mile long.

Get out and enjoy!

Lake Alma Waterfall as viewed from underneath its bluff.

McWater Falls as viewed from underneath its bluff.

Lake Alma Waterfall located in a beautiful drainage .1 of a mile off the main trail.

McWater Falls is located in a beautiful drainage .1 of a mile off the main trail.

This next picture is of poor quality but it gives a perspective on the size of the waterfall.

LAT Waterfall with person

Lake Alma Trail Waterfall

Lake Alma Trail Waterfall, McWater Falls