The Northern Arkansas Ozarks

We're located in the beautiful northern Arkansas Ozarks at the very southern edge of Marion County. The nearest town is Yellville (population about 1300), about 14 road miles or around 12 miles as the crow flies directly north of us. We're out in the "boonies" or the "sticks" or whatever you want to call it -- or as I like to say, in the middle of "no-where". Our county is in the northernmost tier of counties bordering Missouri, just a little west of the center of the east-west border. Mountain Home (population around 12,000) is about 40 road miles to the east, while Harrison (population around 14,000) is about 45 road miles to the west. We're about 125 miles from Springfield, MO and Little Rock and Fayetteville, AR.

Climate around here is definitely four seasons, although sometimes we think we missed spring or fall! It regularly gets down into the teens at night in the winter and sometimes dips down as low as zero. We usually don't have a lot of snow, but are in an area subject to ice storms (freezing rain) in some winters. Last two bad ones were January 1, 1999 and around Christmas in December 2000.

Spring is just beautiful in this region with some spring flowers as early as late February and the peak of the Dogwood trees blooming is usually around mid-April. Redbud and Dogwood are quite prevalent near here. Later in the spring, the wild azeleas are quite beautiful along with the old lilac and many many other trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

Summer is often just plain hot and muggy, sometimes with a respite in the middle such that light jackets are needed at night. Tornados and severe thunderstorms often threaten, but we seem to be a ways east of the "tornado alley" running through Oklahoma. Summer evenings and nights are quite bearable temperature wise.

Fall colors are some years just beautiful, while other years disappointing. The peak of the colors have varied from late September to the first week of November in the years we've lived here. Most of the trees in this area are hardwoods -- oak being most prevalent.

Wildlife? Sure do have many deer, lots of wild turkeys, a few brown bears, bobcats, and we've seen evidence of beaver in our creeks. We also have owls, whippoorwills, and many varieties of woodpeckers. Cannot forget the ticks, chiggers, rattlesnakes (have never seen one here yet), copperheads (might see a couple per year), etc. Generally we are not bothered by mosquitos or flies much.

Our property is 40 acres a very rugged land and mostly forested. We cannot see any neighbors and the nearest is up the road close to half a mile away. The adjoining land is pretty much the same rugged terrain and forested and vacant. We have a very large year round spring from which we pump and pipe our water. This forms some quite beautiful waterfalls and creek.

Here's some pictures around our home in the Arkansas Ozarks

Update 2007 - Here are a few added pictures for the collection: the first is an interesting wasp or hornet nest found in a cardboard box left on a porch outside.

The next few pictures are of our friend "Snakey" taken on Aug. 16, 2007. It, or maybe its mate, was first spotted this past spring at a spot under the southern edge of our house. For quite some time, we were not bothered with rodents in our lower house level. Then we didn't see Snakey for the past couple months until these pictures were taken. The first picture shows it rather dusty looking except for parts of its body getting some water mist from our garden sprinklers just started up. It apparently enjoyed the cool bath as it stayed in place for quite some time. About a half hour later I found it had moved to another location and I managed two more pictures before it retreated under our deck.

I'm not able to identify "Snakey" from Arkansas snake websites. It is an estimated 2 to 2-1/2 feet in length, kinda hard to tell for sure. It does have faint markings visible in the pictures. Its underside is lighter and patterned. The one I saw in the springtime seemed to have brighter yellow under its chin/head area; this one seemed more cream color in that area. That's why I question if it is the very same snake or maybe a mate. Anyone care to venture an identification?

UPDATE: Gulp! The web pages and forum helped identify "Snakey" as a Western Cottonmouth, one of the six kinds of venonmous snakes found in Arkansas.