There are two upcoming field trips of the bird-wildflower-All Of Nature- variety upcoming in the western Ozarks, April 10 & April 17. All are free & open to the public. Mis-information I typically share on such trips also comes free of charge. Casual and hopefully fun is the goal. On Saturday, April 10, we are joining Joy Fox and others from Wattle Hollow Retreat Center, just north of Devil's Den State Park, for an exploration of the fine Boston Mountains forest, small farm, and stream environments.
You can meet the group along highway 170, where you turn into Wattle, at 8 AM for the leisurely & birdy stroll down to the retreat center. Or, if you sleep in, just get to the retreat center at 10 AM and we'll head down the hillside forests & creek. Pot luck lunch at noon. Here are directions to Wattle: From Fayetteville take HWY 540 south to the Devil's Den exit at the West Fork exit #53. Turn right (west) towards the park, following HWY 170 (Devil's Den Road) signs for about 14 miles. At the sign that says" Devil's Den State Park, 4 miles, " continue on Hwy 170 another half mile, there will be a 'Wattle Hollow' sign on the left, just before the driveway (there is a stone cairn also on the left, and a small white house with mailboxes on the right). This is the meeting place at 8 AM. If you are in the 10 AM group, go left down the driveway; after 1 mile, take the (only) right fork in the drive which is well-marked, and continue to the end of the road. Type Wattle Hollow Retreat Center into Google to explore Joy's web page. On Saturday April 17, Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society hosts a field trip to Ninestone Land Trust in Carroll County.
Meet at 9 AM. Everyone is welcome! You do not need to be an Audubon member or an experienced observer to participate. Lunch will be pot luck style, accompanied by the waterfalls, so bring your lunch or something to share. There is a fine Ozark stream and exceptional habitat for birds, plants, and other species. Habitats: a series of fine waterfalls over sandstone kettles, Piney Creek, classical Ozark upland fields, sandstone glades, soaring blufflines (we’ll see them from on top and see them from below), stands of both mixed hardwood species and native shortleaf pines, and the Ozark birds and transients associated with the many different habitat types. This property is being preserved to protect its unique values. Ninestone is located just south of Berryville, off highway 21, about one hour drive east of Fayetteville. Depending upon weather conditions, there could be several shallow creek crossings. If you have rubber boots (Muck boots, barnyard boots, etc), they might be helpful. The creek, a traditional body of water in the Ozarks, also gladly accepts tennis shoes & bare feet. This field trip works quite well regardless of your mobility condition. If extensive walking & hiking doesn’t work for you, there is plenty of high quality scenery right where we park, at the home of Don Matt & Judith Griffith. The amazing waterfalls are easily seen there and heard as well. Piney Creek is just below, with its waterthrushes plus migrants passing through the Ozarks. So you don’t need to be very mobile to enjoy all of this, plus the big native pine grove and farm yard. This is all fun & fulfilling stuff to do while everyone else is “off to the woods & fields.” We’ll all rejoin for a pot luck lunch. Directions to Ninestone: 1.For those coming from Berryville or north- directions from intersection of Hwy. 62 E & Hwy. 21 S just east of Berryville: From Hwy. 62 east of Berryville, take Hwy. 21 South for 10 + miles to the Cedar Creek Country Store on the RIGHT. IMMEDIATELY after the store & parking lot, turn RIGHT onto a gravel road. The gravel road is CR 512, but is not well marked, so just turn RIGHT immediately after the store. Do not cross the bridge over Cedar Creek! Continue on the gravel road for 1 MILE, staying to the LEFT at any choices. You will pass 3 mailboxes on the LEFT, one is a large blue mailbox. Continue on to our log cabin on the LEFT. 2.For those coming from Fayetteville or south- directions from intersection of Hwy. 412 & Hwy. 21 N: From Hwy. 412 take Hwy. 21 North for about 7 + miles. Cross the Cedar Creek Bridge first & turn LEFT onto the gravel road (CR 512) before you get to the Cedar Creek Country Store on the LEFT. Continue on the gravel road for 1 MILE, staying to the LEFT at any choices. You will pass 3 mailboxes on the LEFT, one is a large blue mailbox. Continue on to our log cabin on the LEFT. Judith Griffith & Don Matt, Ninestone Land Trust, 870-545-3559 firstname.lastname@example.org.