Sunset at the Boat Ramp

We’re lucky. We live by a tiny town with a river that’s part of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. It’s called the Current River and is known for its clear water, movement that flows enough to carry canoes and kayaks, swimming holes, and fishing.

A couple of nights ago, my son and I went to the boat ramp in town. I was able to catch these sunset pictures. What a lovely evening it was.

January 27, 2023- sunset at the Current River
sunset at the boat ramp- January 27, 2023
snow in my mirror reflection- January 27, 2023
a tree in my window reflection- January 27, 2023
Current River view from the parking lot-
January 27, 2023

It’s so wonderful to have nature close by. It fills up this photographer’s heart a million times over.

Hope you have a great evening/day!



On Glimpses of Things

Yesterday we went to the river. During floating season, there are people all over the place and river ‘sounds.’ Things like: laughter, chit chat, boat motors, dogs barking, car doors shutting, music playing…

Currently, on the Current River, it’s the quiet time. The temperatures are cold in the water and in the air. I don’t mind the busy season, but I sure love the ‘nobody’s around you can hear nature’ time.

For instance, last night we were the only people there. For me, that brings nature back into sole view. Details called out. I noticed. There were pine trees swaying in the wind, leaves on the snow, pine cones sitting on overlooked paths, and my truck hood acted as a mirror.

January 27, 2023- pine cones at the river
January 27, 2023- snow as the perfect backdrop
trees on my truck hood- January 27, 2023
January 27, 2023- pine trees sway

On the way out, we were paused by a tree that crossed over the road. A gift really. A ‘slow down moment’ in days filled with hurries. So we did it, we paused.

tree leaned over the road- January 27, 2023

After going around it, I found myself looking, for color in the trees, for something that would demand a camera, or something that would make a stellar photograph.

Nothing really stood out ahead, but when I looked back perfection and grace were wearing the same coat.

My side mirror gave me a glimpse of what truck windows would notice, if they did such things. I stopped and got out. Here’s what I saw:

January 27, 2023- a scene that caught my eye
January 27, 2023- a window’s view

Glimpses of nature on some random Friday, filled up my lens, eyes, and heart with abundant gifts. Love when that happens.

Thanks for being here.



Kangaroo Time

Van Buren is a small town in southeast Missouri. The population is 1,241 (in 2020). But, sometimes small towns can offer big things to do.

Tuesday my son and I drove about 40 miles to visit Van Buren and do some of those fun things.

There’s the Jolly Cone restaurant with its outside walk up and order counter. We went there for ice cream, tater tots, and french fries. Yum.

The Landing is a hotel and restaurant that offers float trips down the Current River. They had a fire in 2021, but are rebuilding and open. We didn’t float or stay there this time, but we have in the past. Here is their link is you’d like any information.

We went to Big Spring, which I wrote about in my last 2 posts. It’s a wonderful natural spring with 2 hiking trails, some buildings the CCC built in the 1930’s, a campground, picnic pavilions, and access to the Current River.

Another place we went is called Missouri Down Under Adventure Zoo. It is a small zoo, right outside of town. The big draw is the kangaroos. They also have gem panning, a cave, a quarry dig, other animals, and some amazing tree carvings.

The kangaroos are in a huge fenced enclosure and you get to go right in there with them. The day we went it was 102 degrees, so shade was a priority for most of them.

We did see one over at the water tank. I was able to give it a snack out of my cup.

snack time
drink time
shade time
kangaroo time
tree carvings
gem panning
that hole is the cave entrance
inside the cave

We had a great time. They also have lemurs, baby goats, rabbits, birds, snakes, porcupines, and a few other animals. Their website is if you’d like to see the hours or ticket information.

We had a great day in Van Buren on Tuesday with some hiking time, ice cream time, and kangaroo time.

Hope you have a great day!


Big Spring Dining Hall

We live in an area filled with natural springs, Forest Service land, hiking trails, and history. What an amazing place to be! Three miles from our house is the Current River.

It is clear and cold, which makes it a popular area year round for swimming, fishing, boating, and floating.

Tuesday, we were about forty miles from home at Ozark National Scenic Riverways near Van Buren Missouri, which is also on the Current River.

Big Spring is the natural spring that I wrote about yesterday. The area itself is full of some pretty cool history. Back in the 1930’s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) built the roads and buildings there.

near Big Spring, Van Buren, MO
sign at Big Spring about the CCC
sign with the history of Big Spring

One of my favorite buildings there is the dining hall. Set back off the road, in the trees, it just feels like it was an important place many years ago. Stately, is the word that comes to mind, with its rock walls and river view.

dining hall at Big Spring

The windows are amazing. I’ve never been inside, but they offer a glimpse in and a glimpse out, via nature’s reflections.

a peek into the dining hall from a window
reflections at Big Spring dining hall
a glimpse in, the lights are on
dining hall window reflections

Back in its day, it must have been a busy place. While we were there, one other car came, but I was the only one at the building. Back in the 1930’s though, I bet it was bustling with people. I love that the building is still standing after nearly 90 years.

Here is a great link from the National Park Service about the history of the CCC and Big Spring:

Thanks for reading!