Menard Mounds

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One of the nine known mounds at Menard Mounds in southern Arkansas County.

I’m fascinated with the history of Arkansas County. It’s been a focal point for me in the recent months since the county is celebrating its bicentennial this year and Arkansas Post National Memorial has started work to open its Osotouy Unit up to the public.

The Osotouy Unit covers 400 acres just a quarter of a mile north of where the Quapaw village of Osotouy once sat (now known as Wallace Bottoms). It’s the village that Henri de Tonti established the original “Poste de Arkansea” near in 1686. Today, all that remains are nine known mounds (known as the Menard Mounds) that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark.
Arkansas Post has now started working on its document that would guide management of Osotouy Unit and allow the national park to receive funding to develop pedestrian trails and interpretive opportunities linking the two sites. It’s a project park officials say will take a while to complete.However, once done, it will be a fascinating place to visit. I simply couldn’t wait until then so Izzie and I traveled to the site with my visiting parents. I would have gotten lost if it weren’t for them.In past years, it was owned by a logging company so the roads were rough and it took me a while to find the nearest community — the unincorporated town of Nady. Here’s some pictures once I found it:

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We originally passed the gate to Menard Mounds and continued on driving down the logging road. We just happened to see the gate as we were returning.
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A not-so-unusual view.
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Lots of flowers.
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I love these.
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The drive down was beautiful just by itself.
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View by the mounds.
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More flowers in the field.
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Summer Tanager.
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Izzie was a mess by the time we left.
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This raccoon flew past us.
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Back at home, this Red-Winged Blackbird greeted me at the feeder.
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Red-Winged Blackbird outburst.

 

Change of pace

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My home for the past three years.

I moved to Stuttgart nearly three years ago. It’s been a great home, especially with Arkansas Post National Memorial, Bayou Meto, Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake and the White River National Wildlife Refuge being so close. However, it’s now time for me to leave Arkansas County and the Grand Prairie.

I have accepted a job with the same newspaper that I previously interned at for over three years. I’m nervous, yet excited to be able to call Jonesboro home once more.

The move is coming up — my last day in Stuttgart is the 10th. So … wish me luck and get ready to become reacquainted with the delta – NEA style. 🙂

New visitors

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

A strange chirping woke me up this morning. It was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak — a first at my house. However, he wasn’t alone. It was joined by another first, three White-crowned Sparrows, and eventually a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. The sparrows and hummingbird returned throughout the day. Not a bad start to the week.

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Overtime = Owl.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Overtime. It’s a great word, especially since it allowed me to get out of the office early Thursday afternoon. Izzie and I headed to the Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area to see what we could find. We got pretty lucky — the highlight of the trip was a Barred Owl (above). It was my first time to see one and, I must admit, March is turning out to be a great month for spotting owls!

Besides the owl, we also spotted Blue-winged Teal, Double-crested Cormorants, snow geese, sparrows, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Cardinals and plenty of Wood Ducks. Here’s some pictures:

Wood Ducks
Wood Ducks
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Double-crested Cormorant
Snow Geese
Snow Geese
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Tufted Titmouse
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I just love the color!
I also saw plenty of nutria. It's definitely mating season for these guys.
I also saw plenty of nutria. It’s definitely mating season for these guys. That’s all I’m going to say.

 

All day birding

Lately, my days have been pretty bare of after hours, work-related events. I had to take advantage of my good luck by heading out to bird in Arkansas County and around Little Rock. It paid off — I rediscovered four state birds. The birds were House finches, a Brown-headed Nuthatch, the American Goldfinch, and Green-Winged Teal Ducks. The duck pictures aren’t the best since the ducks were practically on the other side of the lake. But hey, at least you can tell what they are. 🙂

Anyway, here’s my pictures of the birds plus sky pictures that I like:

1-House Finches, Brown-headed Nuthatch
House Finches and a Brown-headed Nuthatch
2-American Goldfinch1
American Goldfinch
4-Green-Winged Teal Duck1
Green-Winged Teal Duck
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Another look at the Green-winged Teal Duck
6-Bald Eagle, Juvenile
Juvenile Bald Eagle
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Heading back into Little Rock

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