From the January-February archives of the River Hills Traveler:

5 years ago

• As the lanky researcher approaches nesting box 91, a duck flushes out of the capsized hole in front. The hooded merganser squeals frantically and veers left, careening sideways in a downward crash onto the surface of the water. Thrashing one wing, the female duck feigns a crippled maneuver intended to draw predators away from her young. After several moments pass, the distraught merganser abandons the effort and flies away to a safe distance. (Vergil Harp)

• If you pass 10-year-old Simon Yemm on the street in his hometown of Marquand, you see an average little boy, full of squirms, fun, and laughs. But meet Simon in an art setting and you will see a completely different side of him. (Becky Englehart)

10 years ago

• Apparently I walked the wrong trail, but it was a great hike anyway. And probably better than the Sutton’s Bluff Nature Trail I set out to walk. And there was an interesting sidelight.

The trail I walked was part of the Ozark Trail, from Sutton’s Bluff Trailhead toward Bee Fork, a few miles south. The map I had showed the Ozark Trail and the Forest Service’s nature trail running together, then the nature trail making a loop above the West Fork of Black River while the Ozark Trail took a higher route along the Bluffy Hillside. (Bob Todd)

• The Eleven Point River has long been known for its natural and scenic beauty and an excellent trout fishery. A plentiful food supply helps rainbows grow to hefty sizes in the cold, blue-green waters. Thirty-nine-year-old Shorty Ficken, of Alton, Mo., has spent most of his life on the Eleven Point and knows it very well. He spent 18 years of his early life at Thomasville, near the headwaters of the river. (Bill Cooper)

15 years ago

• Being a planner by instinct, it is only natural for me that when things go awry, I am not always in the happiest of sorts. I prefer things organized and predetermined, but that cannot always be the case. However, in the some instances that may work to one’s advantage.

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