5 years ago

• I seldom need a reason to go out of doors. However, on occasion, I feel compelled to be outside. The recent warming weather gave me a heavy urge to be out in the swirling breezes, sunshine and fresh air.

I looked at a map to find the closest section of the Ozark Trail, packed my day pack and headed to the Huzzah Wildlife Area south of Leasburg, across the Meramec River from Onandaga Cave State Park.

I also packed a backpack full of all the necessities for an overnight trail camp, just in case I became enamored with the whole notion of hiking for a day-and-a-half. After crossing the river, I continued on Cave Road for several miles and made a left on another gravel road just before I reached the low water bridge over the Huzzah at Scotia.

I passed the Missouri Department of Conservation gun ranged and wound around the road until I arrived at a small campground on the banks of Courtois Creek. (Bill Cooper)

• Wy does May cause a stir in me? I hunt turkeys some in May, but that’s no the reason. I might look for morels, though I’m not very good at it. My passion, wade fishing, won’t start until late in the month.

Squirrels? I never think of them until fall and frogging is still a long way, at least, in my mind. May is mainly a waiting month. It doesn’t hold a lot for me. But yet, when I go back to my journals, I find tons of entries from outdoor activities in May. What gives? (Greg Rudi Rudroff)

10 years ago

• Governor Matt Blunt will be proclaiming 2007 as the “Year of the Natural Area” in Missouri at a ceremony May 9. It’s 30 years since the program began. Not the first, but an early designation was Hughes Mountain Natural Area near Irondale. Established in 1982, the 430-acre area was one of those named for its geologic values, a bald piece of volcanic stone that cooled to form interesting patterns of fractures in the rock. (Bob Todd)

• There are three more squirrels on the highway and we look to put three or four more in the woodbine, Greg Richardson, my good friend had said as we traveled down K Highway toward Akers Ferry. We were out enjoying the spectacular beauty of the dogwood blossom display (before the big freeze) in Shannon County. However our attention drifted from flowers to fur. Squirrels loitered in the highway like so many teenagers at a shopping mall. Salt, brought to the asphalt surface by rain, served as a powerful attractant. (Bill Cooper)

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