We start the day early in order to meet with a friendly forester willing to discuss the checks and balances involving trees and the river. With forestry being an interesting subject with the Environmental Science class at KIPP-Delta schools, it was only right to set up future collaborations for our forever growing virtual classroom.

Within the distance I see a human figure standing on a peninsula separating the the main channel and a back channel. It’s the forester of the operation greeting us as we pull ashore. Introductions follow as Kavadous and I go exploring the chute while Driftwood converses with the forester.

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Photo by John Ruskey

Kavadous says,” What are those?” Pointing to the clear clusters floating in the small stagnant pool.

I reply, ” Those are frog eggs.”

I continue, ” Those pools are very important for the reproduction of reptiles and amphibians.”

We continue on fighting a swift headwind until we decide to cordel down to the next campsite. While cordeling, we found a dead pelican and decided to give it a respectful burial.

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Photo by John Ruskey

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Photo by John Ruskey

We finally reach our destination. A beautiful peninsula bluff overlooking the Arkansas River with a viewing arc of 180 degrees. A storm is coming, so the crew prepare tents ready to ” hunker down”, for the evening.

Kavadous looks at me and asked,” If it rains, will this area flood?”

I reply jokingly, ” It’s possible.”

He responds, “Well I better sleep with my life jacket on!”

We share a laugh and wait for the storm as the wind picks up blowing through the trees. I take my hat off and let the breeze flow between my “cypress knees” , inhaling the fresh clean air of the river. Storms are one of natures best shows on the river. Mark River

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