Tag Archives: “My Ozark Home”

Early Morning Walk

Last night rain poured down for a few hours leaving four inches behind before the clouds moved on. An early morning walk is important to see what damage the water has done.

Surprisingly the water stayed where it was supposed to. The road didn’t wash onto the fence.

pasture in early morning

A layer of mist still shrouds the north pasture and glows white as the sun rises. Behind the pasture the trees on the hill are beginning to turn color.

Up in the north pasture the sun is starting to light up the mist hanging over the grass. Wisps of mist are high enough to obscure the hill behind now turning colors for the fall.

creek in early morning

At the beginning of the north pasture, Whitaker Creek makes a big bend as it heads toward the upper Meramec River. It’s a peaceful place. Fish, frogs and crayfish inhabit the area. Great Blue Herons stop by, but fly off at any disturbance.

Time is sliding by on the crests of ripples on the creek. I turn back to check the south pasture.

The creek is up, but not flooding or even up to high water stage. I saunter across the bridge.

yellow jelly mushrooms

Dead wood as this older plank on the creek bridge is a good place to find jelly mushrooms after a rain. They come in several colors. The brown and white ones seem almost translucent. The yellow doesn’t and is smaller.

Crunching gravel underfoot masks the occasional plop of walnuts hitting the ground. The rushing of the creek keeps me company. It’s so easy to let my rushed feelings tumble downstream with the water.

The gravel is still on the culvert. No trees toppled. There is no real storm damage.

south creek in early morning

Near the south pasture the creek spreads out into a broad moving pond. The creek is split above the area by a small gravel bar.

This is now an early morning walk to simply enjoy the time away from tasks. Shadows still darken the south pasture. The mist is thin and white.

Still, morning chores are calling. For now the calls of the goats are quiet. There is no noise from traffic or whatever projects the neighbors are up to on top of the hill behind the house.

fantasy dragon

The remains of fallen trees can take on interesting shapes that change from different vantage points. I looked up from the creek and saw a dragon heading for the hill pasture across a sea of leaves.

The air is crisp, washed clean by the storm. Early morning walks are special times. I stand and linger looking up across the hill pasture.

Warblers are greeting the day with their songs. Some are quarreling in the trees along the creek.

The sun is peeking over the hills. Reluctantly I turn back to retrace my steps back to the house.

road in early morning

The road goes a tenth of a mile and dips down to a wet weather creek. On the east is the north pasture. Only in the fall does the rising sun stream out across the pasture and light up the road past the dip.

The sunlight is streaming across the north pasture as I walk up past the barn. I stop on the road to look down between the trees. It is tempting to continue my early morning walk.

A rooster calls. My cats Tyke and Cloudy call me. It’s time to serve breakfast.

There are so many special times at “My Ozark Home.” This is one of them.

Choosing “My Ozark Home” Covers

Normally choosing covers for a book takes lots of time. Sometimes I try out numerous ideas. As “My Ozark Home” neared completion, the question of covers became important.

In truth, I chose the front cover as I was picking out the pictures for “My Ozark Home.” It was a favorite photograph I’d taken a few years ago.

rain on dandelion seeds

A misty rain left tiny drops on this dandelion seed head. The sun sparkled on them making the sight special.

I was experimenting with my camera, trying to expand my picture range. One morning had a light rain falling. The rain stopped about noon.

Digital cameras are full of electrical circuits that can’t get wet. The circuits will short out and ruin the camera. I still wanted to take a few pictures of plants with rain drops on them.

evening primrose candidate for book covers

Early in the morning, before the sun is full on the garden, the evening primrose blossoms glow lemon yellow splashed with dew. Perhaps this picture will grace another book cover in the future.

Packing a couple of plastic bags in a back pocket, I set out in boots. Wet feet are not my style. I headed up the hill over the hill pasture following the goat trail across the hill, across a couple of ravines and up to the crest of the hill.

Along the way I found several plants in bloom including a shooting star. The pictures were lovely and extra. Wildflower pictures aren’t taken with rain drops on the flowers. The pictures languished in a file on my computer.

My Ozark Home by Karen GoatKeeper

Why choose this photograph for the front cover? First is the image of the shooting star, a lovely wildflower, trimmed with tiny rain drops. Second is the sweep of the hill behind the flowers. Third is the placement allowing room for the title and author without ruining the flower. Most important is that this is a favorite photograph I am happy to finally find a way to share.

This book was a wonderful way to use some of these extra pictures. The shooting star moved to the book file along with a mental note to use it for the front cover.

A book has two covers. I had no idea what to use on the back cover. None of the pictures in the book seemed right. I went back to the picture files.

The south pasture has a lovely vista. I’d used one picture of it in high summer with the grass tall, lush and green. There was another picture of the pasture in early spring, before the grass was lush and green.

choosing book covers for the back

The south pasture stretches out along a wooded hill. This is late spring when the trees have greened but the grasses are still yellow brown from winter. The tree is a honey locust now much taller and fuller. Spring clouds are so dramatic towering over the hill. This is the back cover of “My Ozark Home.”

This picture wasn’t part of the book. The front cover picture was. The back cover picture should be. Except I couldn’t add one picture. I had to add two. I found another and the two went into the book. And the south pasture became the back cover.

“My Ozark Home” now had its two covers.

Although “My Ozark Home” will not be available until July 7, you can read some sample pages now on the My Ozark Home page.

My Ozark Home Pictures

Patience is difficult. My book “My Ozark Home” is nearly complete. A few more pictures are missing. And I have to wait.

There’s an old saying: A watched pot never boils. Well, a watched plant never seems to bloom.

Over the years I took pictures of my road in all seasons except one: summer. I took lots of close ups of the plants, but not the road. The book needs one of the road.

waiting for road pictures

How long does it take for a daylily to bloom? These buds have been about this size for a week!

Summer has lots of greenery. It’s short on color. There are flowers like daisy fleabane and Deptford pink blooming, but they are small.

Orange daylilies are a big splash of color. There are several patches of these plants along the road. They bloom in early summer. Except this year.

This year I’m waiting for them to bloom. The buds formed. They get bigger, slowly. I wait.

The daylilies on adjacent roads are blooming. The daylilies in the backyard are blooming.

I’m waiting.

In the meantime I’m editing. The written parts of the book are done. The pictures I have are in. The haikus are there, most of them.

one more day to pictures

At last! The buds are getting tall and showing orange. The tallest one will bloom tomorrow morning. It would be nice to have several buds open the same morning. Please?

Next come the page numbers. These take planning in a book like this one.

Odd numbered pages are on the right. Even numbered pages are on the left. This is important to remember.

The Table of Contents must be on an odd numbered page. That was easy. It’s on page three. Page one is the title page. Page two is the copyright page.

There are ten written pages. I want each to be on an odd numbered page with the first photograph of that section on the facing even numbered page. That leaves the previous section ending on an odd numbered page.

That sounds simple. Until a section ends on an even numbered page.

My Ozark Homes pictures

Maybe this picture will do. The road is a bit overgrown as the brushcutter hasn’t been by in two years. With good weather and lots of rain, the plants grow fast anyway. finally some of the daylilies are blooming. Only some of the buds open each morning.

There are now two choices. I can eliminate one of the photographs in the section. I can add another photograph and haiku to the section.

The second choice is preferable. Back to the piles of photographs to find the one that will fit into the section.

Of course, putting a new page or rearranging pages means the page numbers must be adjusted. So much for this being a simple book to complete.

I think I will go out and look at the daylilies again. I do need more pictures to complicate my editing.