Skip to main content

After a big weekend with the house overflowing with grandkids for three days running, gramma and grampa needed some R and R. So after after all her cousins had returned to their respective homes we dropped our little one off at Day Care Tuesday morning, tossed our camera, binoculars, and a bite to eat in the car and hit the road for leisurely  drive over to one of Missouri's many springs. This spring ranks only fifth in size in the state of Missouri but even so it's average daily flow rate of nearly one hundred million gallons is pretty impressive. The crystal clear cold water that bubbles out of the ground forms a beautiful stream that makes a perfect environment for rainbow trout and attracts many fisher men and women  to the park each year. We didn't go for the fishing this trip , just for a peaceful walk along the stream to enjoy the scenery and birdlife and other wildlife of the area. At times the park can be very crowded but we were counting on a slow day since we were going on the day after a big weekend and we weren't disappointed in that. We didn't have the park to ourselves but it wasn't crowded at all and the few people we saw were quiet and seemed to respect the serenity of the area as much as we did.

The Karst topography of this region has created a large aquifer below the surface that encompasses about 300 square miles. This aquifer consists of interconnected fissures and caves that hold varying amounts of water depending on the time of year and the amount of rain water that falls on the watershed above. Eventually all of this water finds its way to an underwater cave opening where it rushes up out of the dark confines to once again greet the light of day. As it does so it forms this pool of incredible blueness whose beauty never fails to blow me away no matter how many times I've seen it.

Photobucket

Photobucket

At the lower end of the pool the calm serenity ends in a rush of tumbling dancing water  to begin it's journey through the ancient rocky landscape in the bed that it has been steadily carving out for itself for countless thousands of years.

Photobucket

And a view of the pool overflow from just downstream.

Photobucket

A small foot bridge crosses this little waterfall and you can both see and hear the power of the water as you stand above the rushing water.

Photobucket

Here is the view from just below the bridge and falls.
Photobucket

This little blue tailed skink , as we call them locally but technically known as five lined skinks, didn't seem too concerned with us as we crossed his bridge.

 Photobucket

Photobucket

Fishing is not allowed above a certain point and many trout have found their way back up into this part of the stream and enjoy complete safety in this sanctuary.

Photobucket

There are strategically placed  gumball machines at various places along this no-fishing stretch and for the price of a quarter you will be rewarded with about a pennies worth of fish food. If you toss this into any of these upper pools the trout will come to the surface to gulp down those goodies. I donated a quarter just to get a picture of this activity.

Photobucket

This little guy has learned to hang out near one of the gumball machines and at the sound of the handle being turned he magically appears waiting for dropped or spilled pellets. Very cute ,yes, and he will eat right out of your hand, but as I soon found out, his teeth are quite sharp.

Photobucket

These stunningly beautiful damsel flys were very abundant all along the stream. They sparkled in the sun like little green emeralds while their wings created a perfect black velvety contrast. I believe they are  Ebony Jewelwings.

Photobucket

And this one was cooperative enough to let me get a shot of him with his wings opened up.

Photobucket

An uncooperative Indigo Bunting pulled me well off the stream and into the woods as I tried to get it's picture. Ended up with a blurry bluish blush which isn't worth posting but during the chase I did come across this beautiful dragonfly. My best googleing efforts failed to get me a positive ID but I think it may be a member of the clubtail family.

Photobucket

Photobucket

What's missing from these pictures is the sound of the water itself as it rushes and tumbles over and around the rocks. I wish I had some audio to go along with this diary.

Photobucket

Eventually the stream bed levels out and widens a bit and the flow though still quite quick, slows down just a little and settles comfortably into the age old and natural instinct of all rivers to become a blue and silver chain of pools and riffles This is the area that trout fishing is allowed and here and there you will see fishermen and women as they seek out the beautiful rainbows hiding within as you walk along the stream.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I'll end this diary where it began, with one more picture of this incredible blue serene pool.
Photobucket

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Mon Jun 04, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKOMA, Headwaters, Show Me Kos, and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site