First spring of Spring


Woke up one morning and it was spring. It happens like that. Suddenly forsythia. No mittens required. Where I live, spring, like autumn, paints the town long before it gets around to coloring the woods. But I know where to get my blues and greens. The first March day in which the mud is manageable and only a jacket is required, I make my way to an Ozark spring. Everything about the ecosystem of a big Ozark spring represents rebirth: pristine water bubbling up through the filtering rock, the iridescent green of watercress and moss which neither cold nor heat fades, primordial ferns uncurling their fronds in the freshest air. Always a particularly showy spring wildflower – columbine, shooting star, Dutchman’s breeches – in the vicinity, too. This March I initiated the season with an easy hike along the Current River, a blessed body endowed with many spectacular springs, to Welch Spring. I call this photograph Spring Tonic. I try to visit all my favorite Ozark springs from March through October each year. Welch Spring was once the site of a fledgling health spa, hence the ruins. An early spring hike to this beauty is all the medicine I need to shake off the snow in my bones.

Copyright RC 2019

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