We needed to go somewhere. Get out of the house. See something different. Soak in some sunshine. Take the dog. Drive less than eight hours. Missouri checked all the boxes!
I found a nice rental on 70 acres with trails and a pond. It was quite warm several days. We got sunburned. Kayaked. Walked. Listened to the Spring Peepers and Tufted Titmice. I was excited to see dandelions:
Missouri is rich in mineral resources. There are approximately 1200 underground mines; 36% are coal and 64% non-coal. The Missouri DNR website shows an iron mine near our rental. The water had an iron smell to it (we drank bottled water) and I found a number of rocks on the property with orange/red in them:
It’s like being in a cathedral:
Left: Rue anemone wildflower that blooms March-June
Right: Lichen on a tree. Lichens are not plants; they are a combination of a fungus and an alga. They are found on every continent in the world.
Left: Reindeer moss. It is actually a lichen. Most lichen are about 94% carbohydrates. So yes, alcohol has been made out of it.
Right: Pine tree branch against a stunning blue sky
I had never seen anything like this and later figured out it is a crayfish chimney.
Crayfish, aka mudbugs, have gills. They excavate tunnels near surface water, digging down to the water table. They are a food source to over 200 species. The burrows, or tunnels also provide habitat for many species such as snakes, frogs, and dragonflies. More info about mudbugs is here.