The Dog Days Of Summer In The Ozark Mountains
Springtime in the Ozarks showcases the wonderful water that Northwest Arkansas is fortunate to have. The Buffalo National River offers excellent floating and camping, the hardwood forests shimmer with every shade of green as the trees leaf out. Fall in the Ozarks has the splendid colors spreading over the canopies of the national forests and wilderness areas. Winter in the Ozarks gives up tremendous views of the countryside once the leaves fall. But summer in the Ozarks, well for starters its hot. Weeks of temperatures in the mid 90's and above, little to no rain for a month or so. The area literally dries up. You can always float the Lower Buffalo River, and the area lakes offer some respite from the oppressive heat. Much time is spent swimming and cooling off.
When we do go out it is usually early in the morning and we try and finish up before noon. One trip found us on the dirt road to Broadwater Hollow. It had just rained a few inches and we were hoping to find a little trickle and even maybe a thin ribbon of a waterfall, but no such luck. There were signs of rain, but no flowing water to speak of. We had noticed plenty of wildflowers along the road and decided to stop and photograph them and see how many different ones we could view. Not only were the flowers beautiful but there were several varieties of berry growing alongside the road. The butterfly picture and the gladiolus were from a friends garden.
Once we climbed back out of the ravine and got onto pavement we decided to continue on Hwy 43 and then stop at the Ponca low water bridge. We had visited this area a couple times this spring and we wanted to see the difference between sprig and summer. As you can see, there is an enormous change with the seasons. We found families spending the day swimming at Ponca. The kids were having a blast and I know the mom's were enjoying it also, plus the kids would sleep well that night.
Although it has been very hot here, you can still find activities that will make a causal day out or a vacation day enjoyable. If you go hiking, early is best and make sure to drink plenty of water. Finding a good swimming spot with clean, running water is especially refreshing in the heat of the Ozark summers. We hope to get out again soon, once this hot weather breaks.