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Exploring Arkansas May 2010

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Cave of Spanish Gold, Seven Hollows Trail, Parkin Archeological State Park, Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge
Inside a cave between Gravette and Sulphur Springs in northwest Arkansas there's a fascinating legend of hidden gold left by Spanish Conquistadors of long ago. The Seven Hollows Trail at Petit Jean State Park offers a natural arch and a grotto with a waterfall Parkin Archeological State Park near Forrest City is where "history" began in Arkansas-written evidence provides documentation of events and a Native American village (1000 - 1550 A.D.) which the Hernando de Soto expedition visited in 1541. Once a rice farm, the Bald Knob National Wildlife Reserve is now a migratory mecca for both ducks and geese.

TRANSCRIPT

EXPLORING A CAVE IS ADVENTURESOME ENOUGH. BUT FACTOR IN BURIED TREASURE LEFT BY SPANISH CON QUISTADOR SOLDIERS IT GET TO BE QUITE INTERESTING IN A CAVE IN NORTHEAST ARKANSAS WHERE WE BEGIN THIS WEEK'S SHOW AND THEN WE'LL TAKE YOU ABOUT LONG 7 HOLLOWS TRAIL AND CLOSE IT OUT AT BALANCED KNOB AT THE REFUGE. LET'S VENTURE IN THE OLD SPANISH TREASURE CAVE AND SO WHAT WE CAN FIND -- SEE WHAT WE CAN FIND: THE OLD SPANISH TREASURE YOU'RE CAVE IS LOCATED TWO MILES OFF NORTH GRAVIT OFF HIGHWAY 59. THIS CAVE OF SPANISH GOLD HAS ACTUALLY BEEN OPEN FOR TOURS SINCE THE MID 1930S. CURRENT ORRIN PAUL LINSKOT GUIDED US THROUGH THE ONE-THIRD OF A MILE OR SO INTO THE CAVERN. WE'RE NOW IN THE COUNCIL ROOM 350 YEARS AGO, THE SPAMMISH CONQUISTADORS, WHAT THEY DID IS THEY FIRST TRAVELED FROM DEEP INTO MEXICO AND THEY WERE STEALING FROM THE INDIAN SETTLEMENTS LIKE AS TECHS AND MAYANS AND THEY CAME UP HERE THREW A BRUTAL WINTER STORM. HORSES WERE DYING OFF, CARTS WERE BREAKING DOWN AND THAT'S WHERE THEY TOOK SHELTER INSIDE THE CAVERN AND CAMPED OUT HERE IN THIS ROOM. OFF TO THE COUNCIL ROOM THERE'S A NATURAL CHIMNEY AND THEY HAD A CAMPFIRE UNDERNEATH THE NATURAL CHIMNEY AND THAWS HOW THEY GOT CAUGHT. THE CONQUISTADORS PILLAGED A LOT OF SETTLEMENTS AND THEY RAIDED THEM ON THE HUNTING AND WHEN THEY CAME BACK THE VILLAGE WAS DESTROYED SO THEY STARTED TRACKING THEM DOWN AND EVENTUALLY FOUND THEM BECAUSE SHE SAW THE SMOKE COMING OFF THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. THEY CAME OVER AND KILLED ALL THE CONQUISTADORS EXCEPT ONE. WE KNOW AT LEAST ONE SURVIVED. WHAT HE DID IS HE FINISHED HIDING AND CONCEALING ALL THE ENTRANCES TO THE CABIN. THEN HE DREW A MAP OUT ON PARCHMENT PAPER. THE SPANIARDS NEVER TRUSTED JUST ONE SOURCE OF DOCUMENTATION. THEY ALWAYS PUTT PUT THAT INTO SOMETHING MORE PERMANENT.  OF COURSE, OUTSIDE THERE'S A FLAT LIMESTONE ROCK THAT WE HAVE A MAP THAT'S BEEN CARVED INTO IT. THAT MAP WAS FOUND BY AN ARCHAEOLOGIST FROM DALLAS, TEXAS, A LITTLE OVER 50 YEAR AGO. SO IT'S BEEN DATED AND AUTHENTICATED BACK TO THE TIME OF THE CONQUISTADORS. A TENSION TO EXCAVATE $400 MILLION WORTH OF HIDDEN GOLD CAN STILL BE FOUND IN THE CAVE. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM THERE'S AN OLD CAMP SITE AND THIS WAS DONE BY A MAN BY THE NAME OF GEORGE DUNBAR BACK IN 1908 HE STARTED ONE OF THE FIRST MINING OPERATIONS CALLED SUR FUR SPRINGS CAVE COMPANY. THEY INSTALLED SMALL GAUGE RAIL TRACKS THROUGH THE CAVERN AND HAD LITTLE DONKEYS PULLING ORE CARTS THROUGH THOSE TRACKS EXCAVATING AND SEARCHING FOR THE TREASURE. EVENTUALLY DUNBAR'S HEALTH AND MONEY GAVE OUT AND HE DIED WITHOUT EVER FINDING THE TREASURE. THROUGHOUT THE YEARS MANY OTHER TREASURE HUNTERS MADE ATTEMPTS TO RETRIEVE THE LONG-LOFT GOLD OF THE SPANIARDS BUT FAILED AS WELL. WE DIDN'T FIND ANY TREASURE EITHER BUT WE DID FIND A FEW BATS. EASTERN PIPISTRIL BATS. ONE IN PARTICULAR WAS RATHER INTRIGUING BECAUSE OF ALL THE CONDENSATION ON THE LITTLE FELLOW? YOU WILL ALSO FIND IN THIS CAVE FOSSILS OF SOME RARE SPECIES OF ANIMALS THAT LIVED HERE WHEN THE AREA WAS AN ANCIENT SHALLOW SEA. SO TO THIS DAY THE ESTIMATED MORE THAN $40 MILLION WORTH OF TREASURE REMAINS HIDDEN DEEP WITHIN THIS MYSTERIOUS CAVERN. BUT THE TREASURE HUNT IS AN ON GOING PROCESS. WHO KNOWS ALONG WITH WALKING THROUGH A PIECE OF EARTH'S HISTORY AND TAKING IN ALL THE UNIQUE CAVE FORMATIONS, MAYBE ONE DAY YOU WILL BE THE LUCKY ONE TO STUMBLE UPON THE LONG LOST TREASURE IN THE CAVE OF SPANISH GOLD. HERE AT PETTYJEAN STATE PARK, THE POPULAR TRAIL ONE THAT GOES DOWN TO CEDAR FALLS. BUT THE OTHER ONE AND MAYBE NOT TOO WELL KNOWN WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC IS THE SEVEN HOLLOWS TRAIL. A COUPLE HIGHLIGHTS ARE NATURAL STONE ARCH AND THE GROTTO AREA. JOINING US IS PARK INTERPRETER RACHEL EGGEBRECHT WHO WILL LEAD THE WAY. A HIKE ALONG THE SEVEN HOLLOWS TRAIL IS ENJOYING A HIKE THAT INSPIRED THE CREATION OF ARKANSAS' FIRST STATE PARK. PETTY JEAN. IT WAS THE UNSPOILED BEAUTY OF THE SEVEN HOLLOWS AREA THAT LEAD TO THE INCLUSION OF THIS UNIQUE TRAIL INTO ARKANSAS' PREMIERE STATE PARK IN 1923. 7 RECEIVED HOLLOWS TRAIL IS LOCATED IN THE WEST SECTION OF PETTYJEANY JEAN STATE PARK ONE MILE PAST MATHER LODGE OFF HIGHWAY 154. THE TWO MAJOR POINTS OF INTEREST ARE THE NATURAL STONE ARCH AND A NATIVE AMERICAN SHERL WITH A WATERFALL KNOWN AS THE GROTTO. THERE ARE OTHER ROCK SHELTERS AS WELL THROUGHOUT THE TRAIL. SOME WITH PICTOGRAPHS DRAWN BY THE PREHISTORIC BLUFF DWELLING NATIVE AMERICANS.

ALL OF THE HOLLOWS THAT YOU'LL HIKE THROUGH HAVE BEEN CARVED OUT BY SEVERAL STREAMS AND ALL THESE STREAMS STILL EXIST IN THE CENTER OF THE HOLE 0s. YOU -- HOLLOWS. YOU WILL CROSS THEM AT LEAST A DOZEN TIMES THROUGHOUT THE HIKE. SEVEN HOLLOWS TRAIL IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE TRAILS. AND I WISH I COULD HIKE IT MORE THAN I'M ABLE TO. THIS IS GREAT TO BE ABLE TO GET OUT HERE TODAY AND SEE IT IN THE WINTER TIME. IT'S AN INTERESTING TRAIL ANY TIME OF THE YEAR REALLY. IF YOU COME HERE IN THE SPRING, THERE WILL BE ALL KINDS OF WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM. IN THE SUMMERTIME THIS CAN BE A GOOD PLACE TO STOP AND COOL OFF. AND IN THE FALL YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE FALL FOLIAGE. AND, OF COURSE, IN THE WINTER, LIKE NOW, YOU CAN SEE THE EXPOSED ROCK A LOT MORE EASILY THAN YOU CAN THE OTHER SEASONS OF THE YEAR. SO THIS IS JUST A GREAT PLACE TO COME AND HIKE. IT'S ABOUT A 4-HOUR HIKE IF YOU DO IT AT A LEISURELY PACE BECAUSE THE TRAIL IS 4 THE .5 MILES LONG. YOU WANT TO ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME. WEAR GOOD STURDY SHOES. HIKING BOOTS ARE GOOD. TAKE PLENTY OF WATER WITH YOU. THIS LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT BE GOOD WATER TO DRINK BUT IT'S ALWAYS BEST TO CARRY YOUR OWN WATER iWITH YOU. AND A SNACK WOULD BE NICE TOO. I LIKE TO COME HERE AND SOMETIMES JUST SIT AND RELAX AND IT'S NOT AS CROWDED AS SOME OF THE OTHER AREAS OF THE PARK. THAT'S ONE THING THAT'S NICE ABOUT THIS TRAIL. AND IF YOU COME HERE IN THE SUMMERTIME, THERE'S ALWAYS A CHANCE THAT YOU MIGHT GET TO SEE -- IF YOU'RE LUCKY, A LIZARD THAT LIVES IN ARKANSAS BUT IS RARELY SEEN. AND IT'S CALL THE EASTERN COLLARED LIZARD. IT'S VERY COLORFUL. IT CAN GROW UP TO BE 14 INCHES LONG INCLUDING THE TAIL. THAT'S REALLY LARGE FOR A LIZARD IN ARKANSAS.

IT MAY SCARE SOMEBODY ALONG THE TRAIL.

IT MIGHT. LIKE I SAID, YOU SEE ONE IF YOU'RE REALLY LUCKY. AND THE BEST PLACES TO LOOK ARE OUT IN THE OPEN AREAS. THEY MIGHT BE OUT BASS KICK BASKING ON A ROCK IN THE SUNSHINE. THEY USED TO BE CALLED MOUNTAIN BOOMERS INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH.

ANOTHER CREATURE OUT HERE THAT YOU MAY NOT WANT TO RUN INTO I UNDERSTAND DIAMOND BACK RATTLER.

THAT'S CORRECT. IF YOU COME OUT HERE DURING THE WARMER TIMES OF THE YEAR, ALWAYS BE SURE TO WATCH YOUR STEP. YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHERE THERE MIGHT BE A RATTLESNAKE. THE WESTERN DIAMOND BACK RATTLESNAKE IS ONE OF SEVERAL SPECIES THAT CAN BE FOUND IN THIS AREA. SO IT'S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA WHEREVER YOU GO TO BE WATCHING YOUR STEP.

THE AFTER MAPPING OF AN -- AFTERMATH OF AN AUGUST 2004 FOREST FIRE CAN BE SEEN BY SEVERAL HOLLOWS WITH THE AREA NEAR THE TRAIL HEAD THE MOST EXTREMELY BURNED. IT IS ADVISABLE NOT TO HIKE DURING HIGH WINDS. BUT ALL IN ALL, THIS IS ONE TRAIL PREFERRED BY SOME EVEN OVER THE POPULAR CEDAR FALLS TRAIL.

I DO KNOW ONE PERSON WHO WORKS HERE RIGHT NOW THAT THAT IS HIS OPINION. THIS IS ONE OF HIS FAVORITE PLACES IN THE PARK. REALLY CAN'T BLAME HIM. THIS IS A NICE PLACE TO RELAX. COW BRING A PICNIC LUNCH AND SIT HERE AND EAT IT. IF YOU COME HERE OR ANYWHERE ELSE AT PETIT JEAN STATE PARK, THE PLANS AND ANIMALS AND ROCKS AND MINERALS ARE ALL PROTECTED. THAT MEANS YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DISTURB OR TAKE ANYTHING WITH YOU FROM THE PARK WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE PARK STAFF. SO, IF YOU'RE NOT SURE ABOUT SOMETHING, IT'S BEST TO LEAVE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT.

TAKE ONLY PICTURES.

THAT'S CORRECT. SM.

INDIAN MOUNDS WHAT'S HIT ENUNDERNEATH THEM IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION. TAKE ARCHAEOLOGICAL STATE PARK IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA REGION NOT FAR FROM FORREST CITY. WHAT'S BEEN DISCOVERED HERE IS THE NOT ONLY ONE OF THE FIRST NAMES OF AN INDIAN CHIEF BUT ALSO THIS:  HEAD POTS. A RARE FORM OF PREHISTORIC NATIVE AMERICAN POTTERY. THIS WAS AN INDIAN VILLAGE AND MAY HAVE HAD AS MANY AS 2,000 PEOPLE, PROBABLY THE TYPICAL POPULATION WAS CLOSER TO A THOUSAND OR 1500. BUT THEY WERE ALL CROWDED IN THIS 17-ACRE AREA AND IT WAS SURROUNDED BY A MOAT FOR PROTECTION. AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT THIS SITE IS THAT WE KNOW THAT THE EXPEDITION OF HERNANDO DESOTO VISITED HERE IN JUNE OF 1841 AND IT'S INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT FIRST OF ALL, IT GIVES US THE NAME, THE FIRST NAME OF A NATIVE ARC CAN SAN THAT WE HAVE WHICH IS KOSKI WHO WAS THE CHIEF HERE AND IT ALSO IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT'S THE FIRST SORT OF WRITTEN DESCRIPTION THAT WE HAVE OF HOW THE NATIVES LIVED IN ARKANSAS WHEN DESOTO CAME HERE FOUR MEMBERS HIS EXPEDITION OR ACTUALLY THREE MEMBERS OF HIS EXPEDITION WROTE ACCOUNTS OF IT. AND ONE WAS WRITTEN BY IP VIEWS WITH A BUNCH -- INTERVIEWS WITH A BUNCH OF THESE PEOPLE HAILER OP AND THEY ALL MENTION THE TOWN AND THEY MENTION THE CHIEF HIMSELF AND HE WAS AT WAR WITH ANOTHER CHIEF IN THIS AREA NAMED PAKAHA. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED HERE WAS DESOTO HAD THE MASS SAID BY A BUNCH OF HIS CATHOLIC PRIEST THAT'S WERE WITH HIM AND THEY HAD A CROSS CONSTRUCTED AND RAISED ATOP THE MOUND. THAT'S MENTIONED IN ALL FOUR OF THE ACCOUNTS. YOU HAVE THE MEM YAPTS OF THAT CROSS REAR REMNANTS OF THAT CROSS.

WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO DISPROVE IT. IT LOOKS PROMISING. THAT'S ONE OF THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION THAT'S WE'RE GOING TO DO IN THE FUTURE IS CONTINUE INVESTIGATING THAT.

CHIEF KOSKI WAS FLAT TOPPED INITIALLY. THEY WERE COME OP IN NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGES. ED MOUND HERE WAS ACTUALLY THE PLATFORM FOR HIS HOUSE AND ALL THE SPANISH ACCOUNTS TELL US THAT. SO HE WAS LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY ABOVE HIS PEOPLE, YOU COULD SAY. AND ON THE LOWER PORTION OF THE FOUND THE ACCOUNTS ALSO MENTION THAT SOME OF THINKS WIVES AND CLOSE RELATIVES LIVED IN OTHER LITTLE BUILDINGS DOWN ON THE LOWER PORTION OF THE MOUND. NOW, AS FOR THE HEAD POTS THEY'RE FOUND ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY IN NORTHEAST ARKANSAS AND THE ADJACENT BOOT HEEL REGION OF MISSOURI.

PRETTY MUCH THEY'RE ALL RESTRICTED TO THIS ONE REGION AND THERE ARE FABULOUS WORKS OF ART BY ANYBODY'S ESTIMATION. THEY RALLY ARE. A LOT OF THEM VERY LIFE LIKE DEPICTIONS OF PEOPLE AND THEY'RE ALL DONE BY HAND AND A LOT OF THEM ARE PAINTED SORT OF ELABORATELY. AND THERE'S SOME DEBATE ABOUT WHAT THESE REPRESENT. THEY COULD BE PORTRAITS OF REVERED ANCESTORS, SOMETHING OF THAT SORT. OR THEY COULD BE TROPHY HEADS, YOU KNOW, IN OTHER WORDS WHERE SOMEBODY HAD KILLED ANOTHER WARRIOR IN BATTLE AND TOOK HIS HEAD AN BASICALLY BROUGHT IT BACK AND HAD A POTTER MAKE AN EXACT PORTRAIT OF IT. AND THEN YOU DISCARD THE HEAD AND YOU HAVE THIS TROPHY BASICALLY. AND YOU KNOW, WE DON'T THINK THAT THERE ACTUALLY LIKE DEATH MASK PORTRAITS OF THE PEOPLE THEY'RE BURIED WITH. THEY ARE ALMOST ALWAYS FOUND WITH HUMAN BURIALS. BECAUSE IF SOMEBODY DIED AND THESE DO APPEAR TO REPRESENT SOMEBODY WHO'S DEAD, NOT ALIVE. AND IF SOMEBODY DIED, IT WOULD TAKE SO LONG TO PRODUCE ONE OF THESE THINGS FROM START TO FINISH THAT IT WOULDN'T REALLY BE FEASIBLE TO WAIT THAT LONG TO HAVE TO BURY SOMEBODY WHO HAD PASSED AWAY.

AT PARKIN ARC LOM CAL STATE PARK-ARCHAEOLOGICAL STATE PARK THERE'S ALSO A RESEARCH LAB YOU CAN SEE HOW ARCHAEOLOGISTS LEARN ABOUT THE PAST.

FOR MOST OF THE ONE 990-1990s WE DID MAJOR EXCAVATIONS BECAUSE WE WERE TRYING TO GAIN INFORMATION TO MAKE EXHIBITS AND SIGNS AND OTHER INTERPRETIVE MATERIALS. FOR EVERY HOUR WE SPEND OUT HERE DIGGING WE SPEND MANY, MANY HOURS IN THE LABORATORY CLEANING THE MATERIAL WE EXCAVATED, WASHING IT, SORTING IT AND IDENTIFYING EVERYTHING AND WRITING UP REPORTS BASED ON THAT, WHICH IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROCESS, YOU MIGHT SAY.

AS PART OF THE ONGOING RESEARCH SOME LIGHT HAS BEEN SHED AS TO WHAT MIGHT HAVE HPPED TO THIS NATIVE AMERICAN VILLAGE AT PARKIN.

ONE OF THE MOST PROMISING AVENUES OR HYPOTHESES YOU MIGHT SAY NOW OF WHAT HAPPENED IS THAT TREE RING STUDIES HAVE SHOWN US THERE WAS A PROLONGED DROUGHT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS BEFORE DESOTO CAME HERE AND IT MAY HAVE BEEN THAT THIS LONG PERIOD OF DEVEER DROUGHT WHICH REALLY DISRUPTED THE AGRICULTURE AND THESE PEOPLE WERE LARGELY CORN FARMERS MAY HAVE NOT ONLY CREATED A LOT OF STARVATION BUT ALSO POLITICAL UNREST AS WELL AND IT MAY HAVE BEEN THAT THE PEOPLE EVENTUALLY LOST FAITH IN THEIR RULER, SO TO SPEAK AND THEY MAY HAVE RISEN UP AND LEFT THE AREA. WE JUST PLAIN DON'T KNOW. BUT IT MAY BE THAT CLIMATE PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE COLLAPSE, I GUESS YOU'D SAY, OF THE MISS IPIAN PEOPLE IN THIS REGION. -- MISSISSIPPIAN PEOPLE IN THIS REGION. FOR DECADES BALD KNOB HAS BEEN KNOWN AS THE STRAWBERRY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. SINCE THE 1990S, BALD KNOB CAN LAY CLAIM TO A DIFFERENT NOTE RIGHT. WITH THE BALD KNOB NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. LET'S TAKE YOU THROUGH IT. BALD KNOB NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IS LOCATED JUST SOUTH OF BALD KNOB WITH THE LITTLE RED RIVER FORMING ITS WEST AND SOUTHBOUNDRY:  THIS ENTIRE AREA WAS ONCE A RICE FARM BEFORE BECOMING PART OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM. THE FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE PURCHASED THE GROUND FROM JOHN HANCOCK INSURANCE COMPANY. AND THAT -- IT WAS A MULTI-YEAR PURCHASE AND IT STARTED IN 1993 AND THE BULK OF THE FARM WHICH IS WHAT WE'RE ON NOW AROUND 13,000 ACRES THE BULLING OF THAT WAS PURCHASED BY 1995 AND THE SERVICE REQUIRED ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES ON A WILLING SELLER BASIS SINCE THAT TIME. AND I GUESS IT BEING A 1 TIME FARM AS FAR AS IRRIGATION AND WATER I GUESS IT WAS PERFECT.

IT WAS AN IDEAL SITUATION, EVERY ONE OF THESE FIELDS IS LIKE A COMPARTMENT. AND WE'VE GOT TOTAL WATER MANAGEMENT CAPABILITY. WE CAN PUT WATER ON WHEN WE WANT TO AND WE CAN TAKE WATER OFF WHEN WE WANT TO. MAKES IT IDEAL FOR WATER FOUL AND OTHER MIGRATORY BIRD MANAGEMENT. AND YOU RESTORED WHAT? 7,000 ACRES BACK TO HARDWOOD.

WE HAVE. AND WE HAVE COMPLETED THAT PROBABLY IN 2007. PUSHING RIGHT AT 7,000 ACRES AND SO WE'RE -- WE HAVE COMPLETED THAT. TOOK A LOT OF THE FIELDS THAT WERE NOT PRODUCTIVE AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN CLEARED TO BEGIN WITH. RESTORED THAT TO BOTTOM LAND HARDWOOD TREES AND SEEDLINGS.

AND, OF COURSE, YOU STILL GROW RICE AN OTHER CROPS FOR THE FOOD FOR THE WILDLIFE.

WE GROW TYPICALLY ON AVERAGE YEAR ABOUT 2,000 TO 2200 ACRES OF RICE. AND WE ROTATE THAT WITH SOYBEANS, MILO, MOIST SOIL WHICH IS A TERM WE USE FOR ANNUAL GRASSES AND NATURAL VEGETATION THAT ARE GOOD NATURAL DUCK FOODS. SO WE TRY TO ROTATE ALL THAT TOGETHER AND WE'VE GOT A 4500 ACRES OF COULD BE LAND CROD CURRENTLY.

DURING LATE FALL THROUGH WINTER LARGE AND WE DO MEAN LARGE CONCENTRATIONS OF BLUE, SNOW, CANADA AND WHITE FRONTED GEESE CAN BE SEEN OUT IN THE FIELD FEEDING ON THE STUB LEFT FROM FARMING. STUB WILL LEFT FROM FARMING. STUBBLE LEFT FROM FARMING. IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE HERE AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME OF THE DAY YOU CAN SEE QUITE A SHOW BEING PUT ON AS WAVE AFTER WAVE AFTER WAVE OF WATER FOUL COME IN. KEEP IN MIND THOUGH THAT THE WATER FOUL SANG WARE SI CLOSED TO FEBRUARY 28TH TO REDUCE WATER FOUL DISTURBANCE. ALTHOUGH BALD KNOB MA'AM WILDLIFE REFUGE PROVIDES A WINTER FOAM HOME FOR ALL WATER FOUL, IT WAS PURCHASED SPECIFICALLY FOR PIN DALE DUCK MANAGEMENT DUE TO ITS IDENTIFICATION AS A MAJOR WINTERING AREA FOR THIS PLAYERYE SPECIES.

THIS IS THE LARGEST STAGING AREA FOR NORTHERN PIN TAILS IN THE STATE. AND THEY LIKE OPEN CROP LAND, RICE FIELDS IN PARTICULAR. IT'S JUST ANOTHER IDEAL HABITAT FOR THE PIN TAILS AN THEY HAVE RESPONDED LIKEWISE TO OUR MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES. SO WITH THE DIVERSIFIED MANAGEMENT AND RESULTING INCREASES IN MIGRATORY BIRD SPECIES AND CONCENTRATIONS, BALD KNOB WHILE LIFE REFUGE IS BECOMING RENOWNED FOR ITS BIRDING OPPORTUNITIES. IF YOU'RE EVER IN THE BALD KNOB AREA TAKE THE SIDE TRIP TO BALD KNOB NATIONAL WIDE LIFE REFUGE AND FOR MORE ON THIS DISTINCTION DESTINATION AND MANY OTHERS OR TO READ THE BLOG OR TO ORDER A COPY OF A EPISODE VISIT AETN.ORG/"EXPLORING ARKANSAS." WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EXCITING ADVENTURE ON "EXPLORING ARKANSAS."

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