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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • RUSSELL HIVELY: George Washington Carver Trail

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  • Although I was walking along my normal route along Wildcat Boulevard, I was recalling the walk I had taken the afternoon before on the George Washington Carver Monument Trail. It became an animal adventure.
    Kay was at a meeting at the monument so I decided to take a walk. I was already happy about seeing two turkeys in the wheat field north of the monument.
    I first noticed an abundant number of blue needle bugs flying along the trail not too far north of the buildings. I wondered if kids still thought they would shoot a needle in you if they are disturbed?
    There were many water spiders floating on as I passed over the bridge. When I got to the lake I noticed a muskrat with something in his mouth swimming over to two large trees growing along the bank. When he got close, he disappeared. I instantly thought his den is there.
    When I got to the edge of the trees. after walking around the north loop of the trail, I saw Mr. Muskrat out on the bank grazing on the grasses. I watched him for several minutes. Then for no reason, he grabbed a mouthful and slid into the water.
    A water snake followed me along the bank of the lake, and then I walked on while listening to the bobwhite quail whistling off in the distance. I stopped and listened for a turkey to call, but heard none.
    When I got back to the center, I was thirsty and stopped to sit on the bench and have a Mountain Dew. As I relaxed a small butterfly came and landed on my left elbow. He stayed and soon I noticed he was probing my elbow with his proboscis. I assumed he was drinking sweat. Doesn't sound too tasty to me.
    Later as we left the monument, we noticed animals along the public road by the creek. As we neared, we saw a Muscovy duck and two half grown youngsters. Then we spotted a second adult and at least a dozen, fuzzy youngster gathered in a clutch.
    Up the road another turkey had joined the two and the three sent us on our way home after having a wildlife adventure at the George Washington Carver Monument.
    Take a walk, enjoy what nature has to offer, use those signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard, wherever it is.
    Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.
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