The mornings I walked along Wildcat Boulevard, when everything was ice covered, were wonderful. Street lights shining behind ice covered trees made them seem like they we coated with sheets of diamonds, sparkling for the world to admire.
The sounds of icy branches swaying in the wind was unique. There was also the cracking of ice as the branches bent and broke the clear ice coverings. But what word describes icy branches hitting icy branches? Is there such a word in English?
I did a great deal of reading while ice covered the area. One item I read about was in Emory Styron's e-newsleter "Trav Talk." The article told of a man who caught a large rainbow trout in Lake Taneycomo. After taking a photograph of his prize, he released it.
After some research and calculating, the man and his guide decided it could have been the Missouri state record for rainbow trout. I wonder if this possible record fish began its life at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery. Nearly all these local trout end up in the waters of Lake Taneycomo. We will never know, unless that large fish is caught again.
The Springfield News-Leader ran a large article titled "Fort Leonard Wood Returns to Core Mission." This caught my eye as I spent basic training at Fort Leonard Wood.
During the Mideast conflict of the last 10 years or so, training at Fort Leonard Wood concentrated on getting the troops ready for deployment in that part of the world. Now the training as reverted back to regular, traditional training. The commanding general said, "They don't drive in and stay in a hut...they stay in a tent."
A better outreach effort is also part of the back to basics Army program. Fort Leonard Wood is working on relationships with colleges and universities for some exchange training. Also, Fort Leonard Wood has many facilities which could be utilized by others.
On a more local note, Camp Crowder now rents some of its facilities for meetings and other events. Anyone interested in using some of Camp Crowder's training buildings should call 451-5444.
I also ran into some interesting statistics on how much food the United States Armed Forces serves each year. For example, our military consumed 24,884,000 pounds of cooked chicken and 6,072,000 pounds of ground beef in 2012. How much of this meat came from Newton and McDonald counties?
Take a walk, use those signal lights, look for beauty in everything, watch for pedestrians, and see what you notice while passing along your own Wildcat Boulevard.
Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.