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Putthoff to talk about waterfalls

Flip Putthoff, outdoors reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, knows the northwest Arkansas countryside well and will present a program at Hobbs State Park on the waterfalls in the area. He has tromped through the northwest Arkansas woods and fished our creeks, streams, and Beaver Lake for 40 years.

Hobbs State Park visitor center

Ark. Highway 12 just east of the

Ark. Highway 12/War Eagle Road intersection


Putthoff knows where the waterfalls are and he will explain when, where, and how to go on safari to see them. According to Putthoff, "I will highlight some of the waterfalls that are not too difficult to reach, including some by hiking, and a couple that you can drive right up to. There are some in Van Winkle Hollow after a big rain, one nice one near the Madison County water intake, and a neat one near Hog Scald Hollow."

What is it about waterfalls? Why do we like them? Why do we want to see them? Waterfalls and beauty go together. Moving water is "poetry in motion." Here in northwest Arkansas many of our waterfalls can be found plunging off majestic limestone bluffs, thus creating another reason to visit these flowing beauties.

We may not think of it as a reason we want to visit them but, subconsciously, waterfalls improve our mood since they have a calming effect on us. In truth, just like hiking in the woods, watching and listening to waterfalls relaxes us and works positive wonders on our mental well-being, and all of us need some of that occasionally.

Flip loves to talk about the waterfalls he's found. Bring your note pad and pencil so you can write down the directions to some of his favorite places to visit.

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020

Cost: Free

For information, call: 479-789-5000

This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series. To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to: and

Sweetheart lunch/boat cruises

Offered by Hobbs State Park

Share the wonders of nature with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day weekend by taking a boat cruise on beautiful Beaver Lake and enjoying a scrumptious lunch at Ventris Trails End Resort.

Lunch features bacon-wrapped smoked chicken with sautéed mushrooms, onions and cheese, twice baked potato, seasoned green beans, French onion soup and salad with homemade bread rolls, chocolate cake, water, tea, or coffee; or a portabella sandwich.

Alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge.

There are two Sweetheart Cruises from which to choose. One will run Saturday, Feb. 15, and the other Sunday, Feb. 16. Each cruise will leave Rocky Branch Marina at 11 a.m. and return by 2 p.m.

Cost: $80+ tax per couple or $40+ tax per individual: Reservations and payment must be made in advance. Contact Hobbs State Park -- Conservation Area visitor center to reserve a spot. (479) 789-5000.

Eagle cruises slated

Come the first of November, migrating bald eagles begin to visit Beaver Lake. They are beautiful when they soar overhead, swoop down to the water to catch a fish with their talons, or just sit in a leafless tree. It's indeed exciting to see them. We have been enjoying eagles for over two months now, and Hobbs State Park announces there is still some room for February eagle watch cruises.

February 2020 eagle watch cruise dates:

15, 16, 17, 23, 29

According to interpreter Steve Chyrchel, "Nature's wonders are unpredictable. We may see four or five eagles on a cruise or maybe just one, and on very rare occasion we may not see any. If the weather is beautiful, the eagles are most likely looking for fish somewhere on the wing and not sitting in a tree. There are two things eagle watchers need to remember; one, eagle watching is not a warm weather sport, and two; the nastier the weather the more likely we are to see eagles. If it's cold and a little rainy, that's when eagles sit in a tree and wait for better weather."

Although Hobbs calls these times on the lake "Eagle Cruises," remember that there is other wildlife to see as well. Great blue herons, belted kingfishers, red tailed hawks, and maybe a deer, beaver, or several species of ducks become part of the viewing fun.

No matter what wildlife you see, it's always great to be out on the water. Hobbs State Park provides a safe three-pontoon vessel, driver, and an interpreter to answer questions and share information about our national symbol, the bald eagle.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Adults $10 + tax. Children 6-12 $5 + tax. Tours depart Rocky Branch Marina promptly at 3 p.m. For information and to make reservations, call: 479-789-5000.

Fun with Mother Nature

It's not every day that we observe Mother Nature. She's careful regarding when she can be seen by humans. One of her favorite stops however, is Hobbs State Park. Every second Saturday of the month she drops in at the Park's visitor center to tell timely stories to her little human friends. Readings begin at 10:30 a.m. Story time will be followed by "hands-on" nature-craft activities. Humans of all ages are welcome, however most stories target those 3- to 6-years of age.

Upcoming Mother Nature visits:

Mar. 14 -- Getting Ready for Spring: Changes in the Woods

April 11 -- Dandelions: Stars in the Grass

May 9 -- Around the Pond: Frogs and Toads

June 13 -- Animals in the Night

July 11 -- Water Dance-Water Cycle & Storm Drain Pollution

Aug. 8 -- Caterpillar to Butterfly

Sept. 12 -- Autumn in the Woods: Preparing for Winter

Oct. 10 -- Bats: Not Really Scary

Nov. 14 -- It's Turkey Time

Dec. 12 -- Who Goes There? Footprints and Animal Signs

Meet Mother Nature in the lobby of the Hobbs State Park Conservation Area visitor center.

Cost: Free - Length: one hour. For information call: 479-789-5000.

Ozark Forest Forensics is topic

Dr. Fred Paillet to reveal a new way to look at the Ozark woods in his talk at Hobbs State Park entitled, "Ozark Forest Forensics."

It's all about the science behind the scenery in our regional forests. As we go hiking, there are things right before our eyes that happened yesterday, or even a million years ago, that are easy to understand if we take pause to look at them.

As Dr. Paillet puts it in the new book Ozark Forest Forensics he co-authored, "The book interprets our natural surroundings in a way that enhances a simple walk in the scenic deciduous woodlands of the Ozark Mountain region. Explanations go beyond trees and their habitat to include other diverse subjects: the leaf litter beneath a hiker's feet, strategies used by wildflowers for pollination and seed dispersal, diseases that can ravage our forests, and forces active in the landscape that impact conservation efforts. I've added simplified line drawings to demonstrate specific points of interest in a way that visually-cluttered photographs cannot do."

Taking a little time to look at and understand your surroundings greatly adds to the enjoyment of any hike in the woods. Learn how to interpret those things you see and appreciate on a hike, but never much thought about before.

Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 5, 2020

Cost: Free -- Public invited

For information, call: 479-789-5000.

This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs monthly Speaker Series. To learn about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to: and

Community on 02/12/2020

Print Headline: Hobbs happenings

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