_C1_8146Since the Great Sand Dunes, I’ve been restless. The spring in the air and on the trees isn’t helping. I want to see new things, to soak in as much of the world as I can, come across different people and places and record them from a fresh angle.



_C1_8166I know two ways to do this: go to an unfamiliar place, and sink a bit further into the familiar until I see something different. I don’t know how good I am at either, but they seem like a solid plan. I tried both this past weekend — first at the farmers’ market in Fayetteville’s square, where I’ve been a hundred times, and at Pedestal Rocks Scenic Area, a section of the Ozark National Forest that was new to me.


_C1_8149This is Alex. She had a great smile and a great headscarf and a great plant that she walked with around and around the square — I kept seeing its branches poking above the crowd. She seemed like one of those people who are friends of everyone who passes by. I obviously had to ask for her photo.





_C1_8189Caves, limestone mushroom-rock columns and sandstone bluffs puncture the forest canopy in the Pedestal Rock Scenic Area, a little section of the national forest where spring has dyed the mountains yellow and light green. Its two loop trails together offer a three- or four-hour trek, which seems like the minimum for a hike after the dunes. The weather was perfect, room temperature and breezy. My trusty hiking partner Ryan came, too.




IMG_8042The pedestals are often at least 10 feet from the nearest bluff; I wonder if anyone has ever stood on them. One of the columns looked just like a chemistry flask. Meanwhile trees grow straight out of the bluffs’ lumpy rock.






IMG_8072Keep an eye out for the new, and thanks for looking.




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