Newton County Elk
How did the elk come back to Arkansas?

Ever wonder where our elk came from, this time around?  Here's a great summary of their reintroduction:

"The late Arkansas Game & Fish Commissioner Hilary Jones of Pruitt encouraged the establishment of elk in the county. In 1980 AGFC made a trade with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources sending largemouth bass to that state in exchange for a trailer load of elk. Over the next three years, several more loads of elk were brought into county where they thrived.
 
Newton County was officially proclaimed the Elk Capital of Arkansas by Governor Mike Huckabee on July 22, 1998, the first year of the annual Buffalo River Elk Festival. Descendants of the officially named Hilary Jones Elk Herd have spread along the river, but are most prominently observed grazing in the Historic Boxley Valley."  By JEFF DEZORT Newton County Times

 

Boxley Valley is a beautiful drive from A Hasty Getaway and is a great place to watch for elk, especially in the mornings and evenings.

It has been busy, trying to complete the deck and get the cabin listed on TripAdvisor!  A lot of brain work instead of enjoying the quiet!

The website is also completely revamped.  To the point that our eyes are crossed.

Looking forward to a lessening of all this but very excited to present the cabin in it's best light.  And to millions of new people who will see it on TripAdvisor!

Exciting times!

PLEASE NOTE:

We've had to modify our agreement with the previous management company because of some serious customer service issues.  We apologize to anyone who was maltreated and are in the process of making it right for those we know about.

We are in the process of working with TripAdvisor to provide online reservations, an up-to-date booking calendar, and an easier reservation process.  We've retained our excellent housekeeping staff and have expanded their role.

We are also expanding the front deck to a wrap-around deck that runs down the side of the cabin!

All of this to ensure an excellent experience for all of our visitors.  If you are interested in booking for March, please use the contact us form!

Stay Tuned!

 

Yes, things are different here in the winter!  This is the Ponca access point of the Buffalo National River.  Not a bad amount of water, but too cold to kayak!

Boxley Valley offers a great elk viewing opportunity and today was a great day!

This is the Buffalo National River near the Ponca put-in.

 

Another view of the Buffalo National River.

 

This is the bridge over the Buffalo National River. You float under this bridge as you begin your journey.

 

Beautiful Boxley Valley runs along the Buffalo National River.

 

A small herd of elk hanging out in Boxley Valley.

On a warmer day, we trekked down to Twin Falls, an easy hike near Camp Orr Boy Scout Ranch.

Not much water, but it was fun!

Buffalo River National Park
Along the trail to Twin Falls near the Buffalo National River.

 

waterfalls
Looking back from the base of Twin Falls.

 

A cool tree along the path to Twin Falls.

 

Not much water running, but some ice around the top! This is Twin Falls.

So, I wake up this cold, winter morning and hear scratching on the metal roof. The sun has just crested the far ridge and I can tell it’s a beautiful, clear day. So what’s happening on my roof?

I head to the bathroom and the only window on the east side of the cabin but get distracted by the toilet. As I attend to business, I see shadows flying, rapidly, across the cute burlap curtains I had made.My curtains with a bird figurine.  Ironic, no?

Shadow, scratch scratch, shadow.

Shadow flying by. And another as I wash my hands.

Shadow, scratchy scratchy, screech. No shadow.

Business complete, I lift an edge of the curtain to peek.

Shadow!

I’ve now decided I have birds doing something to my roof. But type and reason elude me.

Shadow! Bigger bird, not a chickadee or a wren, who might be looking for spiders, who won’t be out because it’s freezing. Hmmm.

I pull the curtain up and settle onto the washer to watch.

And I finally see one of the birds, in a tree, before it flies to the roof. Robin? It’s February, and still cold. A few more sightings and I now know my roof is being attacked by a flock robins for some unknown reason. (Squirrel! There’s not an official name for a flock of robins, but the term ‘a round of robins’ is becoming popular!}

Drip. A crystal rainbow falls across my view. And the light bulb flares!

Frost is melting on the metal roof, collecting into drops on the edge of the gutter-less roof, and dripping to the ground. This first flock of robins of the spring have some tribal knowledge from somewhere. Someone learned that roofs and sun might mean water on a cold morning and here they are!

Realizing that their water sources are frozen, I place a bowl of warm water on the porch rail and wait.

IMG_0582

Sure enough, I have created an oasis in the frozen landscape. I watch as these harbingers of spring quench their thirst at the temporary pond I created. Sometimes a timid bird, sometimes several jockeying for a sip.

robin-bowls

The small group (maybe 20 in all) each drank their fill and flew on across the valley to scare up worms. What an unexpected treat to start the day.

robins

Pleased with my early morning good deed, I began my day, glad that my scientific name is not Turdus migratorius!