From the Archives: Ozark Mountain Scenes 10/12-10/13/2017

Right now I’ve got some time to continue updating the new website and filling it up with old shoots and galleries. We just got done having our child and we’ll be in the hospital the next couple of days. So, on that note, I want to take you all back to just over a year ago when I spent a few days exploring the Ozark Mountains with one of my best friends.

Back when we still lived in Minnesota, I had a chance to come down to Missouri and explore the Ozark Mountains a bit with a very good friend Matt. We spent a few days checking out some local sights together neither of us had been to. From the mills, springs, Ozark Mountain streams and rivers, towering bluffs and calm lakes to the area’s dark night skies (which sadly, are very few and far between in Missouri).

The mills we stopped at were Dillard Mill and Alley Mill. They are two of the few remaining grist mills in the state. We stopped in at Council Bluff Lake which is a true Ozark gem and an area that I recently captured within the last month—and hope to get back to soon. We trekked along the St Francis River, the Current River and went head to head with cottonmouths. Deep Ozark valleys filled with early morning mist makes one feel like they are in just a smaller version of the Smokies.

Scouting some Milky Way opportunities during the days (and knowing where and when the galactic core would line up with certain compositions), we narrowed down two shooting locations to Dillard Mill and Rocky Falls. The Milky Way would be perfect above both locations. My friend Matt and I went back to those spots and were able to capture some of the best photographic moments one could ever dream of: the Milky Way above two Missouri icons during a time when our country’s night skies are being quickly taken over by expanding urban sprawls and more and more light pollution.

Something I miss most about back home is the night skies in the northern part of the state. I’m getting antsy to get back out. Milky Way season and galactic core visibility in Missouri starts picking up in just another week. This year I am going to do better at finding that galactic core here in the Ozarks.

—Jake

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