I had hoped to go hiking today with the beautiful blue skies we haven’t seen in quite some time. Unfortunately, a bitterly cold northern wind kicked up making it too miserable to stay outdoors for even the briefest amount of time. Determined to do something, my youngest and I grabbed Gracie pup and headed to a local wildlife management area to look around.
Harris Brake WMA is the third largest lake managed by the Arkansas Games and Fish Comission. It’s surface area if something like 1300 acres and the surrounded forest adds about another 1500 acres to the area. Since I’d never been it qualifies as one of my “visit 20 places I’ve never been” goal for this year and while it is probably better visited during warmer weather, it was still a nice outing.
We took a back road to Harris Brake which became an adventure itself as some of the roads were washed out due to recent flooding. Lots of twists and turns and backtracking on the gravel roads didn’t make Gracie pup too happy as she was ready to get out of the vehicle as soon as she spotted water.
The road was surrounded by forest on both sides for most of the way. There were brief open meadows filled with winter wheat which are often used as winter hunting grounds for birds as this is a migration area for waterfowl. Devastation from a tornado a few years back could still be seen everywhere even though the Game and Fish is currently working on a reforesting project to try and get it back to its original state.
Once we finally got through the miles of gravel road, it dead ended at the lake. The sun made photography difficult but it was a nice, tranquil place. Perfect for a spring or summer picnic.
Our area is known to birders as a winter haven for bald eagles and we were lucky enough to see three of them on our short visit. My camera zoom wasn’t strong enough to catch them but we spent probably 20 minutes in the chilly winds watching the trio dance around in the winds together. Since my son had never seen one close up before, he was especially excited to have witnessed their show.
And, of course, no trip is complete without a picture of Gracie. A boy and a dog…adorable as can be!