I’m overdue for posting some nature photos so here we go! I haven’t taken many lately – partly because the spring and much of the summer has been abnormally hot. I’ll hike all winter long but a hot summer day is pretty miserable in my opinion.  Of course the obvious exception to this is kayaking, which is where most of these photos came from. Some are from places I recently visited for the first time and some are places I’ve visited a thousand times.  

Even though I have seen many remarkable places in the Ozarks, I am still sometimes amazed at how beautiful some of these special places really are. 

I took a photo of this spot while kayaking last weekend, only to later realize I took almost the exact same photo a few years ago. If I ever am back in this spot with more time on my hands I really want to explore up this little tributary.

There are a lot of features I like about Missouri but the springs (and the rivers they create) might be my favorite. Maybe springs like this exist in other states but if so I have never seen them. This particular one averages over 220 million gallons of crystal blue water every day. That is nuts!  To take this photo I had to stand waist deep in the 56 degree water. Even on a 90 degree day that is unbearably cold. But also awesome.


This is just an ordinary trail but it’s a good example of hiking in the Ozarks. Dense green foliage, a steep hillside and a rocky outcropping that probably contains a cave somewhere.


Clear rivers are just awesome. Unfortunately my waterproof phone camera is just good enough that I seldom make the effort to get out my ‘real’ camera while kayaking. When I get home and review the photos I often get annoyed with my laziness seeing such beautiful scenes captured with a lousy phone camera and no polarizer filter. 


This is a pretty crappy photo but I think it’s neat that we have streams that are this clear and full of life.  Looks an aquarium in the wild!


Same spring as before just from further away.  I could spend all day at a spot like this. 


Another spring that I have photographed oodles of times but I still have to take a picture every time I see it. Allegedly scuba divers have explored this cave spring but never found the end.


Again, I could just sit in this spot for hours watching and listening to the water cascading it’s way down to the valley below. 

By the way, if you want to see more day to day photos and artwork, you can follow my revived instagram account.  https://www.instagram.com/shortleaf/