The stuff hanging from the tree is a lichen (algae/fungi hybrid) appropriately called "old man's beard"
Fossil field near Waldron a few miles from Oklahoma
An old school house just outside Waldron
I am scheduled to teach a course in biogeography in the the spring and plan to incorporate field trips to all six regions of Arkansas. I really need to visit those sites I plan to take the students to during the course, so I started this week by visiting one of those regions called the Ouachita mountains. Bismarck is actually in the foothills of the Ouachita mountains, but Debbie and I went to the heart of the Ouachitas on Friday. I wanted to check out a fossil site I was at two years ago to be sure the fossils were still unburied. The fossils were unearthed by an open-pit coal mining company and just spread all over the ground. However, the company has moved on and most of the area is now covered in topsoil and grass, but a few bare places remain and a small pit. Debbie and I were able to find a few fossils in a matter of minutes so the trip will be on for the spring. We plan on making trips to the other 5 regions over the Christmas break. The other regions include the Ozarks, the West Gulf Coastal Plain, the Arkansas River Valley, the Delta, and Crowley's Ridge. This is the reason it was so difficult to describe this state to non-Arkansans. It really just depends upon where you are in the state.