Copperheads & Cottonmouths

Plate 1. Abandoned Ozark barnyard, Taney County, Missouri. Nightfall by Joshua Heston Night falls. The air is warm in the darkness. Overgrown meadows and abandoned farmyards come alive, first with insects, then vermin. Mice. Voles. Shrews. Rats. All hurrying to eat, to store, to prepare for the onrushing winter that — deep within their genetic…

Cottonmouth Water Moccasin

Cottonmouth

Editor’s note: the articles below have been challenged by several readers, calling Dale Grubaugh’s comments “misleading,” and “false.” While StateoftheOzarks respects many differing viewpoints, Grubaugh’s recorded experiences are just that: recorded. An actual experience cannot be labeled “false” if it has occurred — and Grubaugh’s experiences occurred. His writings are presented here objectively. For a…

Mayapple

Mayapple by Joshua Heston Looking like so many foot-tall green umbrellas, mayapple colonies are found throughout the Ozarks in April. A forest understory plant, Podophyllum peltatum spreads primarily by an underground tuber system. PLATE 2. PLATE 3. The most striking part of the mayapple, however, is rarely seen. Borne on a single, succulent stalk beneath…