Exploring a cave full of salamanders; visiting the Scott Plantation Settlement; going fishing for gar; and getting up close with snakes, bugs and everything else at an ecology camp – it’s all coming up during a brand new edition of “Exploring Arkansas” on Wednesday, Sept. 6.
Speleology is the study of caves. And when you have a cave that has spring water up to your waist and is full of salamanders — well, things can get quite interesting to say the least. We followed along on a “class session” with Dr. Dave Thomas, professor of biology at Lyon College in Batesville, and a few of his speleology students. Dr. Thomas is known as the “cave doctor” and, in past years, we’ve gone on a couple of other cave outings with him, including one to a “bat cave.”
The Scott Plantation Settlement consists of 25 structures that have been relocated to one area that represents plantation history for the first 100 years of Arkansas statehood, from 1836 to 1936. Programs for schools and the public are presented through self-guided tours and special tours, as well by one of the guides on the premises.
Gar fishing is something that’s not exactly for everyone, as we quickly found out by venturing out on the South Fork Ouachita River near Mount Ida. Fishing guide Shane Goodner took us to his favorite “gar hole” and after about two-and-a-half hours, we finally landed a longnose gar. I must admit, the “gar fry” we had afterwards was much more enjoyable.
Camp Clearfork, west of Hot Springs, has been the site of a hands-on youth ecology camp since the late 1970s. Since then, the Arkansas Audubon Society Halberg Ecology Camp, which is held every summer, has given more than 3,000 boys and girls the opportunity to learn about mammals, insects, birds and aquatic biology. It’s even inspired some camp goers to pursue careers in related ecology fields.
So, check it all out Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 6:30 p.m.!
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017
“Exploring Arkansas,” 6:30 p.m.