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A hot day – 86° F (30° C) – but not as hot as it is going to get in Missouri over the summer. So my wife and I went for a longish hike through part of Cuivre River State Park this afternoon.

As before, deep green foliage and dappled sun and shadow marked this walk up and down the forest valleys. The path was muddy and the creeks flowed freely. The rain of the past few days had left its imprint.

No mark greater, though, than this rapidly flowing spring.

A torrent of muddy water, surging out the ground with the force of an opened fire hydrant, yet in this case simply bursting from a hole in the hillside. It formed an instant small river. We sat and listened to it gurgle – not least because the air was cool here, chilled by the underground water.

After a three mile round-trip, we returned to the car. I was exhausted and hot, but it had been well worth the effort.