This photo was taken in December, 1978. My parents bought some land outside of Springdale to raise horses and build a house. At the time, the property was way out in the country along a dirt road that ran through forests and a valley with a vibrant creek. The natural beauty of the Ozarks surrounded us and defined my childhood.
Today, the image is very different. I-49 cuts through the landscape in the background of this photo. Billboards interfere with the view. The night sky is no longer dark. Development in the Ozarks has irreversibly modified the land and identity.
The forest has reclaimed where I’m standing in the photo. Black walnut trees and woodpeckers have taken back the farmland. Although much has changed, our ancient, beautiful black walnut trees next to the house are still standing and defending the landscape.