Rock House hike

Linda and I started Thanksgiving Day off by welcoming all the hungry birds in the neighborhood to breakfast. Linda put out suet blocks and there was a line forming.

Red bellied woodpecker
Cedar waxwing

After all the birds were taken care of we bundled up and took a hike up to the Rock House near Cherry Bend in the Ozark Saint Francis National Forest nearby.

Rock House at Cherry Bend

The Rock House is just off the Ozark Highlands Hiking Trail where it crosses Highway 23 (the Pig Trail). According to Robert Jones of nearby Fain Creek, the house was built in the early 1900’s by his grandfather. You can find his account here at the Ozark Mountain Hiker.

We took a look around inside. It has not changed too much over the years, but one of the door lentils looks like it is about ready to fall. The walls have all settled a few inches below the overhanging rock. And the spring box in the corner was almost dry.

Now that the leaves are all off the trees you can see out across the hollow for some distance.

View from Rock House

On the way back to our car, we met some other hikers and talked a bit, then headed back to the homestead for Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving dinner

Linda had been cooking fresh bread, a split green bean casserole, pasta with a white sauce, and her delicious home made cranberry sauce. She made the sauce with fresh cranberries and her home made applesauce. It was all ready to serve, waiting for the salmon to come off the grill.

We have ever so much to be thankful for!

Our favorite brunch

Linda’s Spinach Eggs

Spinach eggs

One of our favorite dishes is Linda’s spinach eggs with uncured bacon and sourdough toast. This is great for brunch or even a quick dinner.

Here’s the recipe if you want to fix some up for yourself. It will serve two to four. You can add a few cloves of garlic if it suits your taste. We hope you enjoy this as much as we do. Its delicious!


10 ounces fresh spinach chopped
4 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 small portobello mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 medium eggs
salt and pepper to taste
top with Parmesan cheese

Preheat frying pan, add butter or olive oil then add chopped spinach, garlic, and onions.
Saute at medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 25 minutes.
Then, spread the spinach and other sauteed ingredients to make room in the center of the pan for eggs.
Add four eggs and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan, then, cover and cook  until the eggs are set.
Serve immediately while piping hot!

Linda’s pumpkin cupcakes

Linda’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with butter frosting…

These cupcakes are moist and spicy, with lots of pumpkin. The recipe makes 12 extra large cupcakes or two large 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. These are sweet, but not too sweet.

Dry ingredients:

3 1/3 cup of flour
2 2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup chopped raisins

Wet ingredients:

2 cups of mashed pumpkin
4 eggs beaten
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup melted butter

Blend dry ingredients and then combine them with wet ingredients until the batter is evenly blended.
Next, divide the batter evenly between prepared pans. (I like to use paper muffin tin liners.)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees then bake your cupcakes for 30-35 minutes. If you are using loaf pans, then bake for 45-50 minutes.

When you think they are done, test with a toothpick or skewer. If they are ready, it will come out clean.

Take them out of the oven and put them on a cooling rack if you have one. Then finish them off with a simple butter frosting.

We often share one of these large cupcakes. You can put a few in the freezer for later. They keep well for up to 3 months.

American lady butterfly


This American Lady Butterfly was an occasional visitor back in mid-October. Ladies like open areas like the edges of fields, and places with low weeds. The adults like to feed on plants such as dogbane, aster, goldenrod, marigold, self-heal, common milkweed, and vetch. Around Seven Cedars, we have goldenrod and quite a lot of asters.

Earlier in the year, females lay eggs on plantain, iron weed, burdock, everlasting and pearly everlasting. We have some of these near by. You can find a picture of Arkansas Iron Weed elsewhere on this website.

Bluebirds find snake in nest

Bluebird stops in mid air

This bluebird stopped short on discovering a five foot long black snake in its nest. It hovered in place making a racket and was joined by several other bluebirds and birds of other species.
This display went on for better than 15 minutes.

After all the hovering and squawking, the bluebird finally makes a quick turn and leaves the scene.

Spicebush swallowtails nectaring

Spicebush swallowtail nectaring on rosasharn flowers
Spicebush swallowtail butterfly nectaring on butterfly bush in late July

The White River flows through our Seven Cedars Homestead and the lowland woods is prime habitat for spicebush as well as witch hazel and autumn olive.