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A Comparative Exploration of Taum Sauk Mountain - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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A Comparative Exploration of Taum Sauk Mountain
For a while now, I've had an impression of Taum Sauk Mountain from Terramagne, which lies near Bluehill, but it didn't quite mesh with the images I could find. I finally figured out why ...


Among the more striking differences between Terramagne and local Missouri is the shape of Taum Sauk Mountain. In L-Missouri it is a relatively flat ridge with a low peak. In T-Missouri it stands up straighter. In the early 1960s, L-Missouri built the Taum Sauk Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant's Upper Reservoir above Johnson's Shut-ins State Park atop Proffit Mountain. However, T-Missouri folks objected to plans for the ugly thing, and protested vehemently. So instead, a team of soups, the Ozarcs, with Earth Powers and Water Powers, spent several years carefully raising the mountain and constructing a large crater lake at the top of the peak, the Taum Sauk Super Reservoir.

Some government land was traded off to farmers living in what would become the newer, larger rainshadow and so the developed area is closer to the peak in T-Missouri than it is in L-Missouri. Carefully maintained shelterbelts, wildlife corridors, and pocket forests minimize the impact on wildlife and make this area prime territory for people who enjoy conservation and/or hunting.  A typical shelterbelt/corridor design has a core of tall nut trees (hickory, oak, pecan, etc.) flanked by tall evergreens, then medium-size fruit trees (pawpaw, mulberry, persimmon, etc.), shorter evergreens, short fruit trees (wild plum, crabapplejuneberry, etc.) low evergreen bushes, and a protective barrier of thorny bushes and/or caneberries.  Land on the slopes is primarily used for grazing or sustainable forestry, with crops on the flats and bottomland below. However, most of the Taum Sauk Mountain State Park remains intact as wilderness. It is popular for camping, hiking, rock climbing, and many other activities.

Now you can see how that area connects to this aerial view of farmland outside of Bluehill.  The rolling hills head toward Taum Sauk Peak. In T-America, small-to-medium sized family farms have remained common, and there are fewer large-scale factory farms. 

Here is Ansel's grandparents' farm.  The tall red barn houses the horses. The garage for farm equipment is the brown building broadside below it. Left of the driveway, the small gray car garage is just barely visible behind the house. In front of the house is part of the garden space, primarily holding bushes and berry canes. The pond is a long, lobed catchbasin that rambles along the base of the ridges above it, and the ducks are kept close to the pond.

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