Mayberry is a river town that turned its back on the river in its earliest days. What is now the town evolved from a Spanish land grant in 1797. The founding family were farmers and ardent abolitionists. When Missouri was admitted to the United States in 1821 the family sold their land and moved to Illinois, a free state. Soon after a community was formed. The first settlement and subsequent settlements were on the high ground above the flood plain. Locals have rarely seen the river since.
They've miss a lot.
The river bottom offers miles and miles of human free, byways for migrating wild life. Seasonally bald eagles winter near here, ducks and geese are abundant, white tailed deer, by number, are the kings of the forest.
If you live near deer, you've learned several things. They'll nibble on or eat anything that grows. Gardens are defenseless when deer are near. Their only predator is an automobile, they're not bright, and years of living with humans have made them fearless. Mayberry locals may hunt deer on their property, and it's as difficult as shooting fish in a barrel.
This week the price of deer poker went up. A nearby resident took this photo of a mountain lion in his back yard.
If he'd stick around, maybe invite some friends and family, the deer wouldn't, which would make a lot of gardeners very happy.
Alas, by now he's probably back on the river road.
photo credit: The Saint Louis Post Dispatch