Friends of Hobbs
State Park-Conservation Area

Hobbs News - don't miss a thing!

  • 06 Jul 2018 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    While wandering through Zilker Park Botanical Gardens in Austin, Texas, Robert Thomas was photographing flowers and wildlife.  Suddenly, a beautiful bright red dragonfly landed in front of him.  Stunned at the beauty and vibrancy of its color, he shot a photo from about 15 feet away.  That was all it took for him to be totally fascinated by these creatures. 

    Robert Thomas has spent the last 12 years travelling and photographing odonates (dragonflies).  Thomas’s collection of photographs contains many very rare species, and some of his special photographs have graced the covers of numerous field guides.  As he puts it, “It’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and a little good luck and know how.”

    Bring the family and join Robert Thomas for a colorful, unique, and exciting program all about dragonflies.  Immediately following the lecture will be an outdoor dragonfly catch and release at the visitor center.  Bring your camera for close up shots.

    When:   2:00 p.m.  -  Saturday July 14, 2018

    Where:  Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area’s visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:  Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

    This program is a cooperative effort between the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas and Hobbs State Park.  To learn more about the PSNWA go to:  

  • 02 Jul 2018 9:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Charles Messier (Mez-e-a) was a French Astronomer who lived from 1730 to 1817.  He was a comet hunter and is credited with discovering 13 comets.  Comets can look like fuzzy smudges, especially in the telescopes Messier had available at the time.  As Messier hunted for more and more comets, he kept running into these other fuzzy objects that were not comets.  Frustrated, he decided to make a list of these objects so that he and other comet hunters could avoid wasting time on them!

    Today, we know the 103 objects that Messier cataloged (and 7 more added posthumously) are colorful star-forming gas clouds (nebulae), beautiful bubbles of gas expanding from a star that exploded (planetary nebulae), other galaxies outside of the Milky Way, groups of thousands of stars that are tightly held together in a ball by their gravity (globular clusters), and groups of stars that were born together and are loosely held together by their gravity (open clusters). 

    Obviously, these objects are far from a waste of time!!  A couple of the objects are visible with the naked eye, many are visible with binoculars, and all are visible through small amateur telescopes.  Messier himself only had a 4” refractor!  In early Spring, many astronomers will try a Messier Marathon where they stay up all night and attempt to see all 110 Messier objects in one night!

    Join us on Saturday July 7th to find out more about Charles Messier and the objects that he observed and cataloged, then head outside for a Star Party to see some of those objects yourself.

    What to Bring if you can:

    - Camera and a Tripod for Night Sky Photography

    - Flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon)

    - Binoculars and/or telescope (if you have)

    - Folding chair – one per person

    - Star chart (if you have one)

    Where:  Hobbs State Park Visitor Center Located on Hwy 12 just east of the     Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection

    When:  Saturday July 7, 2018   8:00 pm lecture: 9:00 pm for night sky              viewing

    Cost:  Free

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000.  To learn more about Hobbs State Park programs, go to:  and

    Sugar Creek Astronomical Society’s Facebook Group is

  • 25 Jun 2018 6:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Whether you've painted in the past, or if you have never held a paint brush, this is the nature painting workshop for you.  Lyshell Reann Hiatt-Blech, your instructor, comes from a family of artists.  She does personal art instruction as well as group workshops for all ages.

    Lyshell will inspire you, and guide you step by step as you create your own nature masterpiece.   Thanks to her supportive teaching techniques, even the novice painter becomes successful.

    At the end of the 2-hour workshop, you will leave with new friends, new skills, and your very own painting.   Included in the price of the event is everything you will need: canvas, brushes, paint, and easel. 

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road Intersection     

    When:   Sunday July 15, 2018        2:00 p.m.  -  4:00 p.m.     

    Cost:  $30/person

    Check or cash accepted on day of workshop:   Participants must pre-register.  For more information and to register, call:  479-789-5000

  • 24 Jun 2018 1:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Many of us have thoughts of early settlers coming from Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia making a new life in the Ozarks beginning in the 1820’s.  These people, women as well as men, had to be tough and self-sufficient.  They brought with them skills to clear land, construct buildings, preserve food, make clothing, and doctor themselves.  Life was hard and modest.  There is however more to this simple story.

    A native of the Arkansas Ozarks, Brooks Blevins is the Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.  He has authored seven books, including Arkansas/Arkansaw: How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol’ Boys Defined a State and Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South.

    On his upcoming visit to Hobbs State Park, he will discuss the first book in his new trilogy on the history of the Ozarks, “The Old Ozarks”.  According to Blevins, “Life in the Ozarks before the Civil War remains a mysterious unknown for most people.”  He will shed light on this important and often misunderstood era in the region's history by highlighting a few of the more surprising stories from the early days.

    Don’t miss Brooks Blevins’s upcoming program on unexpected happenings in Ozark life before the Civil War.

    When:  Sunday July 1, 2018

    Time:     2:00 pm

    Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:     Free

    For more information, call: 479-789-5000

  • 24 Jun 2018 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you are just beginning to shoot photos of wildflowers/Nature and want some great tips, you will want to attend the lecture and photoshoot coming to Hobbs State Park.   This program is not for the professional…beginners only please.  Don’t be bashful, or self-conscience because you don’t have a 3-foot long lens on your camera.  You don’t need it.  That’s not what this program is about.  It truly is for novices, greenhorns, and rookies.

    Start the program with a stunning display of our local, native wildflowers presented by Rose Gergerich, professor emeritus of Department of Plant Pathology from the University of Arkansas.  Gergerich will not only show the most common wildflowers, but will add a few beauties not often seen.  She will bring some live wildflowers with her, and some lucky program attendees will take them home free.

    Cleeo Wright, Nature Photographer with the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas (PSNWA), will then talk about Beginning Wildflower/Nature Photography.  Afterwards it’s outside where he will help all participants identify wildflower “subjects” around the visitor center, and how best to photograph them with the camera that you bring.  This will be your program.  You ask the specific questions so you will get the specific knowledge that you are seeking as a wildflower/Nature Photography learner.  Don’t pass up this extraordinary opportunity to learn basic wildflower photography from a professional in that field.

    Note:  Participants need to be familiar with the basic functions of their camera.  The lecture will help you understand how to utilize the functions your camera has to offer.  

    Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    When:    Saturday June 30, 2018

    Time:     Program begins at 3:30 pm

    Cost:       Free:  The public is invited.

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000   

    This program is a cooperative effort between the Photographic Society of Northwest Arkansas, Hobbs State Park, and Rose Gergerich.  To learn more about the PSNWA and upcoming Hobbs State Park programs, go to: and  and

  • 11 Jun 2018 10:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At its most simple definition, “glade” means an open space in a forest. Here in the Ozarks, it is just a little more complicated.  Realize that our mountains — vastly older than magnificent Rocky Mountain peaks or craggy Appalachian ledges — were worn down by erosion endless ages past.

    When traveling into the Ozarks from the north, you do not drive up into the mountains, but rather slowly down into an increasingly hilly, eroded, landscape.   As this erosion took place, some hillsides were washed clear of most any soil, especially on south and westward facing slopes.  Ozark glades formed.  These slopes absorb hot afternoon sunlight, and now only certain animals and plants can live here. 

    Wildflower specialist and Master Naturalist, Joan Reynolds, will address the unique plant and animal communities that are specific to our Ozark glades.  According to Reynolds, “These land features are sometimes referred to as balds or barrens.  Glades are essentially shallow, rocky soils with exposed bedrock characterized by an abundance of wildflowers and native grasses, with only a few trees and shrubs.  Periodic fires and local conditions of topography, bedrock and soil greatly influence glade development.  Today, eastern red cedar has taken over most of our natural glades and the wildlife that we used to find there.”

    Reynolds will also explain what has taken place at the large glade restoration on Hobbs State Park.  Many Master Naturalists and members of the Friends of Hobbs worked together with Park staff to remove hundreds of eastern red cedar trees to allow plants and animals native to Ozark glades to once again return and flourish.

    When:  Saturday June 23, 2018

    Time:     2:00 pm

    Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of             the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:     Free

    For more information, call: 479-789-5000

  • 28 May 2018 4:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area’s Outdoor Adventure Camp is a new day camp designed for thirteen to fifteen year-olds to explore the Park on land and in water for three action-packed days.    Campers will learn to kayak and snorkel on Beaver Lake.

    Outdoor Adventure Day campers will have unique hands-on learning experiences like re-living the history of the Park through Dutch oven cooking and using a two-man cross cut saw.   Campers will also learn how to discover and identify some of the natural resources found along the park’s trails.

    Where:  Pick-up and drop-off at the visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection

    When:    July 11 - July 13 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

    Cost:       $50 @

         For more information and to register, call 479-789-5000

  • 28 May 2018 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    According to Science magazine, polar bears burn up to 12,300 calories per day, mainly on a diet of seals.  How do they “hunt” those seals?  The bears wait for hours by seals’ cone-shaped breathing holes in the sea ice.  When a seal surfaces to breathe, the bear stands on its hind legs and smacks the seal on the head with both of its front paws to stun it.  Then the bear bites it on the neck and drags it onto the ice.  They’re far more successful doing this than any other method of hunting.

    The key is ice.  The bears need the ice to be able to hunt, to eat, to live.  Climate change is heating up the Arctic faster than anywhere else on earth.  National Geographic says sea ice is shrinking 14 percent per decade.  Everyone agrees that the Arctic ice is melting rapidly.  People may disagree about the causes. 

    Denis Dean, fifteen-year Arkansas and Florida Master Naturalist, will speak on the plight of these majestic carnivores.   According to Dean, “This program is about the effect the melting ice is having on Polar Bears and the loss of their habitat, which may cause the entire population to revert back to where they originated - as Brown Bears.  Scientific evidence has found that the brown bear, a species that also includes grizzly bears, was a precursor to polar bears, which then went on to develop specializations for inhabiting the harsh Arctic.”

    Come hear and see an exceptionally interesting and informative program on a most timely subject.  Handouts on a variety of nature subjects will be available.

    When:  Sunday June 3, 2018

    Time:     2:00 pm

    Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Cost:     Free

    For more information, call: 479-789-5000

  • 28 May 2018 4:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Have you ever had the urge to visit places that not everyone is able to experience?  Backpacking offers the opportunity for new adventure into to the great outdoors.  Hobbs State Park is prepared to help the beginning backpacker get started through our Introduction to Backpacking Clinic.

    This hands-on, overnight trip is designed for people with little or no backpacking experience to try out backpacking and learn some tricks so that they have a positive experience on the trail.  The clinic is led by a Park interpreter and experienced backpacker along the 8.5-mile long Pigeon Roost Trail.  Participants will be able to try out their own equipment in a safe environment with expert guidance.  Topics covered during the clinic include:  packing, cooking, safety, leave no trace, and navigation.

    If you are ready for a new kind of adventure, then contact Hobbs State Park to register.  You will need to bring your own food, water, and equipment to camp overnight.  Are you ready to answer the call of the wild?

    When:   2:00 pm Saturday June 9 through 12:00 pm Sunday June 10

    Where:  Pigeon Roost Trail Head located 6/10 mi. east of the Hobbs State Park visitor center.

    Ages:       8 years and older.  All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

    Cost:       $10/person

    For more information and to register, call: 479-789-5000

    No pets, alcohol, or weapons.

  • 11 May 2018 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mother Nature herself has become a permanent fixture at Hobbs State Park –Conservation Area.  Every 2nd Saturday at 10:30 a.m. she visits the park to excite the imaginations of all the children around her. 

    Upcoming Mother Nature visit dates and reading topics:

    June 9 – Animals in the Night

    July 14 – Water Dance – Water Cycle & Storm Drain Pollution

    August 11 – Caterpillar to Butterfly

    September 8 – Trees

    October 13 – Spiders

    November 10 – Stories the Osage Nation Tells

    December 8 – Squirrels – Busy All Year ‘Round

    Story time will be followed by “hands-on” nature-craft activities.  Children of all ages are welcome, however most stories will target children 3-6 years of age.

    Meet Mother Nature in the lobby of the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.

    Put this notice on your refrigerator to remind you of all of the upcoming Mother Nature Reads dates.

    Cost:  FREE     Length – one hour.  

    For more information, call:  479-789-5000

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