The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Exploring a State Park

Last week, I went out to explore a nearby state park. It’s much larger than the forest preserve I normally go to, so I wasn’t able to cover all of it. On the bright side, there’s more for another day. For the most part, it was your typical midwestern trees with the occasional flower, bug, or fungus. There is an unusually large piece of fungus decorated with tree leaves and seeds.

This dead tree had a particularly curvy shape. It was irresistible. It also had to be a black and white.

A river runs the length of the park and provides a nice scenic view, as well as a habitat for birds and other animals. Other animals like the mosquitos that had me for a late breakfast. I left my repellent at home thinking mosquito season hadn’t started yet. Bad idea.

Walking along one of the trails, I suddenly came upon this enclave of pine trees. A small group of conifers is surrounded by their deciduous cousins, making the spot out-of-place. If you look closely enough at the top of the cut off tree, you can see people’s names written on it. Such unnatural graffiti broke the otherworldly spell otherwise surrounding me.

Bark is also missing on some of the intact pines.

Likewise, the bottom of this tree is bare. Something is afoot.

Sometimes, one of the most interesting things about a preserve is how things just come down. How they sit and weather and age unmoved by humanity.

It was supposed to rain all afternoon, and it looked like it was going to haul off and drop several inches, so I began my trek back to the car. On the way back, I saw signs saying “No alcohol allowed in the park” and evidence that the signs were ignored. Naughty, naughty. But the bottle cap was pretty, and I have this weird artist thing about taking pictures of metal objects against pavement surrounded by natural objects. I try not to do it too often, mostly because it doesn’t make sense to me.

I plan to revisit the park someday when the weather is better and I have more time. I also plan to bring my bug spray. However, this wasn’t a bad first expedition. It’s always good for me to get out in the woods for a good long walk, even if it is mosquito season.

Next Week: Fireworks or Small Town Festival

Since the fireworks are part of the festival, I might post a little bit of both. We’ll see how it goes.

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7 responses

  1. tokyobling

    Lovely photos. Sad to see that idiots still think it’s ok to throw out stuff in nature though. I feel like I’m browsing a stock photo catalogue when I watch your photos! (^-^)

    June 15, 2011 at 4:48 am

  2. Bringing attention to the beauty and respite state parks provide amid nationwide threats to funding will (hopefully) keep them around for future generations to enjoy. Your photos bring to mind a quote by Janisse Ray:

    “The landscape of my childhood was one of fierce occupation by trees.”

    June 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm

  3. it seems like you went of an adventure here…Nature calls. lol 🙂
    nice photos.
    Richardo

    June 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

    • Yes, I like to get out. Exercise and fresh air are always good.

      June 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm

  4. I absolutely love the shot with the cracks radiating from the bark on the tree. That is just fabulous. I love taking pictures outside! Mother Nature is the ultimate model.

    July 13, 2011 at 4:36 am

    • Nature is so beautifully unpredictable. Glad you enjoy.

      July 13, 2011 at 5:14 am

  5. These pictures are so beautiful. Thanks!

    July 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

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