Thursday, February 26, 2015

Art, Artifice and Nature at Starved Rock State Park

It's been over a year since my last visit, but this was my fourth trip to Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. As I've said in previous posts, due to its proximity to Chicago, as well as the spectacular scenery, Starved Rock is one of the busiest parks in the country. It can receive 4 million visitors in a year. In January the two primary draws are eagles and ice.

But what draws me to return so often? You might well ask. The eagles and the ice are no small attraction, I must admit. As regular followers of this blog know, I am also attracted to the contradictions of living with nature in the twenty-first century. The Starved Rock experience is sufficiently paradoxical to inspire return visits. Here is a photo essay. See if you agree.

An eagle nest on an island in the river is visible from the bluff top Starved Rock Trail (with binoculars or a telephoto lens.)

Atop the same bluff a solar panel has been added next to the Starved Rock Trail since my last visit.

The view from Eagle Bluff lives up to its name.

The eagle is also motif number one amongst the collection of woodcarvings that decorate the grounds of Starved Rock Lodge, where I stayed.

Views of frozen waterfalls, ice climbing and spectators:

Views from the trails:

Meanwhile, back at the lodge:

Wildlife in the lobby includes the stuffed bear and ducks along with the live but non-native Japanese koi in the water.

I happened to visit on the weekend of the annual photography contest. This is a selection from the "Adult Landscape" category, including the first place winner. If I had only known, I would have entered in the "Adult Selfie" category. There was only one entry in that category, which was duly awarded first place.

To see more of Starved Rock check out my previous posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment