Monday, December 5, 2016

Quarry Lake ramble: Photographs and poetry

--> On the first day of December--before the snow started falling--I went to Quarry Lake Park in Racine. Actually, I went to the Wustum Museum of Art in Racine to pick up work that had been in their exhibit, Wisconsin Photography 2016. I've been to the Wustum many times over the years and since it is located next to Quarry Lake Park I have driven past said park just as often--twice as often if you count to and fro! Nearly every time I've wondered about the park and thought that one day I ought to stop. This time I did. 
I shot a series of photos, all with my iPhone. (I had brought my camera along but left it in the car, erroneously anticipating few opportunities to use it, the day being gloomy and with a light drizzle that continually threatened to turn heavier.) I enjoyed the walk far more than expected. 

Adjacent to a golf course, the 40-acre park boasts a “spring-fed lake” in the former quarry, along with a beach, pavilion/bathhouse, dog park, picnic tables, and a fishing pier. The Racine County Parks website doesn’t mention the Root River, which also runs through the park and which was of more interest to me when I decided to stop to explore. 

A narrow, wall-like ridge of un-quarried stone separates the lake and the river. The authorities had erected a chain link fence to prevent people from walking up the ridge, which is essentially a two-sided cliff. This was primarily to discourage cliff jumping into the lake, an illicit activity that had unfortunate consequences last June. However, the appeal seems insatiable. The fence has been violated, making it easy to step through.

After I finished exploring and photographing the park I found in the experience further inspiration. Although I hadn't written any haiku for over a year I ended up with a series of them. The poems are not meant to be read as captions for the photos. They are a complimentary expression of my encounter with Quarry Lake Park.

heavy overcast
the surface of the water
the color of stone

in three rows

twelve vacant tables
cemented in place


through chain link fence

a well-trodden path


the fisherman draws a line 
in the scum


quarry lake from river 
two-sided cliff

an icy gust

on the cliff top 
bare footprints

standing on uncut rock

by the crowns of trees

I plod along

snarl of thorny underbrush
roar of ascending airplane 

on the opposite bank

through leafless trees
house lights

at the water’s edge

a young couple 
posing for selfies

quarry lake

a million grains of sand 
trucked in for the beach

December afternoon

the darkening sky


No comments:

Post a Comment