Saturday, June 14, 2014

Daily Journal: June 14, 2014

Location: Ridge Farm, IL
Miles Hiked Today: 2.75
Weather: Mostly Clear

I visited one of my favorite places at Forest Glen County Preserve today, albeit a favorite place that I forget about pretty much every time. It's at the tip of the Beech Loop along the Crab Tree Trail. Here there is a bench overlooking the end of a ridge above a confluence of ravines. The distance from the top to the bottom isn't great, just a few dozen feet (if that).

However, the distance is secondary to the feeling you get sitting there. In this place, all around you is the western border of the great forests of the east. Like the tip of a spear you sit there, seeing trees like the Beech and Poplar, trees that can't be found just a few miles to the west. Here is one of those places at Forest Glen where you feel less in tune with the prairies and cornfields, and more in tune with the Appalachians well to the east. Unlike many of the other places where you can experience this borderland, this one is the most panoramic, most visible.

Unfortunately, it's a marvelous view that isn't easy to convey by photograph. I tried many times today to get a good shot, but none of them worked. The plush greenery of the trees and plants flummox any attempt to create depth or contrast  Perhaps someone with a high end DSLR in the hands of an experience photographer you could get a photo worthy of the view. It's also possible a visit before the trees sprouted, such as in late March, would have made a great photo, as the stark contrast of the ravines and ridges woulld have been more prevalent.

Even then,, though, it just wouldn't capture all that is there. No, the best way to show the beauty of that point is by drawing a sketch of it. That way, you could use your drawing ability and creativity to convey the essential nature of the scene, even if it isn't always photo-realistic. Had I paper and a pen or pencil, and had I the time to attempt it, I would have rendered my own interpretation of the scene. But obligations are obligations, even on a Saturday that is as beautiful as this one was. Perhaps next time, assuming I don't forget about it again.

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