Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Where We Learn

Nothing particularly profound today.

Some images of some of our favorite nearby places, those we go to frequently.
Places where we relax and enjoy time together.
A celebration of the beauty in the world.

This is where my kids have grown up.

From our backyard:
One of the people who owned our house and land before us was a food scientist. He was gifted several grapevines, of some wine grapes (I don't recall the variety). Although we don't use them to make wine, they are still beautiful.
One of our maple trees starting to wake up. Soon, it will have tiny leaves. Interestingly, the early leaves are the same colors that the leaves will turn in the fall, but it's harder to see. They soon become green, and all that color goes away for a few months.

This corner of our property is where two creeks meet and become one. Right now, they are very sedate, but when the water is high, this area is quite different.

This is from about the middle of our section of the creek, going through where a tree fell across the creek a few years ago. This section changes every year, as things are moved by the force of the water.
Looking down the creek, towards the edge of our property. There is no "maintenance" done here, of any kind, so it is what it is, and we never know what the Spring will bring each year, as things shift and change. The deepest part of the creek while it runs across our property is maybe two feet deep. Most is very shallow, at least most of the time. When it floods, this will all be under water.

This is where our creek goes:

About a mile downstream from us, give or take, there is a "lake" at the top of a state park. It isn't really a lake anymore. It was, when I was a kid, but now, it has been overgrown by vegetation and is more of a marsh. At the bottom of the lake is a dam, and below that, is this waterfall. The bridge across the top is part of a trail that goes around the lake.
This is in a part of the park that many people don't know about, and most don't go to, and even those who do, don't always realize this waterfall is there. I don't believe it has a name, or if it does, I don't know what it is.

A short way down from that waterfall, the creek crosses a road. Literally. It flows over the road, and cars drive through it to get to the upper part of the park. This is not an uncommon thing in the state parks around here. I don't know why they do it that way. It means, for one thing, that they must close those roads during the winter, as the road becomes impassable at times. When I was a kid, I always thought it was exciting to drive through the creek. I think kids still often feel that way.

Just on the downstream side of the road, is this small waterfall. Again, it's one most people never see, because it isn't where they are focusing when they are in the area. It is a little less "natural" than some, because it is surrounded by concrete reinforcing the place where cars drive through. You can't see that so well in the picture, but I'm standing on some of it. If you look at the top left of the photo, you can see the back of the stop sign on the road.

As the creek reaches the bottom part of this section of the park, there is a lovely shallow area. It is also an area that changes relatively frequently, most recently by some flooding a couple of years ago. Part of the bank was flooded out, and it is much easier to see this particular spot now. Behind me is the parking lot. There is a trail on the other side, but it is not right by the creek at this point.

Below this, there is a waterfall that I like to call the "hidden falls." It is tucked away in a bend that is not easy to see. Years ago, there used to be a second swimming area just below it, I believe, judging by both the remnants of a small dam similar to the one at the lower park's swimming area (as well as other area parks that allow swimming) and a chain across an abandoned path, with signs that say "no swimming." I don't know why they changed things. It's too bad, in a way. This small section is very attractive, and it is no longer allowed for people to walk down to the creek here.

From here, the water goes under a bridge, to the start of the gorge part of the park. Although it is very close to my house, it wasn't until a few years ago that we actually hiked the gorge, and what a lovely place! It rapidly became one of our favorite places. The trail is closed over the winter because it becomes ice-covered and treacherous, but while it is open, we go here often.

At the bottom of the gorge is the main waterfall of the park, the one for which the park is named. For years, it was the only part I ever visited, but we have since learned better!

When we are finished with this gorge, there is ANOTHER gorge on our way home. It's not in a state park, but is in a nature preserve, a short walk from a small parking area by the side of the road.

There are more waterfalls down the gorge from here, including one that is quite tall, but this section is the part we love most.

There you have a walk through part of our world. I'm sure I'll post more pictures, from all four seasons. With all the more popular waterfalls around here, these gorges have far fewer visitors than one might think. We are often there alone, except for the company of birds and beasts. Breathing the spray from the falls is guaranteed to improve my mood and make me feel better, no matter what else is going on.

I often post photos on facebook, and now have a photography page to post them on. You can find it here, if you are interested:  https://www.facebook.com/lindawyattphotography

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You are extremely blessed to live in that slice of heaven! Thank you for your words about unschooling. Our society is evolving and the mindset of allowing our children autonomy is so critical to loving them fully for who they are now!