Morning Stroll Along the River- Seasonal Comparison

I had to work another long day. I decided at some point to get up and venture outside. It snowed last night and into the morning. The sun was finally starting to shine. I was tired of sitting.I decided to go for a walk.

I work near a river walk that is fairly newer and very nice. It runs along the St. Joseph River. The city has done a really good job at building and maintaining it.  There are several statues and sculptures in addition to probably  two million dollars ( more I am sure ) in landscaping. It’s simply wonderful.

Really the only down side is that it attracts juvenile terrorists in the summer time, but the police department does an amazing job of patrolling the area to keep issues at a minimum. I am not worried about going down there.

Over the past couple of years I have taken quite a few photographs of the area in different seasons. I decided to go out and see what it was like and maybe capture a few shots. The sun was shining a little and the sky continued to open up revealing an amazing blue sky and white puffy clouds.

It was a frigid 5 degrees and windy. I didn’t bother with a coat either. Just a fleece for me and a pair of fingerless mittens. I am wearing  a pair of fairly obnoxious looking winter boots. I figured what the hell, it’s the weekend and nobody real important is around.

On the other side of the foot bridge is a sculpture titled”Volatus Aquilae” ( meaning Eagle’s Flight) and was created by local artist,  Robert Kuntz. The scuplture sits between the two dams on the river  and is nestled in the center of a cul de sac sorts along the fence.

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Volatus Aquilae in the summer

Volatus Aquilae in the wintertime

Volatus Aquilae in the wintertime

Just a little different. Still beautiful.

 

Volatus Aquilae

Volatus Aquilae

The St. Joseph River in the summertime. This picture was taken in the mid-morning.

The St. Joseph River in the summertime. This picture was taken in the mid-morning, just to the left of the sculpture.

It was quite different today.

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BRRR!

The larger of the two dams. The building on the other side of the river is the new hospice center.

The larger of the two dams.

And just to leave you on a warmer note, here’s a shot of the foot bridge from August. I don’t know why, but I didn’t snap a photo of the bridge today. It may have been because I was standing outside in 5 degrees with negative wind chill and I could no longer feel my face. Ha!

The foot bridge to Central Park.

The foot bridge to Central Park.

I hope everyone is having a great day and most of all, keeping warm!!

A Walk In the Woods: Cheaper Than Therapy

Worster Lake, Indiana

Worster Lake, Indiana

I managed to get outside to hike on two occasions this week. I escaped to Spicer Lake Nature Preserve for a couple of hours and then met my friend, Diana,  at Potato Creek State Park.  Potato Creek tends to be a lot busier than Spicer, but not too much in the wintertime.

I loaded all three of my dogs into the car and headed out.  It was a special day for Dingo Lu. Three years prior, she was adopted through the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois. Not only was it the anniversary date of her adoption, but we decided that since we didn’t know her actual birth date, that it was also her birthday.

Happy 5th Birthday, Dingo Lu!!

It only made sense that we would go on a hike with all of my girls and my friend Di’s two other dogs.  She has two German Shepherds. One of which, was recently adopted also. All of our dogs get along, thankfully and are very well behaved. Hiking with five dogs wasn’t as stressful as it might seem.

We generally meet near the Nature Center and head out into the park from a nearby trail head. The trails connect to other trails and you can decide how far you want to hike. On Wednesday, we chose to hike just under 5 miles. We traveled along the shore line of Worster Lake and made our way past the Porter Rea Cemetery on the other side of the lake.

The Porter Rea Cemetery is a neat place to visit.  There is just something about old graves. Seeing a birth year from the 1700’s  on a headstone is amazing to me. It opens up my imagination and makes me wonder who these people were. Porter Rea was a community cemetery (as opposed to belonging to a church) that dates back to 1845.

It is the first local cemetery where African American residents were laid to rest with their white neighbors. Sadly, the first resident to be buried here was 9 year old, Emma Porter.  I’ve never been able to locate any information as to why Emma passed away. All I can say is that her final resting place is simply beautiful. Rest in peace, little Emma.

The highlight of the trip would be when we passed by the old Spring House. I forgot about its existence and probably haven’t laid eyes on it since I visited the park during a field trip in grade school. That was a long time ago. It was kind of neat to rediscover that.

Potato Creek is built on and around an old homestead. There is evidence of the old farm through out the park. Every now and then you will come across old rock walls and remnants of farming equipment and buildings.  The old Spring House is still standing and has been fairly well preserved.

Worster Lake finally has a thin layer of ice covering it. Very soon, people will be out there ice fishing. It’s a fairly popular place for locals to go fishing both in the summer and winter months. They don’t allow motors on the water so it’s generally very peaceful and the water is calm.

In addition to hiking trails,  the park also offers bicycle trails, bridle trails and a horseman’s campground, family campground, cabins,  bicycle, rowboat, canoe and kayak rentals.  They also have several pavilions for large picnics.

I always enjoy going on hikes with Di. It’s always nice to catch up and talk about life and work and whatever is going on with us. We hiked about five miles before we called it a day.She has a lot of experience and it’s nice to go with someone who enjoys hiking and doesn’t mind that there’s snow on the ground and cold.

We had a really good hike.