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Kickapoo walk, lotsa pictures - Phil's Rambling Rants
October 4th, 2008
10:15 pm


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Kickapoo walk, lotsa pictures
I got up late today and didn't get out of the house until 1, but I went to Kickapoo with my camera.  Today I only took the 17-85 lens; my back is bothering me a little and I didn't want to burden myself with extra lenses and I wanted to get some scenery pictures.  It was about as close to a perfect day as you could ask for: not a cloud in the sky, comfortably warm in the sun, a touch of autumn crispness in the air.  Insects were fairly active; some birds but not very many.  I went to the Out and Back area, but I went up the haul road to the overlook where I like to have lunch.  Between starting late and taking so many pictures, it was after 4 by the time I got there, and after I'd eaten and read for a bit, it was 5 by the time I left, so I only got into the woods north of the haul road very briefly.  I do hope to get in there when I have more time and with the sun higher in the sky, but for today almost all the shots are from the more open areas.

I hope this set will give you some appreciation for what we'll be losing if the governor is successful in his plan to close it down.

This opener is the only shot that's out of chronological order.  It's from the first, biggest prairie/meadow area.  I hope the view of the path will invite you to view the rest.

The light through these Virginia Creeper leaves caught my eye.

Here I'm trying to be artistic with the background for this grass.  I love to look at and photograph grass seed heads.

Here I caught a bumblebee in flight as it moved about some asters.  Bees are another favorite subject; even though my mission for the day was scenery, I took a lot of closeups of insects.

A yellow sulfur butterfly on a purple aster is an irresistible color combination.

I was consciously working on composition today.  Here's one of my efforts at getting multiple elements into one interesting field.  Goldenrod and asters.

This is a moth, either a Monk's Cloak or something similar.  It would be more impressive if I cropped it, but the deal for these posts is that I have to be able to do them relatively easily -- which means no editing the images, because it would just take too long.  Sorry 'bout that...

I was holding a camera.  There was a bumblebee on a thistle.  Therefore I took a picture.

An attempt to be artistic, catching the light in the grass in the foreground with a bit of scenery in the background.

This view is fairly typical of the area: a nice bit of meadow with trees around it.  I thought about skipping this shot because of the radio tower, but this is what you'd really see.

Here's a view along the haul road.  I decided the lens flare looked nice in this one.

Cattails in the foreground of a nice view from the haul road.

I try to catch the light through thistledown.

Here's another meadow, with the first hints of fall color in the background.

The light in the one dead sycamore leaf caught my eye so I arranged the shot around it.

The ponds here, as well as the hills, are the legacy of strip mining.

Here we've finally come in sight of my overlook.  My lunch spot is under the trees on the hill on the right side.

Sunlight through these grass seed heads is magical.

Some more grass with the pond behind it.

I hope this view of the pond conveys a bit of why I love this spot.

Another view of the pond.

These berries were too pretty to pass up.

The woods along the path near the big meadow.  The sunlit area in the back caught my eye.

Wild turkeys in the group camp area.

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(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
Those are gorgeous pictures. I kept trying to pick a favorite as I scrolled down and just couldn't do it. Although, if I ABSOLUTELY had to, I think it would have to be the first bumblebee photo... or the foreground grass... or the berries...
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Thank you!
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC)


lovely picures, and they give a good feel for the area. what's this about closing it?
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)

Re: kickapoo

Governor Twit-of-the-year has been pursuing an aggressive policy of expanding extensive state programs without legislative authority, pushing the state from merely serious financial trouble to complete fiscal dysfunction, publicly opposing any meaningful tax increases, and blaming the legislature for the mess. He's trying to force the legislature to raise income taxes without taking the blame for it. Part of the results of this were the last state budget. When the governor refused to be meaningfully involved in the budget negotiations, trying to force the legislature to be the bad guys, the legislature passed a budget that was seriously out of balance and told the governor to use his line item authority to fix it. The governor cut a few minor (in terms of the size of the overall budget) programs, saving a couple of hundred million out of at least a billion that the budget is short. One of the cuts was a list of smaller state parks and minor historic sites that would be closed.

The state would be having financial troubles no matter who was in charge, for the same reason most other state and regional governments are having trouble: they have huge mandates for health and education expenses which have been getting more expensive much faster than inflation (and tax revenues). But Illinois' problems are worse than most. Illinois has a long history of having corrupt and generally incompetent governments, but the current situation, where the governor and the speaker of the house personally hate each other and fight over major government issues like little kids fighting over the shovel in a sandbox turns a difficult situation into a complete clusterfuck. I've thought the speaker was a bad leader and personally a jerk for many years, but the governor really makes him look good. A pox on the lot of them.
[User Picture]
Date:October 7th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)

Re: kickapoo

ah, budget cutbacks. damn. we had a lot of that here as well, and as a result quite a few parks have been semi-privatized. the government has had to deal with both, budget cutbacks and fewer people visiting parks, so it gets pinched from both sides. and even though it is a conservative government, i have some empathy for that. we have a huge parks system, weather that's rough on infrastructure, and a rising immigrant population that doesn't have camping and hiking as a strong aspect of their culture.

being as i've always been somebody who's done a lot of park visiting outside of the main seasons to avoid other people, closures don't bother me a whole lot. i go anyway, and it just means that there won't be anyone else, more visible wildlife, and for a while the total neglect won't make the trails inaccessible.

as long as they don't sell the land for development; that would piss me off royally.
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