Ailsa’s weekly travel theme this week focuses on parks. I love parks! Whether I’m home or traveling, I can’t resist making time to visit a park.
I walk regularly on a linear park (a greenway trail) near my home. Indianapolis has a great network of interconnecting park trails throughout the city and surrounding neighborhoods. I could get on my favorite trail a few blocks from my home and walk to my favorite restaurant downtown — about 11 miles away. I would only have to walk on a street for about 100 feet to cross a bridge and then walk through an intersection. The rest of the distance is on a paved pedestrian path that also allows roller blades, bicycles, and–in some sections–horses.
I love the kind of park where all you have to do is to sit, observing and absorbing nature. Nature and forest preserves are great for this. Sometimes you need to hike, but most have accessible paths for those for whom hiking is too challenging. It is always lovely to be walking quietly with your thoughts and then suddenly come upon a deer, see a hawk fly overhead, or greet an old turtle meandering down the path.
I like the kind of park that makes the green space surrounding a museum, reminding you that nature is a form of art as well. The sculpture garden at MoMA, Millennium Park adjacent to the Art Institute of Chicago, or the wonderful new 100 Acre Art Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art are three such parks that I always include in my trips to these museums.
I can feel like I’ve left an appendage at home if I don’t have a camera with me when I’m in a park, although I always try to put it away for a period of time so that I don’t overlook the park trying to get a great photograph. Unless you’re a first time visitor to this blog, you will know that I love taking pictures of flowers. To capture the fleeting beauty of nature in a photograph is a challenge that is never perfected and never looses its allure. But, sometimes I like to take pictures of other things in a park than just the flora and fauna. Park benches, too, always seem to be in almost every park photo set. Below are some shots that I’ve accumulated over the last few years, including one taken the first time I ventured out with a brand-new DSLR. (see the *) Brrrr — that was a cold and wet day!