The Forest is Awake: Shawnee National Forest, IL

Other than one day (yesterday) where it was spitting snow in Missouri, yes spitting snow in April in Missouri, the weather has been pretty super. Yes, I love winter and hate hot weather. But lately the weather has just been perfect and about this time of year I’m ready for the change. We woke to subfreezing temps and after scraping the frost off of the truck I headed down IL Route 3 and the Great River Road for Shawnee National Forest.

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The sun’s warmth ignited a dense foggy mist over the landscape during the drive that was absolutely gorgeous. Flooding was a major issue en route. Farmers’ fields were literally swamped with water. I’ll admit I did not stop as much as I should have to capture a lot of that—I was on a mission to Snake Road. Albeit, the shot I set out for didn’t happen and it was a “failed” mission. On the other hand, all of the signs of spring and the pleasant mid-30s morning briskness made for one perfect five and a half mile walk through the forest.

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It also forced me to start thinking outside the box to get some shots I normally don’t get. Instead of accomplishing what I set out for, I changed my focus on some of the finer details of the forest. Details such as mossy rocks, vines, blooming redbuds and wildflowers, lily pads and the dew on fallen leaves. Moral of the story is there’s always something to photograph. A fresh perspective and a little more attention those finer details opened up a whole new world.

I hope you enjoy this collection of images from this morning’s walk through a part of Shawnee National Forest.

—Jake

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