Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois - Shawnee National Forest

This past Saturday we took a drive over to the Garden of the Gods in Illinois. This is a part of the Shawnee National Forest.

As you can see it was an absolutely gorgeous day.

A fair number of people out.

But I can't imagine the crowds are ever very big. It is out in the middle of nowhere. The only industry is coal mining and maybe a little logging. Towns are few and far between.

The colors were spectacular. Maybe a little before peak but really nice.

I used a circular polarizer on most of these shots. It reduces the glare on the leaves and makes the sky a darker blue.

The downside of the polarizer with wide angle shots is that the affect is maximum when at right angles to the sun and zero when directly toward or away. That means you can sometimes get changes in the color of the sky from one side to the other.

This is camel rock. Head on the left.

More info here. Garden of the Gods

and here Wikipedia

The swirls in the rocks are known as Liesegang bands. They are caused by iron or rust settling in the sandstone millions of years ago. The iron causes difference in erosion rates.

Learn more here. Liesegang Bands

More bands.

The Liesegang bands are all over.

I took a picture for a couple and they offered to do the same.

Here is one Margot took of me.

And here is a picture of Jacques and Margot.

Jacques actually walked most of the way. He was pretty worn out by the end of the day.

We took the scenic route back. We drove down to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois and took the ferry across the Ohio River into Kentucky.

This guy was fishing down at the barge landing.

I think he was using the net to catch bait fish.

Didn't see him catch anything.

I imagine he was mostly enjoying the sunshine.

Here is a picture of the ferry. Holds 15 cars or so at a time.

There aren't very many ferries left on the river.

The best part about it is that it is free. No toll.

It is operated by the Kentucky highway department according to the Kentucky tourism board.

Not so says the Evansville Courier Link

The area in Kentucky at the landing is Amish country.

We saw several horse drawn wagons, etc. on the way to Marion, Ky.

Here is a shot of Cave-in-Rock state park just upstream of the ferry landing.

Interesting history tidbit here. Cave-in-Rock Park

And of course, just past the park is a quarry.

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