This year I tried to explore a few new places that are not more than an hour’s drive away, at the cost of neglecting a few places that are really close, like the Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve.
This is wetland, made accessible through slippery boardwalks. The grasses here make even more short-lived art than the sand art made by dune grasses.
Either from the treacherous safety of the board walks, or right from the center of things,
the grasses are at work, through gentle dipping of their stalks, or mere reflection. This is like writing blog posts. Words and images not to be bound between covers and shelved, nor streamed into instant oblivion, but just left there for a little while to wither.
Then, finding the path back out of the forests becomes a possibility, because it is, after all, also only written on water.
Southern Indiana is limestone country, and the rocky ground is sometimes less than ideal for farming. So people move north to Purdue, and the abandoned farms get converted into nature preserves.
An excellent example is the Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, fabulously maintained by the Sycamore Land Trust.
The fact that we are in former farmland here means that the landscape is more uniform than in a natural wooded area, as all plants are roughly at the same age.
Little drainage canals and ponds are perfect spots to witness rapid growth and decay.
There is nothing spectacular here that would merit a visit say from New York. But if you are seeking a contemplative view, there will always be a new one.