HBW – Winter Leaves

Cherokee Marsh is a nature preserve on the north side of Madison, Wisconsin. I grew up within walking distance of the park – and ended up spending a fair amount of time there.

Since my elementary school was so close to Cherokee, we took a lot of field trips out there. Starting in 1979 (kindergarten) and through the early 80’s, we probably did at least two trips a year. The park was different then – there was a lot more money put into it, with a strong focus towards education.

The park has since fallen into disrepair – most of the boardwalks are falling apart, the burial mounds are overgrown with brush, the shelter that was once atop the park’s hill has been torn down and the lookouts look as if they are about to topple into the marsh.

I’m torn about this – on one hand, I feel this is good… back to nature and all that. The burial mounds shouldn’t be disturbed and letting them become overgrown naturally is probably the right thing to do. Plus, fewer and fewer people are out there now – most of the time, when it’s really cold, I’m the only one, which is great.

On the other hand, the park is being used much less, if at all for education. It would be nice for people to know that there are burial mounds out there and to know the history of the area. Kids aren’t exposed to nature nearly enough any more. Video games, DVDs – that’s how parents entertain their kids. It’s a shame and it’s going to be a huge problem 20 years from now when those kids are in positions to make decisions that impact the natural environment.

This photo was a case of right place, right time. It was late afternoon and I was heading back to my car… the sun was low. I rounded a corner and there were hundreds of these leaves scattered throughout the prairie. They were catching the low sun and looked just like pieces of amber glass.

Besides the vignetting and slight crop, this photo is untouched – doesn’t exactly capture what I saw, but it’s a reminder.

HBW!
What does HBW mean? HBW = Happy Bokeh Wednesday – a term in the Flickr community.

What is Bokeh? According to Wikipedia, Bokeh (derived from Japanese bokeaji ボケ味, “blur”) is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens using a shallow depth of field.

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Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

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