Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dean Hills Nature Preserve

Google Maps is one of the coolest inventions ever. Panning around the state with it has opened up me up to parks and destinations I did not know existed. Yesterday I decided to head down to Fayette county to try and find and one such place. With the iPhone mapping and GPS services, I found myself literally out in the middle of nowhere. I would accidentally bypass the nature preserve's entrance to end up at a washed out bridge along a creek. Fortunately a local resident who was naturally curious as to who would be out there came by to see what I was doing. Upon explanation he showed me the right way and told me more about the area including the presence of wild turkey. After he pulled away and while I was cleaning off for the area is extremely muddy, I heard a flock of turkey in the distance across a corn field.

Every building tells a story, this was on the preserve boundary and important for later.

The preserve is a giant Kame consisting of steep sand, gravel and silt mounds deposited during the ice age glacial retreat. Though I barely entered the area and did not climb to see, I would estimate the hills to be around 3-4 stories in height. The following is an edited phone pic. I was so preoccupied in looking for flora and fauna that I neglected to take general landscape shots. No worries, shooting conditions were less than ideal and the mission was merely to find the location.

Remember the old building? This guy showed up as I was leaving.

Having given my card to the gentleman who aided me, he sent me a message informing that there were some ducks as well as an eagle to my immediate S in a flooded field. Following his instruction and crossing the flooded Kaskaskia river, I found the location but did not see any eagles. I did see the ducks however, but they were at a great distance. With the window mount tripod I recently picked up, I was still able to make the best of the situation. All in all, a very productive time and I hope to return in the future. Many thanks to Steve for his help.


Anonymous said...

These are some really cool pics!
Luv the skull fagment

Great job as allways my friend!

Thanks for sharing!

Laura Fenley said...

Love the pics! Years ago Dean Hills was a campground, I used to go there with my grandparents in their pop-up camper and have some very fond memories from back then. Always wanted to go check the place out again and see what it looks like 35 + years later. Thanks for posting!