Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Cedar River - A Blue Deluge

A blue deluge

Flowing down from the wilds of Minnesota, the Cedar River winds its way through central Iowa and joins the Iowa River just before emptying into the mighty Mississip. The voluminous waterway streams through the heartland at a fairly fast clip as the swift current is not something you want to underestimate.

The adjacent, fertile valley is distinguished by dark-forested hills and vast fields of corn. Back in the old days they called it the Red Cedar River because of the abundance of those junipers that thrive on the limestone cliffs overlooking the blue deluge.

One evening while we were up in Waverly, we walked along the Cedar and were astonished by the diverse variety of colorful wildflowers that decorated the pathway. At Mount Vernon, a steep stairwell escorted the explorers down to the water’s edge where the Cedar’s true power was revealed.

The American Midwest is a fascinating region to visit, characterized by high humidity, verdant hues and afternoons embroiled in severe thunderstorms. It was a peaceful change of pace that I’ll never forget with memories of down-to-earth people, vibrant arts and a beautiful landscape but still, it’s good to be home.

A voluminous waterway

Streaming through the heartland

Colorful wildflowers

Decorating the pathway

A steep stairwell

A fascinating region

Verdant hues

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Alderfer Park - A Steamy Wilderness

Alderfer Park

On a warm morning at Alderfer Park, a wave of clouds streaks across the sky, painting the landscape with blue shadows. The shallow ravine is running dry so yellow grasses have taken over the high ground.

The golden meadow is absolutely bursting with a profusion of pink and purple perennials. As I continue to wander, a grove of aspen offers some cool relief while that field of wildflowers thrives in the mid-summer sun.

Now in the forest, the light becomes dappled as it barely shines through a fresh canopy of transparent leaves. Even during an afternoon thundershower, descent from the steamy wilderness is a sweaty withdrawal.

A wave of clouds

The ravine is running dry

Golden Meadow

Field of wildflowers

Dappled light

A steamy wilderness