|A midwestern oasis|
Upon arriving at Mount Vernon, Iowa, numerous banners proclaim it as being America’s Coolest Small Town and after spending a few days there, I’m inclined to believe it. Artist Grant Wood immortalized the region through his landscape paintings and American Gothic, his most famous work, has been reproduced on a barn just outside of town.
One of my favorite places is a small nature park that is just bursting with wildflowers and outstretched trees that are a shady refuge from the sweltering heat. The most striking element is the profusion of sunlit tiger lillies that contrast so sharply with the dark-green forest.
Along the edge of Mount Vernon, the Cedar River sloughs patiently through ripe cornfields and the billowy, green hills. Despite its peaceful personality, the Cedar has a swift current so beware as it could definitely sweep an unsuspecting swimmer a long ways downstream.
The centerpiece of this midwestern oasis is a small pond where the reflections are so sharp that the placid pool seems like a mirror. As the day comes to an end, a window of lime green leaves is struck by late light while framing a simple composition of blue water and black trees.
|America's Coolest Small Town|
|American Gothic Barn|
|Bursting with wildflowers|
|Sunlit tiger lillies|
|The Cedar River|
|Lime green leaves|