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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stone Park

A Walk in the Woods

Dagmar and I went for a walk yesterday in Stone Park here in SUX. (You gotta love it when you live in a city with the airline designation SUX.) Anyway, Sioux City sits on a boundary of sorts. To the east there's the entire state of Iowa laid out in neat squares of farmland, hundreds of miles of gently rolling hills checkered with roads that go entirely across the state with nary a curve. To the west is what I consider the true Great Plains -- from the Missouri River all the way to the Rockies are the sweeping, windblown, seemingly-empty prairielands of Nebraska and South Dakota.

But in the middle is the Missouri River, and there's Sioux City, right on the river, a break between the farmlands to the east and the plains to the west. The wind sweeping along the plains has, over the millenia, dropped it's fine dust along the river, creating the Loess Bluffs. For a mile or so on each side of the river there's an alluvial plain, but bordering the plain are the bluffs...

Stone State Park is just on the northwest corner of Sioux City, right on the Big Sioux River which serves as the border between Iowa and South Dakota, just a few miles from the Missouri. Here are photos. If you click on 'em they get bigger. (I really wish Blogger wouldn't try to color-correct and sharpen my photos. I had 'em the way I wanted 'em. Oh well.)


Heading down the trail



We startled two wild turkeys just a
couple hundred yards from the road.




Just a few yards farther we saw this guy watching us.



Near Turtle Pond. I love the angles of the trees.



This is the largest part of the pond...



Another little fella peeking at us...



A quarter mile farther...



Another happy little guy (look at the lower right).



Sadly, this is endemic. I did notice it's a non-native species.



Back by our car Dagmar spotted this pretty guy.



I love the orange! He was loud, too. His mate was nearby.

10 Comments:

Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

*sigh*... beautiful. Maybe you and Dagmar and Gabby and I could be kind of... snowbirds? Yannow, Every six months we could switch houses. Winter time, when you could ride, you could live here, we could play in the snow... etc.

Sound like a plan?

*wink*

8:15 AM  
Blogger Falwless said...

I think I've encountered that non-native species a time or two myself.

Beautiful pics. Love the deer.

10:41 AM  
Blogger SkylersDad said...

excellent photos, thanks for sharing the beauty of your area with us!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Leonesse said...

I have thought of taking pictures of the beauty that surrounds us here, but you know the disgust of the people have overridden it all.

31 days and counting.

And I agree with Pixie.

5:25 PM  
Blogger katrocket said...

fantastic photos!

Blogger alters our photos? How is that possible? I had no idea.

All that talk of the Great Plains made me think of colouring maps in grade 7 geography class.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Pix -- Sounds good to me! I've only seen the desert in picture-books!

Falwl -- Beer drinking is fun! I just wish the kids would pick up their cans...

SkyDad -- There's beauty everywhere, ain't there?

Leo -- Ya just gotta crop out the goonies is all.

Kat -- Hey, thanks!

I've always noticed that my photos look different once I upload them to Blogger... They look darker (losing a little detail in the black tones) and they look like they've been sharpened. The sharpening helps the photos when you look at them "natively" on the screen, but if you click on a photo and look at the larger version you can see that the edges are sharpened considerably -- more than I care for, personally.

I imagine this happens when they rerasterize the images -- I upload them at about 3500 pixels by 2700 (or whatever it is) and let Google downsample them to 1600 pixels. It's easier to let Google do that then to resize eight or ten photos myself whenever I upload a batch, but they do change something. I've downsampled a photo using PhotoShop to 1600 px and looked at it side-by-side with the Blogger version, and there's a difference.

It's really not enough to notice unless you take the time to really stare at the photos...

12:30 PM  
Blogger BeckEye said...

I would comment on the pretty pics, but I'm still too busy laughing at SUX.

7:15 PM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

It's a deal, then?

I figger Leonesse and I - or rather between the three of us...TIMESHARE!

No.

Seriously.

12:36 AM  
Blogger pistols at dawn said...

I assume you left out all the pictures of you cross-bow hunting.

10:26 PM  
Blogger The Guv'ner said...

I always love looking at your pictures - it reminds me that I live in a city where I never get to see nature or smell trees and that I need to more often. I can almost smell them from here!

3:57 PM  

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