I LOVE MOUNTAINS. It is the one thing that fueled my passion for photography. My wife, Melinda, and I travel to Colorado and Tennessee each year to see and photograph the mountains. And it is exhilarating.
Indiana has no mountains. So does that mean I pack away my camera the rest of the year? By no means! Some of my most beautiful photographs were taken right here in The Hoosier State. Those are the images that make me the most proud!
Photographing scenic landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers was never something I thought I would be interested in doing. My wife and I purchased our first camera many years ago. How long ago? Let's just say it needed 35mm film! It wasn't until years later, when I invested in my first digital camera, that I discovered I really did have a knack for this photography thing.
Magic of Indiana Wetlands
To start, I was more focused on the technical side of the hobby. That all changed when my wife and I visited a wetland about 2-1/2 miles west of Bryant called Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve. Wow! A whole new world came to life. There were blue herons, egrets, indigo buntings, red-winged blackbirds, goldfinches, a variety of ducks and Canada geese. Many other birds new to me also call Loblolly home. I soon found out there was so much more to photography beyond the area cornfields.
We were hooked. We made repeated visits with my camera in tow. Soon, Melinda was bit by Indiana's beauty as well. She got her own digital camera. Now we are partners in photography too! We shoot everything from birds to wildflowers to the tiniest bugs. If we get a great shot, we're thrilled. I feel it's more dumb luck than skill. But hey, we're having fun!
Melinda and I wondered if there were other scenic places to photograph in Indiana. So we visited some of the state parks, such as Turkey Run, Spring Mill, Clifty Falls, Mounds, Pokagon and Brown County. We weren't disappointed.
Clifty Falls State Park is located near Madison, a historic old town on the banks of the Ohio River. There are many lovely old buildings in Madison; we spent an entire Sunday taking photographs of the picturesque doorways and entrances to these fine old homes. We even created a poster from this special day that now hangs in our dining room.
Beauty Closer to Home
Most of these places happen to be a bit of a drive from where we live in Adams County. That's all right. It gives us a chance to enjoy our beautiful state that much more. And when we don't have time, we stay close to home.
I stumbled upon a nature preserve in Wabash County called Kokiwanee Nature Preserve. It is owned by ACRES Land Trust, an organization that buys and preserves land for all to enjoy. Kokiwanee is amazing. It borders the Salamonie River and has crisscrossing trails that take you up and down steep hills, over small streams and even beside a beautiful waterfall. On a Sunday afternoon, you just may find me there taking pictures.
Mountains are still cool. But Indiana -- it has a special charm unique to itself. You just have to look around and explore to see all its beauty!
It's Your Turn.Do you or someone you know have an amazing collection? Tell us all about it, how it started and share a few photos. You can submit online, email, or write to us.
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At Home Indiana
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Berne IN 46711