Ring Park

The light was beautiful today, with dark clouds and bright sun.  So much of the foliage seemedto glow, and then a second later, go dark as a cloud moved across the sky.  Everywhere I looked, there was something else I wanted to capture, another spot of sun dappled green.  The light in Florida can be a bit tricky.  Mostly, there’s just too much of it.  In our houses, while everyone else is trying to find a spot of sun in the winter, down here, we try to block it out.  Blinds and curtains, thick walls, deep overhangs, all part of our arsenal to keep out the light that finds its way in anyway.  That can make it really hard to get good photos, because there is a tendency for the light to obliterate the vibrant colors.  Days like today, though, with some cloud cover, can make a photo come alive.

These two photos were taken within seconds of each other, from the same angle.  The only difference is in the position of the clouds.  I love the luminous feeling of the second photo, but generally the first is more typical.

Every once in a while, when you’re walking on the trails, something reminds you that you’re actually in the middle of a city.  I could hear the cars passing by on the street at this point, but the juxtaposition of the natural and urban areas can be startling.

Hoggetowne Creek runs through Ring Park, as it does through many of the parks in Gainesville.  Right now, the water is very clear, although at times it’s a dark brown from the tannins in the leaves.  Since January is when the leaves are falling from the trees here, I’m not sure why it would be clear now.

The creek has cut through the floor of the woods, leaving exposed layers of roots and earth.  The roots themselves are fantastic creations, weird and wild places that hobbits and faeries might live in.

Then there are the exposed roots from the fallen trees, with wild, swirling structures.  I’m fascinated by the beauty of these monochromatic whorls.

And speaking of structures, I couldn’t resist this shot.  The boardwalks are almost brand new, and you can see how they’ve been engineered to withstand thundering hordes of runners and bicyclists.  Not that I know of any races or even hashes that go through these trails, but if they do, the bridge is sturdy enough to handle them all.

As is this one, at the entrance to the park.  Designed to sustain over 9,000 pounds, according to the tag on the end of it.  It came all the way from MN, which makes me wonder why there are no steel fabricators in Florida who could have won that contract.

Yes, I am geeky enough to love the fasteners, too.

Black widows aren’t really my favorite thing in the world to see, but this beauty was sitting in her web when a seed landed on it.  It was fascinating to see her run to it, but I almost felt sorry for her knowing that she wasn’t getting the meal she expected.

There were hawks circling above, but they mostly kept hidden behind the canopy.  This was the only one I actually captured, silhouetted against the very deceptive storm clouds that never did drop any rain on us.



There is a wild flower garden at the park, with camellias (not so wild) and beautiful little violets that are growing outside the borders.
The hawks may not stay still for long, but you can count on the squirrels to pose nicely for pictures!

2 thoughts on “Ring Park

  1. I just couldn’t stop smiling as I looked at your photos. So very nice. I love all the lines, shapes and textures in them. Love the black widow photo and the squirrel. So nice to see green again too. 🙂

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