Today I thought I’d share some photos from my favorite trail in Indiana. This is always the first hike my mom and I do when we arrive at Spring Mill. It’s a short jaunt down the hill from the lodge, a meander by the creek, a hop across the creek, and then a leisurely stroll down river takes you to the Wilson monument and the Hamer cave.
Here’s a view across the lake. It was placid when we hiked by that evening and birds were settling in for the night in the trees overhanging the lake. You can see the stone bridge across the lake in the photo if you squint.
This time of year the forest was rich in emerald hues and wildflowers still dotted the undergrowth, if you could spot them through the green. We were fortunate enough to spy this jack-in-the-pulpit still in its prime.
After trailing along the river bed for a while, the path takes you by the Wilson Monument. This is one of the greatest treasures in the park. The man who owned the property, George Donaldson, erected this as a tribute to his fellow Scotsman and ornithologist, Alexander Wilson.
It’s weathered and aged now and even in the years since we’ve been going to the park, I’ve noticed the details on the engraving are being lost to time. But that, in its way, makes it even more beautiful. In the Audubon exhibit at our art museum, we learned that Audubon met Wilson and had studied his work. He did not hold the Scottish ornithologist in high regard though, claiming his artwork was superior and his observations keener. I find that hard to believe as Wilson was a dedicated natural historian with a fine eye for detail and artistry in his illustrations. We were able to see Audubon’s copy of Wilson’s ornithology volume at the exhibit, and this might have been my favorite exhibit.
Growing within the enclosure of the monument was this little beauty.
Behind the monument, the creek flowed along lazily and mist was rising from the water. It was hazy in the sunset and cool. It felt like the centuries shifted in the breeze and flickered between our time and his. In the twilight, shadows took form and the greens deepened, and I drank in the smell of ancient waters and moist soil and old wood. I understood afresh the fierce love that indigenous peoples and settlers shared for this land and in that moment I felt I was one of them too.
Blessings to you,