Fresh Photos from Cache River Watershed

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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On the way back from Paducah, Kentuchy Kentucky, we decided to take took the scenic route back. US-45 through Metropolis, across IL-169 to IL-37, and home . . . but we drove by the above area scene and I turned the car around and went into the Barkhausen Cache River Wetlands Center<<link.

The area is also referred to as the Cache River Watershed and the Cache River State Natural Area, and is operated by the Illinois DNR. A very helpful employee gave us the rundown of the area, but I won’t repeat it all here. Those interested can download and read the brochure at THIS LINK.

Note: you will see many crossed out “areas”. That’s because I re-read the post this morning and realized just how overused it was. The changes are meant to improve readability and flow, and I left the original “areas” in there to show the difference a bit of extra care can make.

The main attraction of the area (aside from the area itself scenery) are the Bald Cypress<<link trees , some of which are 1,000 years old. From the brochure:

When storms pushed Norseman Leif Erickson westward to the North American continent 1,000 years ago, many of the cypress trees of today’s Cache River State Natural Area were just saplings. By the time Christopher Columbus landed in the Western Hemisphere 500 years later, they had grown into ancient trees that towered above even more ancient blackwater swamps.

That’s not referring to the above; that area scenery that we saw from IL-37 and that made us double-back. That The area was purchased by the state, bulldozed, levied, and those trees were planted . . . they are about 25 year old. There are other areas sites that have the with older trees.

The visitor center has a very nice interpretative area display, and the surrounding area grounds offers opportunities for exploration. Actually, the whole watershed area is fairly large and will merit merits multiple visits. But, for today, a quick walk to a floating dock sufficed.

n. b. I had my phone, of course, and I had my P900, of course, and I had my D7500, of course. I snapped photos with all of them, and I’ll present them in batches according by camera used, starting with the phone. A few people will likely go to SmugMug, but because of the nature of the subjects amount of details (lots and lots of details taken from a distance), there are few few photos are worth viewing larger than what’s presented here).

IL-37 is at the end of the wet area, in the distance, behind the trees. This was taken from the floating dock. This These next set of photos show the views from — and around — the floating dock shelter, including the carpet of vegetation growing atop the standing water.


Be aware that similar photos — from the P900 and D7500 — will be shown later only but with minimal narration.

Next, we took a short drive — three miles — to the Buttonland Swamp launch area ramp (people canoe there; there’s a three hours circuit and a six hours circuit). This next gallery has the view from the launch area that floating dock. You will notice see the head of a kid in one of the photos (a panorama shot). We met a family of four about to embark on a little canoe adventure (three hours). They were from the Chicago area. Interestingly, the wife’s ancestors were from Serbia and she knew the area where I was born (then Yugoslavia) as well as the area where I lived in Italy before coming to the US. Small world.


There are other places in the conservation area where you can walk up to many of the old trees, but if I understood correctly, the oldest is in the swamp area. I decided not to swim to it. By the way, the standing water in that area was crystal clear down to several feet, the details of the bottom easily visible.

On the way out, I took the opportunity to snap snapped a few photos of the first area I saw of the view that prompted us to stop, only this time from the road. The Gallery includes the photo at the beginning of the post.


Next up, the P900 photos from near the visitor center and floating dock . . .


Once again, the close-ups show the floating vegetation. And, once again, looking at those photos at full resolution actually loses something because so many of the details are not well-resolved (none of the camras cameras did a great job, but, predictably, the D7500 managed a bit better than the others).

Here are the photos from the swamp . . .

Part of the The reason I used all three of the cameras I had with me is because I only had the long lens for the D7500. Next tome time I go there, I’ll have wide-angle lenses and a tripod with me.

Here is the gallery of photos taken from the road before I left (some look similar to each other).


The D7500, with the 70-200mm zoom lens, was used more fro for close-ups, but there are a few long shots . . . here’s the gallery of photos from the visitor center floating dock and the swamp.


There is one photo I’m posting on its own . . . it’s a vertical panorama composed of five photos stitched together in Lightroom . . .

For them intrepid souls who want to see the original without going to SmugMug — and have decent Internet speed, click HERE for the 14MB original-size panorama.

And, finally, the D7500 photos taken from the road . . .


That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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