Hey wait… nothing spectacular? Do you see that blue sky? the green grass? The air is clear; the land is litter free. There are no obnoxious odors, loud noises, traffic sounds. The trees are beginning to green a bit, the grassy path is a spongy cushion under tired feet. Not spectacular?
Maybe it’s only an urban conservation park, 93 acres small, but it’s a piece of green that I visit many times each week. Located only a few minutes from my home, I have probably taken a thousand photographs of this land – prairie, savanna, woodland – in the last eight months. Of the 297 posts I’ve published, 35 contain photographs taken here in Owen Conservation Park – nearly 1 in every 8.
Owen Conservation Park, one of 14 conservation parks in Madison, sits on a hilltop overlooking the city’s west side. It was the farm and retreat of a University of Wisconsin professor, Edward T. Owen and tranferred into conservancy in the 1970s. Prairies and oak savannas are reclaiming the old farmlands, and the woods provide habitat for wildlife and birds. And they provide me with a place to unwind, hike, and enjoy my photography. For that, I’m pretty thankful.
If you are interested, here is the collection of this blog’s photos of Owen Conservation Park as the different seasons settled upon it – starting with a few photos of the fantastic wildflowers that are in bloom this first part of May and ending with the park captured in mid-autumn color. (You can also see how my photography skills have changed in the past 8 months. A few of those first photos are a little on the shaky side, but I’m glad I have them posted as part of the record of my journey of the last year.)
And the park really is a beautiful parcel of land in its many different moods.