On this evening, a dense fog permeated St Louis’ Forest Park creating a moody and uniquely peaceful scene. The still air and calm waters of Pagoda Lake formed a perfect reflection of the Nathan Frank Bandstand and surrounding lights.
This is a sister image of a previously release image where I lingered on a frozen shoreline well past sunset at Carlyle Lake, Clinton Co. Illinois. As the sunset yielded to night, the scene required longer exposures to reveal the day’s fading colors. The cooler hues captured in this blue hour image seemed to intensify the cold weather which embraced the area.
Carlyle Lake was formed as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Carly Dam across the Kaskaskia River, thereby creating the largest lake in Illinois. For the days leading up to this scene, cold north winds pushed waves onto this shoreline encasing the boulders in ice. In this image, one icicle seemed savor the setting sun’s rays by refracting the warm hues.
Many define Midwest winters as frequently cloudy and this day was no different. In fact, the Prairie State experienced nearly two weeks of continuous overcast skies. During this evening drive, satellite imagery suggested clearing skies might arrive with nightfall. Anticipating a colorful sunset, I headed to Silver Lake outside of Highland (Madison County), IL. Disappointingly, as the time of official sunset passed, the western horizon retained its muted hues. Minutes later, as the sun sank further below the horizon, the break in western skies allowed distant sunrays to paint the underside of these overhead clouds in fantastic colors.
As part of Dayton Ohio’s riverfront development, the Five Rivers MetroParks and Miami Conservancy District reworked the Great Miami River removing a hazardous low dam and creating Kayak-friendly chutes now called RiverScape’s River Run. This blue-hour image captures the river flowing through Feature 1 of the run forming a slow-moving eddy in the foreground while reflecting the park’s pavilion and CareSource’s warm office lights. The balanced rocks made for a spiritual moment, but as to not spoil the view for subsequent visitors, I scattered the rocks back to their original location.
Tucked away in Caesar Creek State Park lies a small geologic feature known as Horseshoe Falls. The area served as home to the Miami Indians, then the Shawnees. Amid this autumn image, Flat Fork Creek lazily spills over fossil formations creating a small whirlpool at the foot of the falls before flowing into the Caesar Creek Reservoir.
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge carries I-70 from Illinois to Missouri and serves as a St Louis landmark since its 2014 opening. The bridge was designed by HNTB Corp and named after former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player as well as the region’s veterans. Today, many nickname the structure the “Stan Span”. As a cable-stayed bridges it utilizes A-frame towers and 1,000 miles of 0.6-inch cable, all which architects illuminate at night. In this night image, the bridge lights rake across of the sandy eastern shore line of the Mississippi River.
The Chain of Rocks Bridge carried traffic U.S. Route 66 traffic from Choteau Island, Illinois to St Louis, Missouri and holds its place on the National Register of Historic Places. From this perch, two historic and architectural water intakes stand in the midst of the Mississippi River, which held crews controlling the flow of St Louis’ drinking water. The distant rapids arise from a dam which mitigates a series of hazardous rock ledges to river traffic. Colorful sunsets are often brief, but this evening the visual treat lasted 30 minutes.
Bridal Veil Falls lies in the Bedford Reservation of Cleveland’s MetroPark and resides adjacent to Cuyahoga National Park. The Bridal Veil name arises from the soft white splashes created as Tinker’s Creek flows over the thousand individual layers of the Bedford Shale formation. On this rainy autumn day, sunlight begins to paint the overhanging leaves.
The iconic Eads Bridge which spans the Mississippi River was completed by James B. Eads in 1874. The bridge enjoyed many firsts to include the world’s first all-steel construction as well as becoming the longest arch bridge in the world. To instill confidence of its sturdiness, builders led elephants across the bridge to the cheers of crowds. Today, this St Louis landmark resides on the National Register of Historic Places. On this evening, high clouds muted the sunset colors which encouraged the blue hour hues to take to the sky, while the warm glow of Laclede's Landing and the new completed Gateway Arch grounds occupy the distant shore.
Caesar Creek was named for a black slave captured by the Shawnee on a raid along the Ohio River. The Shawnee adopted Caesar and gave him this valley as his hunting ground. Nearly 200 years later, the US Army Corps of Engineers constructed a dam over Caesar Creek creating a 2,800-acre lake under authorities embedded in the Flood Control Act of 1938. With the completion of the dam in 1978, the dam began impounding water forming the deepest lake in Ohio and a haven for outdoor enthusiast. In this image, the balanced rocks made for a spiritual moment, but as to not spoil the view for subsequent visitors, I scattered the rocks back to their original location before leaving the scene.
This rainbow formed a perfect backdrop to St. Clare of Assisi Church, O’Fallon, Illinois where the refracted and then reflected sun rays produced a visual treat from the storm’s last few raindrops. Although the physical church is new (designed by BCDM Architects and completed in 2007) the parish began 150 years ago under the Diocese of Belleville.
This picturesque scene captures northeastern St Clair County, Illinois, outside Lebanon IL. The Farmer’s Almanac states Native Americans call this October full moon the Hunter’s Moon, thereby marking the time they should begin their hunt in preparation for the winter months. The old tree which witnessed the passing of many seasons frames this classic farm scene while the tilled lines lead the eye toward the old shed and the farm house on the horizon.
This Forest Park (St Louis MO) image captured a colorful sunset as reflected by the Emerson Grand Basin. The unusual pink sky and the quickly changing red maples on the Art Hill pathway made for intriguing and colorful accents. On this evening, the basin fountains almost shine as bright as the generosity of Mary Ann Lee, who along with her husband Desmond, has given so much to the St Louis Community, to include these fountains in her name.
This steamy sunset took place over Carlyle Lake (US Army Corps of Engineers), Clinton County, Illinois in late August. Thunderstorms made their presence felt all day, but as the sun reached for the western horizon, the heavy clouds began to recede leaving behind soppy and humid lands. Knowing evening storm clouds can produce dramatic sunsets, at my daughter’s urging, we pressed the chase all the way to this scenic setting. For me, more incredible than this sunset, was my daughter’s spirit while spending a Friday night with her father chasing this fantastic sunset.