Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photo Essay: Starved Rock in Spring

Starved Rock State Park - Illinois Canyon in Spring

This is the last day of May, and one could say spring is officially over, since in the U.S. we tend to think of summer as June, July and August, even though here in Chicago temperatures have dipped to the 50s today after hitting almost 100F last Sunday. In any case the last day of spring is high time for me to share pictures from one item on my spring list, which I actually did do: Hike Starved Rock State Park when there might be water falls from spring showers.

Starved Rock State Park - Illinois Canyon

We like to approach Starved Rock State Park from the east, where there tend to be fewer people and one can hike Illinois Canyon virtually undisturbed, especially on a weekday. Illinois Canyon does not feature waterfalls, but rather these shallow pools.

I was fascinated by the ripples in the water reflecting on the canyon walls.

These crossings in the Illinois Canyon can be treacherous. In fact, I didn't fare as well as my sons in this photo, which was taken right before one of those wobbly logs gave way and I fell in. My entire left side was sopping wet, but thankfully my camera had been in my right pocket, and the weather was warm enough, so that wringing out my jeans and then laying in the sun for an hour at the Lone Point Shelter dried me pretty well, and we could resume our hike.

Wildflowers in Illinois Canyon

Most of the wayside walking in and out of Illinois Canyon looked like this on that day in April. How very different from hiking Starved Rock in the fall!

Hiking into LaSalle Canyon - the promise of a waterfall.

Starved Rock - LaSalle Canyon Waterfall

It doesn't get any better than this.

Well, maybe it does. It's the coolest thing to be able to walk under a waterfall and not get wet.

You should recognize this picture; it's the full version of what currently appears in my banner.

LaSalle Canyon Pool

A Waterfall and a Vine

Hiking along a canyon wall. Not all trails in Starved Rock are like this, many meander along the Illinois river, or lead you through the forest until you happen upon another canyon.

Tonty Canyon

Tonty Canyon

Catching a Drop in Tonty Canyon

A Study in Rock Layers

Lots of water in LaSalle Canyon for Reflections

Final reflection - a tree by the Illinois River at Starved Rock State Park.


  1. Such gorgeous pictures!!! What an excellent way to end the blogathon....CHEERS for making it ALL the way!!!!!

  2. Those are beautiful photos, Annette. Thanks for sharing. That last one could be a post card!

  3. Anjuli - thanks, and yes, I felt this would be a nice way to wrap up the Blogathon.

    Kelly - thanks!

    Diane - thanks & glad you like it!

  4. Beautiful photos! We've only been to Starved Rock once - and it rained the whole time. I would love to get back.

  5. These photos are brilliant! What camera (and settings) were you using?

    1. Jennifer - funny you should ask. My photo taking technique is as yet rather primitive. My Canon PowerShot is pretty beat up (the shutter doesn't close anymore), and then I use Microsoft Office Picture Manager to adjust brightness or crop.