|One of the many little hidden waterfalls and pools that are scattered throughout the bluff region|
One of the things that I truly enjoy is being able to guide other photographers to some of these little known and hard to find photographic jewels. It's always a bit like seeing them for the first time all over again when I take new person to the "secret spots".
|Always fun to have a new set of eyes along and to see how other artists, naturalists, and photographers interpret the area!|
Since they are often rich in historical value, and many have already suffered damage from vandals and those who don't fully appreciate the historical or biological significance; I tend to screen folks closely. Yes I am indeed a bit protective of the spots. However it's it's only a rumor that I blindfold folks for the hikes in to some of the sites!
Piney Creek Ravine and Millstone Bluff are open to the public and managed with trails and interpretive signs there are other areas that are not. Areas that are known only to those who burn the boot leather, climb the steep bluffs, and explore with not much more than a walking stick and compass.
|Abandoned family cemeteries litter the steep bluffs in southern Illinois|
|The prickly pear cactus - one of Illinois native cacti that can also be found high on the arid bluff shelves|
|Spring fed waterfalls, creeks, and pools are easily found with a little footwork and research.|
With a little research, a few phone calls, and visit or two to local libraries and watering holes, you too can find some of these out of the way spots. So, do some research with your Department of Natural Resources, the US Forest Service, local historical societies, and plan a a day to explore the hidden gems in your own backyard!