Kathy & I took advantage of today’s break in monsoon season with a 3-ish mile walk along the Torrence Creek Greenway in Huntersville. A portion of the trail runs along the edge of Cedarfield, our former neighborhood. In the years since we moved there have been some additional trails built. We know that portion quite well and I have taken hundreds of photographs of the area in all seasons. Today I had only my phone, but the photos will give a sufficient overview.
Water levels were high after last night’s rains, but other than some mud in low-lying places it was mostly dry. We spotted some early spring bluets and even a few dandelions along the trail, plus a pair of red-tailed hawks shadowed us on our walk back to the car.
There are a number of places to access the trail, but we parked along Bradford Hill Lane near the intersection with Gilead Road. It’s easy to find and about a 10-mile/20-minute drive from our neighborhood. The trail is all paved, mostly flat with lots of options for various routes and distances. The trails are well marked and numerous signboards with maps provide useful information.
I tried to add a link to the website for the Greenway, but both the Mecklenburg County and the Town of Huntersville pages have broken links. 🙁
Tom’s Trail Summary:
Length: From Bradford Hill Lane to Rosewood Meadow Lane is 1.6 miles, or 3.2 miles round trip. There are several options for shorter and longer loops, or out-back for a shorter distance is possible.
Surface: Paved with a few muddy spots after heavy rains. Good walking shoes are sufficient.
Comments: The trail is shared with cyclists and dog walkers. No motorized vehicles. Pleasant walking along the Torrence Creek with some road noise from Gilead Road and barking dogs from nearby neighborhoods. Will be pretty in the spring as trees and plants green up. I tried to find a link to a trail map but the county and town links were broken!
I love mornings, I just wish they didn’t come so darned early! Especially on weekends, the last thing I want to do is set an alarm. But I’ve been preaching for years that the landscape photographer’s most important tool is the alarm clock. Lately, I haven’t been so good about practicing what I preach. This time of year though, sunrise is late – about 7:30 – so I can actually sleep later than I do during the week and still get up and photograph. It’s possible, I said!
We got a little bit of ice yesterday. Hardly anything to get excited about, but with the forecast of clearing skies overnight, I went to bed with visions of sunbeams and dramatic clouds and frozen grass lighting up like diamonds in the morning light. The possibility of dramatic conditions gave me enough reason to plan to get up. I should have set my alarm, though, but I didn’t. So when I woke up at 5:00 I couldn’t go back to sleep because I had sorta committed to getting up. But I stayed awake, and I got up.
I get a lot of inspiration from a small circle of friends who have photo blogs. Monte Stevens is The Man when it comes to getting up and out for sunrise. I should do so well. Usually I don’t, but today I did. Monte posted the other day about getting up for sunrise, and he, Paul & I had a friendly little exchange about getting up for sunrise, and I kinda sorta committed to getting up this morning. So I had to, right?
The transition that occurs when I go out with a camera always amazes me. It really doesn’t matter what the conditions are, there is always something to shoot. The results aren’t always something I would hang on the wall, and I doubt any of this morning’s photos will be. But you never know. And the main thing is, I need to get my sorry self out the door in order to take any pictures. And if all I accomplish is getting my ass out the door, using the camera and getting a little practice once I do, that is nothing to complain about. And if I come back with some decent photographs, that’s a bonus!
The amazing conditions that I had pictured in my mind’s eye didn’t materialize. But we did have a little fog, the air was still and it was very quiet – some of my favorite conditions for making photographs. So I made my way across the icy street and down the frozen steps to the Greenway, taking care to not fall on my butt – or worse, on top of the camera slung over my shoulder. It was slick, but I had good boots and was careful.
I got out about 7:00, 30 minutes or so before sunrise, and figured on staying out for an hour or so, and that’s about what I did. I went to a section of the Greenway that would have a good view of the sun if I actually saw it, but it didn’t make an appearance. And as of 10:00 this morning I’m still waiting. But I’m back in the house now with my coffee and warm slippers sitting at the computer, so life is good!
But Monte and Paul, I did get out! And here are the photos to prove it! Enjoy!