All walking is discovery. On foot we take the time to see things whole. – Hal Borland
This quote is posted at the trailhead of Michigan Nature Association‘s Wilcox-Warnes sanctuary, the only one in my own county in Michigan. They posted a bit of history of this place recently, and it reminded me I was overdue for a visit. As they mention in their post, this woodland was part of a 1833 land grant from President Andrew Jackson, and owned by the Wilcox and Warne families until being donated in 1975.
They refer quite appropriately to this place as an oasis, as this area of Southeast Michigan is part of growing suburbia sprawl. Many farmlands around here are being wiped clean and developed for mini-mansions to take their place. Macomb County in general is quite developed, and it is nice to see a few isolated spots like this preserved for so long to give you an idea of what this area used to be like.
The quote is appropriate as so many people speed by this little section of woods to take care of the tasks of their daily lives. I am willing to bet many that live right around here don’t even know it exists. The MNA is quite good at keeping their sanctuaries fairly low key with very little intrusion for development and trail maintenance.
It was immediately obvious to me how old these woods were. You could tell just by the soil. Years upon years of decaying logs, leaves, mosses, fungi and other forest undergrowth. One of my favorite finds in the woods is an old, knarly, decaying tree such as the one pictured here. They are bound to have a lot of interesting textures worth exploring, and I spent a good amount of time just in this spot.
It was also an opportunity for me to test out my D800 back from Nikon after my drop mishap. I was very pleased that it didn’t cost a tremendous amount to have it repaired, and they had it back to me in a little over a week. Thank you Nikon USA service! The camera also had my 14-24 lens on it at the time it was dropped. I didn’t send it with the camera because I thought it was fine. However, this walk in the woods revealed that I didn’t test it thoroughly. I came upon one mangled log that I wanted to photograph very wide, and for some reason I was getting wildly overexposed shots, no matter what aperture setting I used. I switched lenses, all exposures were fine. Well, it seems the little lever that controls the aperture mechanics is damaged and who knows what else. So looks like this repair saga is going to be extended longer than I had hoped.
I quickly put that out of my mind though, and continued exploring this very peaceful area. It was quiet, tranquil, effective medicine that prevented me from stressing about the lens. Gear can be fixed. On foot, we see things whole indeed.