Project Double Take #8 | Starved Rock & Matthiessen State Park

8 down already? It seems like we are really rolling along now. I have a feeling this one is going to be one of my favorites when this is all said and done. I can't help but love hiking at both of these amazing Illinois state parks. It is like another whole world that is worlds apart from the everyday known Illinois landscape with their canyons, streams, sandstone walls and waterfalls. I just have to say, thank you glaciers for leaving us something amazing to discover and enjoy.

Our little Peoria Flickr group made an outing to both parks last Saturday. It was a good time as usual and we always seem to have fun making a day of it. I seem to visit the parks in the fall and winter and I had actually never been there in the spring, so splashing through water that didn't leave my whole body numb was excellent as was the bold and bright green all around. It was stunning.

We didn't have a lot of water, but there was still mud to be had and unfortunately it was one of my Nikonian friends who "took a seat" in the mud. I can't name him because it is just wrong to rat out of my own and we were totally out numbered by Canon folks on this trip. I'm surprised we both weren't sitting in it, actually. ;)

Just kidding. I don't think my Canon friends would do that....

Well, this time we both opted to show you waterfalls and can you blame us. When we think of these parks, they are synonymous with waterfalls. We are representing both parks though. Dave's shot is from a higher viewpoint of the waterfall at Ottawa canyon at Starved Rock State Park and mine is from the Wishing Well at Matthiessen State Park. If you ever get a chance to visit and hike for the day, there are so many canyons to choose from, but more than likely, you won't be disappointed with whichever you choose.

I also managed to rent another wide angle lens for the occasion. This time I was testing out the new Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 lens. The ruling is still out on how I feel about it. The truth is I feel like I need more time to play with it and it just doesn't cut for a DX camera body. Those with full frame might really like it though. So far, for DX I think the new 10-24 DX or the solid and well built 12-24 DX are the way to go. Anybody want to loan me their D700? =)

Anyway, here are a few more of my favorites from the trip:

a stream in the canyon (left) and the upper falls of Giant's Bathtub Falls (right) both at Matthiessen

Lake Falls at Matthiessen

Matthiessen Lake Falls.jpg

A boulder in Ottawa Canyon at Starved Rock

Rocks at Starved Rock_.jpg

The Wishing Well falls at Matthiessen (left) and a self portrait of me at Starved Rock (right)

 More to come soon. There is so much to see at these parks, that I will share more images soon. Oh, and a special thanks to Mr. Vernon again for letting me "steal" his PDT layout yet again. I'm clearly to lazy to make my own and since he does such a nice job...

Oh and if you are playing along - PDT #9 is "Landscapes Wide Open" (meaning shot using the widest aperture possible on your widest aperture lens - for both Dave and I - that will mean bokehlicious f/1.4 - oh yeah).