My attempt to document 40 sunrises in Eastern Cincinnati. Spring 2011.

Sunrise 108: Alms Park (Fog & Century Oaks)

Looking down the hill from Alms Park.

Foggy Sunrise @ Alms Park

The base of this huge century oak tree is wider than my bike is long. Almost two of my bikes, in fact.

The overlook @ Alms Park

Along the foggy forest trail under Alms Park

I didn’t have a chance to get this post up yesterday morning so it’s coming at you a day late. After several days of overcast, the conditions came together perfectly to create an intensely foggy morning. The skies were clear and the ground was wet, and it was really really cold. It was easily in the upper 30s, perhaps even lower. I was hoping for a clear sunrise, but I got a beautiful thick fog. I decided to head up to Alms Park since the last foggy morning was spent in Ault Park.

The fog in Alms Park is always exceptionally pretty. The trees in the park are old and tall and the fog adds an eerie dimension to the quiet park.

I didn’t end up seeing a sunrise, but I did have the morning coffee in the fog and ventured down into the forest in an attempt to find an old secret “party area” that I found last year. I didn’t succeed, but I did find the entrance to the trail. It’s hard to follow, though, with all the leaves that are still on the trees. I’ll try again this winter perhaps :).

I left early for the park. About 20 minutes before sunrise the neighborhood is dark and muffled.

Looking down Grandin Ave in the fog.

It’s interesting how the fog closes in the scope of attention. This huge and beautiful oak tree stands at the entrance to St. Ursula’s Villa, and I’ve never really noticed it specifically before. It has plenty of room to breathe and is certainly quite healthy.

If you’re on the front page, click to continue. About 50 pictures total for this morning’s post.

Near the entrance to Alms Park there is a forest thicket that is lined with maple trees. The color of the trees were really bright in the dark morning fog.

A small maple at the entrance to the park. These specific maples just blow up in color this time of year.

The ‘ol Fuji S-10S @ Alms Park. Look at how thick that fog is!

The overlook @ Alms Park

Street Lamp and Fence. Normally we would be able to see Lunken Airfield down below. No chance of that today!

I decided to camp out between these two oaks. The oak on the right is the grandest of them all. It is seriously huge and healthy. It has to be over 100 years old, dating back to the original founding (or before) of the park in 1916.

Fog & Oaks

A picnic table in the fog. I enjoyed my hot coffee at this picnic table. For all I know the fog was actually an ice fog. I almost couldn’t move my fingers it was so cold up there!

The Fuji hangs out under the canopy of the giant oak tree.

This is right around sunrise time.

If you look way up at the top of this picture, you can see that the blue skies are out. It was strange being able to look up and see blue skies. It really felt like being at the top of a mountain, which was true.

I actually took this picture on accident, and then got really happy when I reviewed it on my camera. The ginko tree naturally forms its branches in this kind of diamond pattern.

These maples are so colorful, especially against the gray fog.

The leaves are slowly falling off of the tree, starting at the top and moving down the trunk.

More fog and trees.

This squirrel was watching me watch him.

Now this was a strange bird. I did see a HUGE red headed woodpecker but I don’t think that’s what this bird is. That woodpecker had at least a 2.5′ wingspan, I’ve never seen anything that large. I walked up on him in the forest and he swooped away. But this bird in the picture flew in a strange way. It was definitely a bird I’m not used to seeing, although I can’t really put my finger on why it was so bizarre.

The birds were highly active in the park. They would call back and forth and repeat their patterns to let each other know where they were.

This is that stone slide at the park. I don’t know how old it is or any history about it. It was wet and slick. I thought about trying to go down it, but I realized it would result in me flying off the bottom end of it. It looks like the park crew recently fixed up the structural support of the slide.

The stone work on the slide.

The sun had just started to come out through the trees and lit up this maple tree.

These three mourning doves were startled by me. In the fog it’s really easy to sneak up on things (I snuck up on a deer, a wood pecker, lots of birds and squirrels, as well as a few wild photographers)

The playground under the oak canopy.

I just thought this was kind of a hilarious picture.

This is the overlook that sits on top of the Ohio River.

I actually don’t know the name of it. I’ll have to find that out.

I locked up the bike and decided to see what the foggy forest looked like…

Three hedge apples. These suckers are everywhere in the forest. I wish they were edible s so I could make jam or something out of them. The tree is known as the “Osage Orange” tree.

The trees were planted as a wind breaking or fence tree. Now that I think about it, I wonder if the location of the hedge apple trees deep in the forest around Alms Park may be significant? The trees seem to only be down along the hill of the forest, not up on top, and it would be conceivable that the trees may have been used to mark property in the 1800s.

Silk and Dew

Heading down the trail into the foggy forest.

The fog got more dense as I dropped down in elevation from the top of Mt. Tusculum.

A bridge that goes over a small ravine.

(widescreen version)

These purple flowers have popped up along the trail in the forest. Late-blooming autumn wild flowers.

This is one of the first markers for the trail to the “secret party room”. I first discovered this trial last year and I haven’t visited it yet. There are (at least last year there were) about 6 or 7 cans and bottles hung from branches that mark the secret trail. With the leaves on the trees I could only find 2 of them. The trail winds deep into the forest and eventually ends at a clearing under a large tree that could easily accommodate half a dozen people. There were old pull-tab beer cans, really thick glass bottles, small vials, and other things that make me think that it’s been a “party room” for several decades, at least. The further down the trail you go, the older the cans and bottle markers get. Someone obviously keeps the trail maintained, right? Anyway, I’ll give it another go when all the leaves are gone. Because the bottle markers can be like 20 or 30 yards apart, it’s next to impossible to deep scan the horizon and find the next marker with all the leaves.

One of the more obvious markers. A new-ish can of Natural Light.

A found this buck watching me, quietly, as I rode down the road out of the park.

As I left the park, the fog had really started to clear and the clear blue skies were making an appearance.

Another blazing maple tree. I feel like last year all the maples shed their leaves at about the same time, but this year there seems to be more variation.

The little maple from earlier, with less fog.

The entrance to Alms Park.

5 responses

  1. Pingback: Sunrise 109: Ault Park (Bizzaro Sunrise) « Ault Park Sunrise

  2. Pingback: Sunrise 115: Eden Park (Reservoir Ruins, Hotel Alms, Clear Skies) « Ault Park Sunrise

  3. Pingback: Sunrise 118 (1/2): Ault Park (Guest Sunrises #2 from Dayton, OH and Australia!) « Ault Park Sunrise

  4. Pingback: Sunrise 122: Columbia Tusculum (Exploring in the Urban Fog, Macro Frost Crystals) « Ault Park Sunrise

  5. Pingback: Sunrise 157: Alms Park (Misty Hills, Tall Oaks, Spring Blooms) « Ault Park Sunrise

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