Amy Colgan, Guest Blogger
Picture this. The noise in the woods was startlingly loud. This was no squirrel rustling through the leaves; it was something much larger. Just as I stopped, two deer, with their antlers locked in a territorial battle, broke out of the woods and onto the middle of the path at Glacier Ridge. As they pushed each other back and forth, I hurriedly pulled out my camera and snapped a few pictures before they noticed me. Once they saw me, they unlocked antlers and fled in opposite directions.
The picture was a bit blurry but the moment was perfect. For me, that encounter captured my feelings about Columbus Metro Parks — it’s a place where you can find adventure, wildlife, serenity and beauty, and nothing makes me happier than to capture those moments in photographs.
Most of the time, I travel light and capture my favorite moments in various parks with my iPhone (all the pictures in this blog except the deer fight were taken with my iPhone). Over the years I’ve learned to look up, get low and try different angles when taking pictures. It’s rare that I visit one of the 19 Metro Parks without taking several pictures. The first light of the morning or at dusk is amazing and inspiring.
I love not only capturing the beauty of the Metro Parks but also sharing my photographs with others to show them what’s in their own backyard. The real beauty is that the parks are open year round, every day, and usually from dawn to dusk. There’s truly a park for everyone whether you want to see wildlife, walk your dog, scurry up a climbing wall, visit a nature center, skip rocks in a creek, train for a marathon or watch your child’s imagination come alive as he or she explores outside. I’ll never forget the look on my oldest son’s face when he and a buddy caught a huge bullfrog at Prairie Oaks.
Walking in the parks is therapeutic for me. If I’m troubled, I go for a walk. If I’ve got writer’s block, I can usually break it by unplugging and heading to the woods. If you’re out in the woods, breathe in that deep earthy smell.
The beautiful thing is that I can combine work, exercise and my hobby (photography) all into one. As Shakespeare wrote: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
Because Metro Parks has given me so much, I’ve always felt a strong desire to give back. In fall 2017, I became a volunteer at several of the parks. I help with a variety of activities, including preschool programs, dog hikes and monitoring bird houses. If you see me at one of the parks, make sure you say hi. I’ll be the one with the big smile on my face.
Where do you find beauty in our parks?