On a hike around Mississippi Palisades State Park, we walked around the bend and encountered this old water tower rising up from a field filled with blossoming milkweed. No doubt a haven for Monarch butterflies flying around the Mississippi River.
Children and adults alike cool off in the Whirlpool Compass Fountain in St. Joseph, Michigan. Just steps from Silver Beach, Lake Michigan, and the downtown shopping district, the fountain provided some much needed relief from the 90 plus degree sun.
Every few minutes, the top nozzles blast water overhead. In between sprays, dozens of small fountains of water come up from the ground providing lots of opportunities to cool off.
In 1860 John Dye lived on this 120 acre farm along with his wife , four children and six slaves. They raised corn, wheat, and hay on the nearby rolling hills. In 1862 Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner commandeered this house for his headquarters during the historic Battle of Perryville, which took place about a mile away. The house was used as a field hospital after the battle. Blood stains can still be seen on the floors of the upstairs rooms.
General Buckner later became Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and was the “Gold Democrat’s” vice presidential nominee in 1896. He died near Munfordville, Kentucky in 1914.
In the midst of a 104 degree afternoon, we hiked around the mostly shaded Sloan's Crossing Pond. This pond is located in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, and was formed by a sinkhole. The park is riddled with sinkholes, formed when the cave ceilings below failed and caved in. This particular sinkhole filled with water and created this small pond.
Even in the oppressive heat, the area immediately surrounding the water was teeming with life. Birds, frogs, lizards and countless other beings rustling nearby branches.
This image was created by stitching together eight individual photos.
In the midst of a string of 100 plug degree days, the rolling countryside of Hardin County, Kentucky showed signs of drought. Overnight, fog would fill the fields with a trace of moisture, only to evaporate before quenching the parched ground.
This field seemed relatively healthy, possibly due to it's low-lying location. Many other fields were brown, and several creeks were completely dry.
The last of seven such bridges in Washington County, Kentucky, the Mt. Zion covered bridge (or the Mooresville covered bridge) is the longest multi-span covered bridge in Kentucky. Opened to traffic on November 6, 1871, the 246 foot long bridge used Burr Arch truss type of construction, named after the truss engineer and patent holder Theodore Burr. Designed and built by Cornelious Barnes, the bridge cost the county $5,000 to construct.
The arch truss can be seen in this interior photo.
Bridges in this time period were often covered to protect the wooden timbers from the elements. They also provided shelter for travelers during storms.
Now closed to traffic, the Mt. Zion covered bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still walk across this historic bridge to get a sense of what it was like to traverse the Little Beech Fork River back in the late 1800's on the way to Mooresville, Kentucky.
On the way to an early morning hike to the top of a secluded, not-so-well-visited knob (prominent rounded hill), I was presented with some beautiful scenery along a small country road.
Daytime temperatures were well into the 100s, and at 6:30 am, the countryside was filled with fog - the only source of moisture in this region for weeks.
Now peaceful, these hills were witness to an important event in Kentucky History. The Battle of Perryville was fought here on October 8, 1862, marking the end of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's famous "Kentucky Invasion." It was the largest battle fought in Kentucky during the Civil War.
1426 men were killed, 5552 wounded. It's considered to be one of the bloodiest battles of the war.