Scragglies (Ohio X)

When I visited state parks in Ohio at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown in March 2020, I didn’t expect that we would still be struggling with isolation.

One of the places I visited then was Conkles Hollow, whose rim trail offers fascinating views of scraggly trees on the steep slopes of the nature preserve.

I was curious how all this would look in the late fall, and the difference is not big.

If at all, the trees have become a bit more scraggly (and older, like myself), many individual lonelinesses in immutable clusters.

Maybe they are patiently waiting, too, for time to pass, wounds to heal, and spring to come.

Would they move elsewhere, if they could, and become tall and beautiful?

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Ohio IX)

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Conkles Hollow is a separate small nature preserve belonging to Hocking Hills State Park, featuring two very different trails. These are like two (very) different aspects of the same person.

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One leads inside a deep and narrow gorge, and is as wild as it gets. Violence and darkness abound.

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The other trail leads up and around, with views of the cliff faces.

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During late winter/early spring, this becomes a study in black, white, and green. This is peace and serenity.

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Here, the trees seem to mirror the dramatic dance of the rocks below like dreams, occasionally joined by a counterpoint in red.

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Is this just one place?