Shades

My favorite State Park in Indiana is Shades State Park. The ominous name is short for Shades of Death, and possibly refers to a battle between Native American tribes. I have already written before about the Silver Cascades Waterfall in that park, but it has many other spectacular features. One is called Devil’s Punch Bowl, where in the early 20th century visitors that arrived from Chicago by train were treated to a movie night. These people had guts.

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In dark winter, the punch bowl is certainly the place that justifies the park’s old name most. For some strange reason, the bare dead trees remind me of Francis Bacon’s crucifixion paintings.

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The punchbowl is the end of a short canyon that has more fallen trees.

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When the canyon widens, surprisingly the walls just get taller. One begins to wonder about the finale of this dramatic development.

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Instead of a drop into the endless void, the canyon ends at the Silver Cascades Fall. That’s a counterpoint the composer of this landscape must surely be proud of.

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Fragility

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If Nature has intended to create sacred places for us, then the Silver Cascades waterfall in Shades State Park, Indiana,
is certainly one of them. Don’t expect roaring cascades. Instead, when approaching the secluded site, you will hear nothing but the quiet murmur of slowly running water.

Besides its stunning beauty, this unusual waterfall is partially convex, giving it a womb like appearance.

While frost wedging is responsible to the concave upper part, this process is less effective in the lower part, as it is less exposed.
In Winter one can see how the flowing water prevents freezing.

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The whole area is quite fragile, and the spots where the pictures here have been taken are now closed off due to rock fall. The best time to visit is during the early morning in the Fall, when it is quiet and there is no direct sunlight on the leaves yet.

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The now inaccessible front view offers an entirely different, still irritatingly erotic, perspective.

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