Day 15 in Forest Park - footprints in the snow / by Edward Crim

Forest Park Forever, the citizen’s organization that can be truly given the credit for rescuing America’s greatest urban park from decay and neglect, claims that the park contains 45,000 trees (give or take a few). This seems on the low side for a 1300 acre park that is called Forest, so it is important to consider all of the open spaces in the park.

I personally like open spaces; it’s easier to see and appreciate the few trees that are there. So I have been cruising the park looking for distinctive, iconic, even, trees to feature in photographs. While I like lone trees best, for showing off the form and structure of a tree, I certainly don’t mind photographing them in pairs, and today I think I caught a good portrait of a Sycamore couple. 

One of the aims of this year in Forest Park is to get some good four seasons shots, of different scenes in the park. I particularly like the lakes in the park, a number of which have names. There is, of course, the Grand Basin, Post-Dispatch Lake, Deer Lake, Round Lake, Jefferson Lake and Bowl Lake, but in the north-east corner of the park there is, cut off from the rest of the park by both Forest Park Parkway and the Metro Link tracks, Murphy Lake. The name “Murphy Lake” always prompts me to wonder “Who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy’s chowder”, so I feel I have to pass that thought on to you. But putting Bing aside for a while, the corner of the park that contains Murphy Lake is a wonderful and photogenic patch of earth upon which to wander. Sitting across Lindell from some of the grandest houses in the city, this spot seems even more polished than the rest of the park. Tall grasses wave by the water on the north side of the lake, and a tall bank on the south side of the lake shields the area around it from excess noise generated by the Metro trains and the cars on the parkway. There are benches scattered around the lake to accommodate the weary and the contemplative, and in the summer carefully tended flowers bloom. No flowers today, though.

Another thing I noticed today was the remarkable number of animal tracks through out the park. There in the snow were the unmistakable imprints of big feet and tiny feet, but other than the Canada Geese on the ponds and a hawk looking for his lunch, I didn’t see any non-human creatures out and about.