Scenes from the path: A beginner’s photos of Chisholm Creek Park

03/30/2014 12:00 AM

03/29/2014 11:57 PM

I bought a bicycle last year. All I wanted was exercise.

I stuck my smartphone in my pocket. For emergencies. And I rode.

This was in May. I rode south to Chisholm Creek Park, where a bike path traverses the park east-west.

Two things happened: I noticed wild animals and wildflowers again. And I took my smartphone out of my pocket. Thousands of times.

Photographers like The Eagle’s Travis Heying used to poke fun of photos I posted. But after shooting thousands of frames at Chisholm Creek last year, I got better. So — as Outdoors writer Michael Pearce said — the photos here will show what one simple imbecile can do with a smartphone and daily effort.

Chisholm Creek contains hundreds of acres of prairie with dozens of species of wildflowers that bloom in a cycle.

Nature parks give us public access, deep inside city limits. Pearce says our wildflowers show more colors than a box of crayons. He loves the annual display, as does Cynthia Abbott, a local master gardener who identified the flowers in my photos.

I rode every day before work. I timed my arrival for sunrise because Travis had shown me how low light paints colors.

I shot most of these photos from right off the bike path, or the smaller walking trails. Watching a season closely means watching a giant masterpiece take shape — the pinks of gayfeathers, the rich yellows of sunflowers, the rust color of tallgrass. I studied the blossoms and fragile tendrils of wild flowers up close, and saw the sunlight bathe them. I sometimes shot more than a hundred frames of one flower, as the light changed, from every angle — high, low and from the sides.

Along the way I saw baby deer start as wobbly-legged fawns in spring, then outrun their mothers in fall.

Most people drive past all this, poor souls.

The first blossoms open soon.

Take a camera.

Sports Videos

Join the Discussion

The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service