“The importance of conserving our natural resources is now well recognized. Cannot it be truly said that these natural wild beautiful valleys and glens which lie adjacent to our rapidly growing urban centers are a kind of ‘natural resource’ of ever increasing value to the public?” 

— William A. Stinchcomb, (speaking to the Cleveland City Council in 1909)

There is no better therapy for a photographer than the wonder of nature.

The “emerald necklace” that is the Cleveland Metroparks system has always been one of my favorite places to lose myself in. As I was growing up in Rocky River, Ohio, the “valley” offered many recreational activities. Now, when returning for visits, hiking and photography are always therapeutic.

Looking down on the Rocky River from the Rocky River Nature Center in the Cleveland Metroparks in North Olmsted, Ohio, the Rocky River Nature Center offers spectacular views of a 360-million-year old shale cliff from the deck overhanging the river. (Photo by Mark A. Shephard)

The Cleveland Metroparks were founded in 1917, the brainchild of the park system’s first director, William Stinchcomb.

The Rocky River valley lies below these trees reaching out from a cliff accessed via the Rocky River Nature Center in the Cleveland Metroparks in North Olmsted, Ohio. (Photo by Mark A. Shephard)

 

“In a snap, or small portion of time, all that the camera can consume in breadth and bite and light is rendered in astonishing detail: all the leaves on a tree, as well as the tree itself and all its surroundings.” – Lee Friedlander

Looking down on the Rocky River from the Rocky River Nature Center in the Cleveland Metroparks in North Olmsted, Ohio on November 22, 2016. (Photo by Mark A. Shephard)

markashephard.com

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