Colorful Autumn Twilight Over Morris Reserve

The best of Greene County Ohio Fine Art Photography depicting the Morris Reserve on an autumn evening, near Bellbrook Ohio
An elevated view over Morris Reserve near Bellbrook Ohio As one of the regions newest parks and as evidenced by the artifacts recovered from this park we now know five Native American peoples called this land home since the last ice age In 2016 the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District acquired this land with the assistance of several non profits who recognized the importance of this former farmland as a tallgrass prairie and as lands bordering the Little Miami River On this autumn evening I hoisted my camera above the prairie to capture this amazing sunset as the golden light washes over the Indian Grass and Golden Rod

The Rest of the Story

As shared in previous posts (Morning Thunderstorm Over Morris Reserve, Colorful Autumn Sunset Over Morris Reserve, and Morris Reserve Fine Art Photography), Morris Reserve is one of my favored places. The park’s long sightlines promoted interesting compositions. In previous autumn compositions, I grew frustrated by how the golden rod and Indian Grass grew so high, that the tops of the plants exceeded the height of my tripod. From an artist’s perspective, the final image was untidy. Not sure what possessed me, but on this evening, I mounted my $3,000 camera and $3,000 lens on an extended pole. I call it my “poor drone”. The extra height gave me the composition I envisioned. I’m sure my method looked goofy. In fact, another hiker even chuckled as she walked by my setup. All laughs aside, once I saw this image on my computer, I knew I nailed the composition.

Morris Reserve History

As a member of the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Historical Society, I recently attended a session where a Native American artifact expert, the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District Manager, and a member of the Shawnee Nation spoke to us about our amazing Morris Reserve!

Morris Reserve Cultures

According to artifacts found within Morris Reserve, we are beginning to understand five Native American cultures have called the park home. The first people we call the Paleo-Indians which hunter-gathers. As Wikipedia shares, Clovis points have been found that indicate interaction with other groups and hunting large game. Evidence also suggests the Archaic People lived on Morris Reserve. Their technology was more advanced as evidenced by throwing weapons like atlatls. The Woodland People are often identified by the pottery. The Hopewell and Adena cultures are most known for the Earthworks in Ohio. Although Morris Reserve doesn’t have earthworks other evidence suggests their presence. According to Dr. Morris who bought the land he allowed Shawnee and Wynadot to camp along the Little Miami River.

From Family Farm to Neighborhood Park

The formation of Morris Reserve required a miracle of cooperation and funding sources for the park to become a reality. Being located in South Dayton, Sugarcreek Township is a hotbed for real estate development. This highlights the headwinds the park formation had to sail against. First, the Morris family could have simply sold the valuable land to the highest bidder. The land cost more than the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Park District budget could handle. Fortunately, additional entities step forward such as the Tecumseh Landtrust, the Little Miami River Conservancy, and Ohio clean water funds. Fortunately, the Morris Family desired to leave a legacy rather than a profit. The combined miracle of funding gave the Morris Family enough to sell the land below cost to the park district. As a result, we have an amazing park in our neighborhood.

Morris Reserve Sunsets

The featured image above (Colorful Autumn Twilight Over Morris Reserve), is one of many pretty sunsets from Morris Reserve. If you’d like to see more pretty Morris Reserve Sunsets, you should visit Morris Reserve Prairie Art Prints. This gallery features colorful sunsets through all seasons. The prairie portion of Morris Reserve often displays a host of wildflowers including two super blooms: Coreopsis lanceolata (Lanceleaf coreopsis) in 2018 and Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed susan) in 2019. Over the past several autumns, Indian Grass and Golden Rod have colorfully filled the park making for interesting sunsets as the warm light backlights the plants or fog fills the fields.

Pathway Artwork

My website often carries an art print under two taxonomies. First, my prints are presented by the location they are found sorted by US state, then county, and then city or park name. However, sometimes my clients are seeking a particular subject instead of a location. The second taxonomy offers prints based on subjects. One example lies in a gallery called Pathways. Under this art print grouping lies allees, boardwalks, country roads, multi-use trails (bike paths), and in the case of this print, prairie footpaths. For me, I am drawn to how the footpaths meander to the distant horizon under amazing skies.