Monthly Archives: June 2021

Field Trip: High Trestle Trail Bridge

This is not a trestle bridge. In the early 1970s it replaced a 1912 high trestle bridge for the Union Pacific Railroad (which had replaced an even earlier bridge). Abandoned as a railroad bridge in 2003, it is now part of the 25 mile High Trestle Trail in central Iowa.

The entrances on either end of the half mile long bridge are marked by towers that “speak to the cutting and slicing from natural sources that formed” the Des Moines River valley. (From signage along the bridge.) The dark rocks in the structures are a nod to the coal seams in the land and the coal mining history of the area.

Supported by 22 concrete and steel piers, the bridge stands 130 feet (13 stories) above the Des Moines River. Being able to see the wider base of the piers is an indication the river is really low – not a good sign in mid-June.

Its height is one thing. But it was the addition of twisted steel framework that made the bridge notable.

43 steel cribbings are sculptural forms that embody the coal mining history. The changing geometry of the cribbing radiates around you. The viewer moves along the path as though moving through history, through the tunnel of a mine.

– From a sign along the bridge

The previous two pictures are looking toward the western end of the bridge. The next two are shot toward the eastern end.

For more information about the bridge, click on the following links:
Iowa Virtual Museum: High Trestle Trail Bridge – shows pictures of the early effort to convert the bridge from abandoned railway to a bicycle and pedestrian trail;
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation: High Trestle Trail – provides a history of the bridge and the rails to trails effort and shows a picture of the bridge lit by blue LED lights at night.

CMMC June Color – Yellow

“Oh! Hello!” The goldfinch at my home office window was a surprise five years ago. This picture of Iowa’s State Bird was taken through the windowpane glass.

Compared to the goldfinch, the yellow perch on the birdfeeder looks almost orange! It tended to attract house finches.

April visits to Reimann Botanical Gardens yielded more than a few photos of yellow daffodils and yellow tulips. Other yellow flowers were in bloom in early June.

My Aunt Clara has addressed the challenge of growing flowers in the Arizona desert by decorating her fence with a variety of “sunflowers” – found round objects painted yellow.

Posted in response to Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge June Color – Yellow. Click here to see Cee’s pictures and to find links for other responses to this challenge. It’s likely to make you smile.

CMMC June Close-Up or Macro Photograph

One of my early thoughts for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge June Close-Up or Macro photo challenge was a picture I took of the bark on a palm tree. But it wasn’t as interesting as I remembered. So I set out this morning to photograph the bark on trees along my usual walking path. (No palm trees here in central Iowa!)

Leaves growing directly from the trunks of trees caught my attention on the way home.

The spider on the underside of the leaf in the next photo was serendipitous. (Don’t worry, Cee, it’s the only one with a bug in this week’s collection.)

Finally, one set of leaves in the sunlight shown from two different angles.