It's pretty amazing to have a state park nearly to myself. It was that way yesterday. I had to brake for birds bathing in parking lot potholes and taking dust baths on the gravel road leading into Great River Bluffs State Park, as if they weren't expecting tourists. The wood pewees were close as I walked through the dense maple woods to a couple river overlooks.
I hiked the King's Bluff trail, about 1.5 miles through pine forests, upland oak woods and prairies, eventually reaching the overlook of the Mississippi River and Queen's Bluff, one of the best examples of a bluff prairie in the state. It's dramatic west-facing side is comprised of native prairie plants and oak woods. This landscape features half-dome bluffs with sheer rock cliffs, steep valley walls, and rolling uplands. It's where the eagles fly!
Pictured is a pastel sketch I did mid-afternoon. I may go back at dawn or dusk on another day, just to see this view in a different light and decide about painting it. I can't wait!