Through the Swamp
A boardwalk winds through the trees and over the swamp at the William B. Clark State Natural Area in Rossville, Tennessee.
Recently, we had some plans to go somewhere with my parents, but that fell through. We decided to still get together anyway, so my parents came and ate dinner with us at our house. After dinner, we decided to go for a walk at the Rossville Boardwalk to check out the swamp, just for something fun to do.
I forget sometimes that the actual name of the place is the William B. Clark State Natural Area, because we always just call it the Rossville Boardwalk, since it is in the town of Rossville, Tennessee. It is about a 20-minute drive from our house, which is not all that far when you live way out like we do and just about everything is a far drive away.
It had been a hot day that day, but it was after 7:00 PM by the time we got to the boardwalk. The temperature wasn’t a problem at all for us, thanks largely to the thick canopy of leaves overhead. We were smart enough to spray with bug spray before we left our cars, although I still got a mosquito bite or two. We enjoyed the views of the trees and the swamp as we walked through. It was a great way to spend an evening.
The family (minus the photographer)
The William B. Clark State Natural Area is just marked by a small sign at the gravel parking area, so if you aren’t careful you might miss it. I almost missed it. The Natural Area runs along the Wolf River, and the swampy areas are the Wolf River bottoms.
Most people probably would not consider it to be anything grand and miraculous, but it is a good place to spend some time walking and enjoying some views of nature. We did not see any wildlife (besides ourselves, of course, and the mosquitoes), but I am sure that there are critters around there, so you might encounter some if you go.
Sometimes we think that we need to go do something great to have a good time. It has to be exciting and memorable. It has to be a long distance away.
But none of those things are necessarily true. There are all sorts of small, out-of-the-way, free, fun things to do out there. Such as walking on a boardwalk through a swamp.
Yes, it may not be as exciting as going 70 miles per hour on a roller coaster. But it can still be fun. Especially if you go with a fun group of people.
On this particular excursion, we enjoyed just walking and talking as much as we enjoyed seeing the beautiful natural scenery. We could have stayed at our house and talked, too. However, getting up and moving around gave us something interesting to do in addition to our conversation.
Whether it is a museum, a nature trail, a historic site, or something else, there are all kinds of interesting things around just waiting for us to discover them.
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. - Proverbs 24:3-4
About the Photo
It was actually much darker than it looks in these photos. I mentioned above that we got there after 7:00 PM and that the leaves blocked the sun. That actually made it rather dark, which made photos a little tricky.
This would have been another good use of the prime lens with its larger aperture, but I had left it at home. So instead, I opened the aperture of the lens on my camera as wide as it would go, which was f/3.5. I then set the camera to ISO 1600. I still had to use a shutter speed of 1/30 second, but that usually works well for a handheld photo for me. At times, I did rest my elbows on the railing of the boardwalk, just for a little more steadiness.
Because of the camera settings, the photos already looked brighter than the actual scene in person. But then I lightened them up just a bit more in processing, too.
Even with those slight challenges, it was a perfect time to be outside shooting photos.
Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
_Lens: _ Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: July 27, 2019
Location: William B. Clark State Natural Area, Rossville, Tennessee