Remnants of a winter storm still lingered, and I found myself at the computer going through file folders of pictures.

And … and I came across this one.

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A black-winged damselfly — one of my favorite things. It’s been years since I’ve seen one.  Of course it might help if I was in the right place at the right time.

Here are more pictures from hikes there.

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Bells Smith Springs Recreational Area is in the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois and is the most likely area I know to see the damselfly.

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A spring runs into the creek not too far from this area, called Hunting Branch.

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Here’s the same view in early fall,

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and a later picture of the nearby picnic area.

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The Cascades is an expansive pavement rock. This doesn’t show all of it.

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Buffy and I usually hike in only a small area of Bell Smith Springs. It’s also designated as a National Natural Landmark.

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This shelter bluff is huge.


Bellsmith Springs is a popular tourist spot. Another entrance to it has 76 steps carved out of the side of a cliff that goes down into a small shelter bluff. Near there is a large natural rock bridge. Anyone interested can find information online and a video on youtube.

Ahhh,  my memory hikes took my mind off the slow-to-melt snow and ice.


4 responses to this post.

  1. That looks like a fantastic place to explore! I like the spring and the ledges.


  2. As a kid my family drove from northern Illinois to camp in and around the Shawnee National Forest area. I really appreciated the photos.


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