Exit 164 on Interstate 72 looks like an ordinary exit off of a central Illinois highway into fields of corn and soybeans. In truth, the road leads to the natural treasure named Allerton Park.
The park was the estate of Robert Allerton. He gifted it to the University of Illinois in 1946. Visitor and historical information can be found on the Allerton Park web site. The grounds contain the mansion and other buildings, formal gardens, sculptures, lawns, and woods. The Sangamon River runs through the center of the property from west to east.
The Brick Wall Garden near the parking lot was set up for an evening wedding on Saturday, April 16th. Wedding guests in formal attire waited to enter the garden as I passed by on my way to the woods.
I spent the evening walking on the path west of the formal gardens. The woods south of the path are the flood plane of the Sangamon River. In the spring, the ground can be covered with water and then sprinkled with ponds.
The Death of the Last Centaur sculpture sits on the top of the first hill west of the formal gardens. The April 15th, 2016 photos of the bluebell flowers in the woods were taken on the east side of the hill. On April 16th, I explored the woods to the west of the sculpture. Blue-eyed Mary flowers took the place of the bluebells. Frogs sang in the ponds. The trees threw long shadows as the sun set.
The singing of frogs and the chirping of a bird in the woods at Allerton Park, Illinois, April 16, 2016.
Take care and thanks for reading.