My city is surrounded by Forest Preserves. We have lots of nature, places for hiking, photography opportunities, and a good view of the changing seasons in the Midwest. One of the newer Forest Preserves is St. James Farm, using property that was once a horse farm and equestrian showplace. I’ve been visiting St. James since the property was purchased. I’ve enjoyed visiting for walks, 5k runs and, of course, photography. Today I saw something I don’t remember seeing before: a gate that goes nowhere.
At some point in history, this gate likely was joined to a fence and allowed entrance to some aspect of the equestrian showplace. Today, it stands alone. There is no path visible in the snow. There is no fence connected to it. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the gate to be there today. But as you travel through natural areas, you often see remnants of human occupation. It might be a cement foundation, or the remains of a building, or even pieces of glass or paper wrappers.
We leave a trace of ourselves in all natural places. Sometimes, it takes a major restoration to return a preserve to its former “natural” state. Sometimes, the human evidence become an abandoned building, falling apart and dangerous to enter.
Here, it is just a gate. That goes nowhere. I wonder what it was used for?