Bernheim Forest

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(click images to enlarge)

My Mother and I took what is a ritual trip to Bernheim Forest – something we do almost every time I am in Louisville. My father’s ashes were spread here, for one thing, because it was his favorite place in the Universe – or a close second anyway, next to sitting by his wife or one of his kids.

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Bernheim Forest in reality is a mixture of cultivated grounds, featuring a natural forest, dense and colorful and a massive park of grand green expanses of luscious Bluegrass mixed in with exotic and extremely colorful plants, famous by their seasons. Spring in the park means the planted Redbuds,  Dogwoods, Viburnums, Magnolias and the wild rest of the stuff pop out in a massive display of color and great scent, made even more redolent by the muggy, aroma-filled air of the local climate.

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Autumn features all of the wonderful color such a decidedly deciduous forest can give – as the weather turns like now, we see the beginnings of the riotous leaf changes which will dominate when Fall really opens up. Some of that is occurring now –

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Maples, Sweet Gums, even some of the Beeches which seem to be featured here are already busting out some hefty Autmun color, as the trip through the forest proper reveals. We take this nice slow-moving lane through the forest to assess just to what extent all this stuff is occurring. It’s pretty rewarding. We begin lower down, where the  leaf colors have only just begun changing.

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The sheer variety of species is another Kentucky richness not seen many places. Spring and Fall reveal an absurd diversity of color and bloom that truly boggles the mind.

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Spotting the higher elevation’s leaf changes soon come to the fore, such as this red-tinged little area:

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Soon enough, we get a great glimpse of what, basically, the entire forest will look like in a matter of weeks. The brilliant yellows stand out stunningly amidst all the greenery, offering a prelude to the Fall display:

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Then it gets better as a beam of sunlight sifts through the forest canopy and highlights a very yellow tree, all ready to show itself in its Fall finery::

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Our escapade then takes us up to the Forest Canopy Walk – an outlook constructed by the Park to provide a look from the virtual top levels of the forest itself.

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I love the ironwork and this shot of the autumn color between the rails

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Mom takes a big ole gander at the view from high in the canopy.

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Another perspective a a great vista:

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Back down at the entry, the more groomed parts of the Bernheim Forest grounds are really super stuff. Here are trees planted at the edge of the forest which has sort of crept in behind –

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But the sweeping lawn vistas in Bernheim, I really enjoy immensely – such grand swaths of green grass. Some, like this one, leading down to the lake and the extremely=landscaped office and enclosed garden areas.

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The beauty of Bernheim takes a lot of dimensions, in short. It just screams “Kentucky!” to me, somehow. 😉

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2 thoughts on “Bernheim Forest

  1. That’s definitely a gorgeous destination, Steve. I can see why your father loved it. The place is special, and your memories must add a whole new dimension. It’s for sure not Portland, and definitely not Reno!

    The canopy walk looks really special, and a safer way to do it than on a single rope in the treetops, which is how one of my coworkers recently experienced the forest canopies of Costa Rica–before he experienced their medical facilities after breaking something…

  2. Definitely not Reno!!! Funny enough, James, the weather has almost mirrored Portland’s recently. This will all change when Winter sets in. Unfortunately, Kentucky Winters are real real, lol.

    For the record, I am loving the change. Lots of roots for me here.

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