My Photography of

the Largest Maple in Hines Park

(and other scenic views of Hines Park)

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Below are photos of one of my favorite trees, the huge maple off of Hines Drive.  I have been photographing it at least once per fall since 2009.  Photos appear in reverse chronological order.


September 23, 2017

It has been a very hot week, in the 90's!  Many trees suddenly started changing color.  The big maple has lost many of its leaves already, but unfortunately is not very brightly colored this year.  I was excited to see several ant lion tunnels at the base of the tree.












October 14, 2016

















October 7, 2015
















October 8, 2014





















October 5, 2014
















September 28, 2014















October 14, 2013



















The Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park, October 4, 2012

Well, unfortunately, I missed the tree in it's peak of glory.  I checked on it 9 days ago, and it was still totally green, so I thought I had some time.  Apparently, it must have changed rapidly and lost its leaves quickly.  A lot of the trees seem to be changing color early this year.  In 2009, the color was peaking around October 9th---this year, the tree has almost lost all its leaves by October 4th.  This time, I also took photos with my pocket camera, which provides a wider angle view.  I first arrived at about 3:30 p.m. and realized that I'd forgotten to put the battery back in my good camera, so I could only take photos with the pocket camera.





I returned about an hour later with the good camera (and working battery).  The lighting had changed quite drastically in that hour, and I prefer my photos from earlier.  The ones below were with the pocket camera.





Here are my photos with the good camera.










I drove to the Nankin Lake parking lot and walked west for a bit.  I found a trail that went by the water for a short distance.  Then I walked along the hike/bike trail.











Now I am on the way back.  The lighting had changed (it was less sunny).








The Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park, October 1, 2011

Sadly, this year, it appears that the tree is diseased.  Some branches had no leaves at all, and large chunks of the tree had fallen to the ground (I was a little afraid standing under it on such a windy day).  The soil was not very sandy this time, and I did not see any ant lions, as I found last year.  I did, however see some mushrooms growing way up high on one of the branches.














The Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park, October 9, 2010

Of course I had to photograph my favorite local tree again this year.  The tree has fully changed color in these photos and about half have already fallen.  Last year at this time, it still had green leaves.  These photos were taken around noon.  While I was walking around under the tree, I discovered that there were some ant lions living there!  I haven't seen those in 20 years!  I took one home and photographed it of course.




















The Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park, October 25, 2009

This is now my third photography shoot of this special tree (others are directly below).  It has lost nearly all of its leaves by this point.  This time, I brought a measuring tape.  Brian and I determined it to be about 165" in circumference as measured about one yard up from the ground.  That is nearly 14 feet around!!!







The Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park, October 18, 2009

I couldn't resist going back to take more photos of this tree (the others are below this entry).  On this day, the tree is photographed with the sun higher in the sky, as it was only about 2:30 p.m.  Brian came with me and took the photo of me standing by the tree.  I really wanted the viewer to be able to see how large this tree truly is.  I honestly did not know a maple tree could grow this big until I found this one.  It was funny because when we arrived, we had to wait for some people on a motorcycle that had stopped on the side of the road to take pictures of this same tree. 

In the photo of me and the tree, I am holding a maple leaf in my left hand and it seems to glow in that small spot of sunlight.  The leaf is not from this tree, but was found along the road on the walk to the tree.   One might think that a large tree would have large leaves, but actually, this tree had smaller leaves than many maple trees I've seen.
















The Largest Maple Tree in Hines Park, October 13, 2009

This gorgeous maple tree is located on the north side of Hines Drive, just east of the Levan Knoll pull-off.  I have driven past it so many times and always thought it was an oak tree because it was so large.  I don't know of any maple trees in this area that have gotten this big.  This year, I decided I would try to photograph it when its leaves changed color.  It was one of the first trees in the area to transform into a brilliant display of color.  There has been some pretty lousy weather lately, and more of it was in the forecast.  On this particular Tuesday, it was supposed to be partly cloudy and about 55 degrees, so I brought my camera to work so that I could get a few pictures of it on my way home.  These were taken at around 4:30 p.m.  I never really pictured my first visit to this tree like this---I thought that I would surely have someone to accompany me.  This is now the second time I have taken photos in Hines Park by myself.  Both times, it was actually very enjoyable.  The walk to this tree is a bit dangerous though.  There are several curves and cars tend to go over onto the shoulder a bit.  This tree is so large that I had to take the full view photos from across the road.  When I arrived at the tree, it was more special than I realized.  For one, it was a maple tree.  It also had a nice tufty sort of grass growing around by its roots (and even within its roots).  There was a wild rose growing to the left of the tree.  The ground was nice and dry since the tree was on a hill.  There were small pieces of bark and twigs covering the entire area under the tree.  Even though it rained yesterday, I was able to lie on the ground without getting wet in order to get some of these photos.  The last four photos are of an area with smaller maple trees that I passed on the walk back to the truck.  When I arrived home that night, I also photographed a nice sunset in the backyard.









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