Sometimes the uncomplicated pleasures are best. Sometimes the big philosophical throw-down seems, well, contrived. Misplaced. Misdirected. The effort might be better spent on just looking.

Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park is such a place, a place that discourages thinking. Maybe it's because I've been going their since I was a kid. Maybe because it's so close to the picnic area that families still bring their kids there, just like I took my kid there.

It's a intimate, private place (thumbnail). The brush grows pretty thick along the creek, and that park doesn't worry too much about clearing whatever trees happen to fall across the creek. The result feels like a series of small rooms, exquisitely decorated by geology, chance and nature:

The landscape takes on the vocabulary of sculpture:

And of the garden:

With the wonderful texture of Missouri Red granite: