The Boise River Green Belt is an integral part of my time living here in The City of Boise. A portion of my daily commute goes through the Green Belt when I ride my bike, and my favorite rides are west, towards Quinn's Pond or East towards Barber Park. Floating the river during the summer is becoming a tradition and my favorite park, the Idaho Fish and Game MK Nature Center is also situated along the Green Belt. I go to the Green Belt when I want to forget I live in a city.
I believe the spirit of the Green Belt could be taken further with public art work (sculpture) whose physical presence re iterates the contemplative nature of the Green Belt. I would place the work in between the walking path and the river bank so pedestrians, cyclists, and river floaters have a possible vantage point. I would aim to create a space for meditation and contemplation as well as a visual marker to initiate introspective thought. The sculpture would be visually reminiscent of a stone circle or a henge from the British Isles.
A deep foundation, like quasi roots, would help against the dangers of washing out from high waters during the spring. The sculpture would be made out of reinforced concrete to counter the effects of the elements and vandalism.
I really do think the Green Belt is one of the best parts of living here and I would love to take the experience even further with public artwork deployed along the banks of the river. Many distractions of city life are stripped away on the Greenbelt. People have a chance to breath, contemplate, and notice subtlety which would otherwise be overlooked.
I love hiking around Jump Creek, along with the rest of the Owyhees. A quick drive from Nampa the Jump Creek Canyon rim is dry with rock outcroppings and scattered sage brush. Rock Doves and Crows roost amongst the spires and their calls echo throughout the canyon. Once you've dropped down, you enter a vein of green running along the sides of the small creek. You go from a hot, dry-as-a-bone desert to a sliver of shade, filled with trees, tall grasses, and wild flowers. Along the creek's edge quarter-sized spiders feed upon freshly hatched insects. Deer tracks can be seen in the damp soil along with pieces of Crawfish shells.. The lush creek bottom holds a stark contrast to the dry surroundings.
There is some other quality to Jump Creek Canyon I cannot accurately describe, though its the reason why I keep coming back. I'd try to describe it as similar to the viewing of other great landscapes. My consciousness is beamed to every point and every point is beamed back into me; then the wind hits my face and I fall into everything.
I woke up to my alarm at 4 and dressed in the clothes I set outside my closet the night before. As I collected snacks and drinks from the fridge Octavia pulled up. We took our supplies out to her car and hit the road.
We were on our way to the Boise National Forest to view the eclipse whose path of totality cut right across Idaho.
The stars were still out as we turned of the main interstate to take the highway into the mountains. We reached Mores Creek Summit trailhead just as night was breaking and a cool light was beginning to illuminate the tree covered hills.
We set off up the old logging road with just enough daylight to see the path. We reached the summit just before the sun peaked above the Sawtooth Mountains to the east.
Around 10 the eclipse began. The sun became cooler and the wind began to stir. It wasn't until just before totality the sunlight became noticeably dimmer. I can't describe in words how the the eclipse made me feel or what it was like to look up and see a dark round disc with a brilliant halo. Crickets began to chirp; and the mountains all around us were cast in the colors of the sunset while we were in a blue I've never experienced; like the light was an essence of cold hard steel. It felt as if the very concept of life would become petrified.
The Eclipse was over in an instant. The light changed back rapidly and the crickets died down as the birds picked back up. We walked down the steep grade and passed the thousands of crescent suns on the ground made by the remnants of the ending eclipse.