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November 2006.

Venice, Illinois

The outer reaches of Venice are criss-crossed by rail lines and a major switching yard, interspersed with farm fields and even a state park.

November 2007.

View across Horseshoe Lake - November 2007.

The approach to Horseshoe Lake State Park - November 2007.

North of Venice, Horseshoe Lake State Park offers both peaceful respite, and surreal views of the distant St. Louis skyline and the Granite City Steel works.

The park's central lake was once a bend in the Mississippi River -- a vivid testimony to this region's nature as a flood plain for the mighty river.

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