Just 35 miles south of Birmingham, Alabama, you can trade the traffic and hectic pace of city life for a relaxed day strolling through Orr Park in the charming little city of Montevallo. I can guarantee you that if you visit once, you won’t forget it.
The 40-acre park, located along Shoal Creek, has many of the amenities you would expect in any city park, including pavilions for family picnics, a gazebo, athletic fields, and such. But what makes Orr Park special is a feature known as Tinglewood.
Beginning in the 1990s, a coal miner named Tim Tingle looked at the park’s many dead cedar trees and saw something more. So he set to work creating a magical wonderland. Over a period of years, Tingle carved whimsical faces and figures into the park’s dead trees that have to be seen to be believed. Here are some photos my son Travis took on a visit to the park.
A walking path through the park takes visitors through a surreal landscape where wizards and dragons await them.
You have to look carefully because you never know what you’re going to miss, like this fellow peeking out at you as you pass by. Is he nefarious or just shy? Who knows?
Some of the carvings include not just faces but squirrels and birds.
I’m not sure what this critter is, but even if it looks kind of evil, I figure if it’s eating a snake, it can’t be all bad. I don’t much care for snakes myself.
Can you imagine being the mother who gave birth to these twins?
Here’s a happy fellow that’s sure to put a smile on your face!
On the other hand, this guy looks sad.
So does this one. I wonder what’s troubling him?
Maybe he should pick this flower and give it to a pretty girl carving. That might cheer him up.
Tim Tingle, who carved all of these trees, is not a professional artist, but his talent is amazing. And while the plot of land where Orr Park is located was donated to the City of Montevallo by former Mayor Dr. Milton Orr, I think Mr. Tingle’s contribution to the city and the park will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Montevallo is a college town, the home of the University of Montevallo, located just a short drive off of Interstate 65 on State Route 25. Orr Park is located on Park Drive and is open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The next time you’re in the area, stop and check it out!
Thought For The Day – Just because someone is in your circle doesn’t mean they are in your corner.