Florida Scenics Blog- The art of Sharon Osterholt

The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location

Park #105 – Devil’s Millhopper State Park

On this visit to Devil’s Millhopper State Park in Gainesville I was in for a surprise. The recent rains had filled the deep sink with water, and half of the steps leading down to the bottom of the “sink” were underwater! On my first visit a few months ago, the water was a pretty turquoise color and the steps lead all the way down to near the bottom. At the bottom fish and crawfish were visible under the deck.

This visit was a whole different experience! Waterfalls were rushing down the sides of the deep sinkhole. The steps were completely submerged in the dark duckweed covered water. The bottom observation deck was under at least 30 to 40′ of water!

I set up on the last section of steps above the water, and painted one of the waterfalls as it trickled to the new green “lake.” There wasn’t much room for my gear, and the scenery was filled with many branches and foliage, making it hard to pick out a main focal point for my painting. Out of the corner of my eye, I kept seeing what looked like an alligator lurking in the green water. Turns out it was just a log in a prefect alligator shape!

At least it was cool down in the sink – the temperature at the top was much hotter!

For more information about this park, visit their website

Devil's Millhopper painting - 8x10

Devil’s Millhopper painting – 8×10″ oil on linen panel

2 comments on “Park #105 – Devil’s Millhopper State Park

  1. marge drew
    October 3, 2015

    Good morning SharonYour painting is lovely..  I think that you are brave to be inthe SINKHOLE especially after all the rains..which seem tohave given new meaning to it and other areas of FL.  I didwonder about the name of this park and how it got the nameDevils Sinkhole. The website for it was not that forthcoming. Margé

    • FlaScenics
      October 3, 2015

      hI Margé, I wasn’t that nervous down in the sink. It’s been there for eons and I am sure it’s not going to get bigger! I did read a bit on the history of the name, here is a blurb I found online: Devil’s Millhopper Name

      During the last century, the grist mill was a familiar place to most rural families. Grain was fed into the mill from a funnel-shaped container called a “hopper.” The early homesteaders of this region found this sink to resemble a large millhopper which could feed grain into the Devil’s Mill at the center of the earth. Thus the name – “Devil’s Millhopper.”

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