The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Independence Grove

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 in Illinois
Independence Grove

The days are getting indisputably shorter. It’s a race to finish work and get outside before the sun starts to set and the trails go dim. Today, I missed my window of opportunity for getting in a decent bike ride before sunset so instead I packed up my camera and drove out to Independence Grove for a quick walk around the lake. The light was terrific for photos.

I’ve been struggling to get used to my new 50mm lens. It’s a highly rated lens and it should be producing terrific photos. Sadly, most are overexposed and fuzzy. I know that probably means I’m not operating the camera properly. But I’m using a tripod and bracketing exposures. Still the images are washed-out and soupy. I finally gave up and took various random images without much care for their quality. Some ended up being better than expected.

After exhausting my photo-taking ambition for the evening, I went home and slumped on the couch for a while and watched some mindless TV show. Then it hit me. I felt suddenly and hopelessly sedentary. I couldn’t just sit there. I decided to go for a jog. In the dark. I didn’t care, I just had to do something and I didn’t want to go excercise under the fluorescent lights at the health club. So I somehow managed to pound out a two-mile run along the bike path in inky blackness. It was superb—cool and quiet. I decided I shall have to do that again, perhaps with the new headlamp I just ordered, which will enable me to both run and bike late into the evening.

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Assortment

Around Appledore Island
Around Appledore Island
Despite the stressful, negative aspects of my recent visit to Appledore Island, which I described in detail in my previous post, I also found the island to possess a great and unique beauty. That’s what I’d like to focus on in this post.
An Explosion of Wildflowers
An Explosion of Wildflowers
The 4th of July weekend caught me by surprise. Where the hell did June go? A whole month—gone in the blink of an eye. And one of my favorite months of the year, no less! This is not excellent.
Bitterbrush Trail
Bitterbrush Trail 1
Today I wanted to go on a hike but since I didn’t have a lot of free time, I had to stay close to home. I decided to go to Hall Ranch, a park that lies just a mile outside of Lyons, Colorado.