Birthday Hike

August 3, 2010

la salle county, illinois


this summer has seemed to go by so fast!  along with summer comes my birthday. instead of focusing on the fact that i’m not getting any younger, i think it’s time i start to appreciate what age brings.  being 40 something, i think there are a lot of positive things i can focus on. this summer, i’ve realized that my daughter is not a child anymore and is blossoming into a beautiful young woman. it’s been hard for me to realize that, and i’m sure it’s been quite annoying for her. after taking a step back and really looking at her, i feel ok with letting go. well, letting go a  little anyway.

i’m not one to celebrate with a cake or anything really special that focuses on me. it means more to me to do something nice for others. however,  i do have a couple of traditions for celebrating. one tradition i have is to watch ingmar bergman’s winter light. it’s my favorite bergman film ever. also,  i do like to take some time to reflect on the past year, think about the coming  year and take advantage of a little bit of solitude. what better way to do that than to take a hike?

this morning i hiked in a nature preserve in la salle county, illinois. being surrounded by nature and all of it’s beauty is the perfect way for me to celebrate. it had rained last night through this morning and everything was wet and lush when i started the hike. by the time i was heading out of the preserve, the clouds had cleared and the beautiful sunlight was streaming through the forest. i saw so many beautiful things! 

i hope you enjoy the photos i took while hiking and reflecting. i hope to post several of the photos in the next few days.

what special ritual(s) do you have to commemorate turning another year older? 



My Black & White Winter

March 11, 2010

henry county, indiana

what wonderful mild weather we are having here on the prairie! the sunshine and warm wind has done wonders for my mood. it’s also been quite kind to my gas account; the heat hasn’t kicked on for several days now. it was wonderful to fall asleep with the silvery moonlight from the full snow moon pouring through my window.

most of my favorite photographs taken this past winter have been black & white. i’ve been drawn to black & white photos for a long time. recently, i was inspired by a collection of ansel adams photos. another favorite photographer of mine is herni cartier-bresson.  oh! as far as black & white in  cinema,  if you ever get the chance, please see the passion of joan of arc.   it’s fabulous.  i promise.

with the passing of winter, it’s time to look forward to spring and all of the fun outdoor activites that come with it. along with spring comes color.

i’ll miss you black & white.



The Last Place on Earth

February 28, 2010

delaware county, indiana

i have a big crush on roald amundsun. i guess you could say i have a thing for rogue polar explorers from the late 19th, early 20th century; especially if they are of scandinavian decent.  i’ve just finished watching a series from masterpiece theatre; the last place on earth, made in 1985 (available on dvd through netflix). it’s based on the book by roland huntford by the same title. it tells the story of amundsun and robert falcon scott‘s antarctic expeditions as they race to be the first to reach the south pole (circa 1911).

 as scott and amundsun race to the pole,  their story unfolds into a tale of adventure and misfortune.  amundsun and his team of 3 men plus their invaluable dogs and skiis did it with superhuman strength and will. scott (who was an officer in the british navy) with his team of military men and scientists, siberian ponies, mechincal sleds, giant ego and arrogance, perished on the ice barrier with the 4 men who went with him to the pole. reaching the pole a month after amundsun,  scott’s expedition was miserable and was a series of one disaster after another.

in the end, amundsun is made to be the bad guy and scott is hailed as a hero. amundsun is portrayed as a simpleton by the british and humiliated to the point that he flees england during a lecture/book tour, calling the british  ‘ignorant’. he goes to america continuing to work toward repaying his debts and to raise funds to finish his work in the north. while there, he visits an old friend and fellow arctic explorer frederick cook.  cook is behind bars for some kind of fraud\ scandle involing texas oil.  he brings his good friend a book;  scott’s last journey.

that is my kind of man.

 i was born in the wrong century!



just a note about the photo published in this post:

 i first published this photo titled  sunset silhouette in the winter of 2009.  it has proved to be the most popular photo on the blog according to my stats. i took this when the temperature had dipped below zero. in subzero temps, colors appear much more vivid.

all i got to do is to love you
all i got to be is, be happy
all it’s got to take is some warmth to make it
blow away, blow away, blow away.   ~ george harrison


Red Brick

November 21, 2009

oakville, indiana

another bergman moment for me. too bad i didn’t think to  take it in b&w :(.

more harvest pictures coming soon…..


Gather at the Pond 3

June 17, 2009

henry county, indiana

henry county, indiana

i was taken by the stark image of this tree.  as i was taking photographs of  it, i was motivated by visions of one of my favorite film directors; ingmar bergman. bergman’s images of bleakness and despair fascinate and inspire me.