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

Weary of the Wind Chill

Thursday, February 19th, 2004 in Illinois
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It’s four degrees outside. You can count them on one hand and have a thumb to spare: one, two, three, four. There is a severe lack of temperature happening outside the thin wall of my office. The bitter air holds the snow in place, the flakes congealed like chilled styrofoam on the lawn. There is a crunchy layer of ice on top of the snow. It reminds me of chocolate coated ice cream, a dilly-bar, a sugary cocoa-dipped treat. But not as good. Less chocoloate.

A few days ago the temperatures soared to forty degrees. Some of the snow melted, exposing layer after layer of hidden treasures. The Advertiser newspaper, clumps of grass that had been spewed up by my snow blower, a bright yellow plastic bag that blew into my yard from someone’s trash. They all surfaced in the snow like fossils emerging from weathered sandstone after millions of years of concealment.

I may not be making much sense but at least I’m writing again. Word by word. Layer by layer. I’m tired and may soon go to bed. I went to the health club today and did twenty five minutes on the gravimetric assotometer. Or whatever they call it. I programmed it for forty minutes but got an upset stomach after about twenty five minutes and that was that.

I found a bunch of articles by Anne Lamott at Salon.com. I listened to a recording of a lecture she gave a while back. Am writing again. Making the time and effort. Producing lots of shitty first drafts. This one, among them.

Lake Michigan, edged in ice
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Assortment

Whitnall Park
Whitnall Park
All of a sudden, I decided I had had enough of biking for a while. It was high-time I hoofed-it and there’s no better place for a walk this time of year than a botanic garden. I set a course for Whitnall Park.
Del Valle Regional Park
Del Valle Regional Park
It’s difficult to not take it personally when you get kicked out of a National Park. Especially when you’re someone who adores National Parks as much as I do. It soon became clear that the debt ceiling crisis was not going to resolve itself any time soon.
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew