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

Greehouse Indulgence

Sunday, February 7th, 2010 in Wisconsin
Greehouse Indulgence

Today I indulged in more greenhouse escapism. It’s all an elaborate plan to avoid as much of the remaining winter as possible. Unfortunately, I’m running out of local greehouses to visit and winter is still exerting a firm choke-hold on the Chicago area. Last week I snuck off to Mitchell Park Conservatory. This week I found my way to Chicago Botanic Garden. Both excursions were aimed at soaking myself in moisture-rich, aroma-drenched air. Therapeutic air. Refreshing, rejuvenating, cleansing air.

As before, I took my camera hoping to capture some good close-ups of flowers, cactus needles, and leathery leaves. But this time I tried out a new lens configuration. I snapped a short extension tube onto my wide angle lens and was able to get some rather interesting macro shots.

I realized while clicking the shutter release button in every direction that, although I invest numerous hours into my photography, I don’t spend enough quality time actually taking the photos. Instead I fiddle with the camera, read books to improve my technique, and drool over other people’s photos. Then when I’m out shooting photos, I spend most of my time wrestling with the tripod, fumbling with filters and swapping lenses back and forth. After snapping a handful of shots I’m exhausted. I take too few pictures of too many subjects. What I need to do is slow down, take more shots of fewer subjects, and make them better.

After I finished wandering the greenhouses, I ventured outside. Dry, frostbitten grasses rustled in the wind. Bare trees creaked and shed bits of snow and ice. Though I’m sick of winter, I must admit that there were glimpses of frozen beauty all around.

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Assortment

Fresh Air
Fresh Air
Low Tides and Seagull Skies
Low Tides and Seagull Skies
The tide was going out rather quickly. Inside the St. Ives harbor, little boats that had bobbed only a few moments earlier had been transformed into statues as the water drained from beneath their keels leaving them stranded on wet sand.
Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle
After weeks of working long hours and weekends, we decided to try and take a short break. I took the day off and we hopped in the car and drove to Warwick Castle.