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

Archive for 2011

The Art of Exploration archive is where you'll find my past writings and thoughts. You are currently viewing a list of articles that were published in 2011.

Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve
Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve
Each New Year’s Eve, I try to make a point of going for a long walk. It’s become a wonderful annual meditation ritual for me—a great way to wind down and reflect before the bustle of the New Year sets in and sweeps me away.
Land’s End
Land's End
The mood of Land’s End can change very quickly and it all depends on the weather. Today, it was quite nippy out and there was a bit of turbulence in the air and on the water.
Carn Galver to Porthmoina Cove
Carn Galver to Porthmoina Cove
A mild, sunny day in West Cornwall should never be wasted indoors. Especially in November. So, to best enjoy today’s cobalt blue skies, we decided to hike from Carn Galver to Porthmoina Cove.
Tide Watching in St. Ives
Tide Watching in St. Ives
Each year for the past five years, we’ve journeyed to the ends of Britain in search of a bit of peace and quiet. Sometimes in late fall, sometimes in early spring we make our odyssey.
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Imperial War Museum Duxford
Today we went to the Imperial War Museum Duxford, an aircraft museum that hosts a collection of more than two hundred aircraft as well as an impressive assortment of tanks, boats and other military vehicles.
Chartwell
Chartwell
I’ve been wanting to visit Chartwell for several years but the timing has always been a challenge. Last February, for instance, we got all geared-up to make the trip to Kent only to discover at the last minute that the house was closed for the winter.
Swim Swam Swum
Swim Swam Swum
My hairstylist swam the English Channel today. I’m tremendously impressed. She took up swimming just a couple of years ago and now she’s bagged a world-class marathon swim with efficiency and finesse.
Running from Mosquitoes
Running from Mosquitoes
I try to walk several miles every day, rain or shine. It’s not meant to be my workout, it’s just supposed to be a little walk. It gets the circulation going and gives me a chance to mentally process the day’s activities.
Thermal Activity
Thermal Activity
We soon discovered that June is still winter in Yellowstone and that the colors of the geysers, so rich and rusty in summer, are quite muted at this time of year. There was still a lot of snow throughout the park.
North Yellowstone
North Yellowstone
A visit to Yellowstone is always hard won.
Jackson Lake Lodge
Crossing Wyoming
We drove into Grand Teton National Park along Highway 26, a ribbon of pavement that bisects the Teton National Forest from east to west. This quiet road winds its way through the pass between Mount Leidy and Mount Randolph.
Crossing Wyoming
Crossing Wyoming 1
I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I thought crossing Wyoming would be a cinch. Just a bit of straight-line driving. What I didn’t count on were the blinding skies, the car-jerking winds and the absolute, sheer, awesome hugeness of the place.
River Walk
River Walk
Most of April has been etched by bone chilling winds and window-pelting rain. But today the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature climbed to seventy degrees, interrupting an otherwise icy, slate grey spring.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
I am quite ashamed to admit that I’ve lived most of my life in Illinois but I have never visited the Lincoln Home. That is, until now. I am on my way to St. Louis and thought it is a perfect time to stop by to see this lovely historic home.
Tower Grove House
Tower Grove House
One of my favorite things to see at the Missouri Botanical Garden wasn’t a flower or a shrub or a tree. It was a house. Tower Grove House.
Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden
A few days ago, I decided I need a weekend away. The dismal Chicago weather was getting to me as to so often does these days. So I headed south to St. Louis and by Saturday morning found myself at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
March Bloom
March Bloom
About this time of year, I get antsy for the landscape to come to life. That’s why I try to time things so that I’m in the UK for February and March, because then I get to see the snowdrops and crocuses and primroses open up and my spirit is lifted at the time I need it most.
Stowe
Stowe
Phil and I have visited Stowe many times but I was surprised to realize that I’ve never devoted a post to it. It’s a stunning place, a vast landscape garden lovingly restored and maintained by the National Trust.
Museum Days
Museum Days
When winter starts to drag on and the cold outside begins to make me feel trapped indoors for too long, I like to venture out to museums and botanic gardens.