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

River Walk

Saturday, April 30th, 2011 in Illinois
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. All month, thick wintry clouds have danced across the sky well past their welcome. The landscape has been bare longer than normal. The dull colors of winter linger and green has been slow to break through and bloom. But today a warm breeze swept in bringing with it inviting air and sunny skies. I went to Ryerson Woods to walk or jog or whatever. I just had to be outside.

As I walked through the woods and along the river, it seemed as if spring was happening all at once. The landscape around me was getting greener by the minute. Leaves were unfurling and flowers were opening in the warm sunlight. Spring was there but it was hiding in flower buds and beneath surface soils—a bundle of latent internal energy just waiting for sufficient warmth to set it free.

Welcome Home by Radical Face

The ample rain we’ve had this month meant the river was high and the woodlands swampy.

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Sky Pond
Sky Pond 1
Mesa Trail to Shanahan Ridge
Mesa Trail 1
Today, it topped sixty-five degrees for the first time in two weeks. After a morning of chores, I snuck away for the afternoon for some much-needed trail time. The late start meant I couldn’t drive far to hike, so I went to my favorite nearby standby: the Mesa Trail.
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