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

Sunny Loughton

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 in Buckinghamshire
Sunny Loughton

One of the lovely things about Britain in January is that when the sun comes out, you’d never know it was winter. When the sun’s out, it’s like stepping into the May issue of Countryfile Magazine. And that’s a wonderful thing in January. Since the northern latitudes are tilted so far askew and the sun’s rays scatter through a thick slice of atmosphere, the light that illuminates the landscape does so with the warmest, most saturated hues imaginable. It’s simply breathtaking.

All Saints Church, Loughton.

Today, it wasn’t sunny for as long as it was on New Year’s Day. By noon the sun had tucked itself behind a thick embankment of clouds. But that’s all right. The days grow longer pretty quickly after the winter solstice at this latitude. Each passing day brings with it a better chance for a longer swatch of sunshine.

The view down Church Lane, Loughton.

We had time for only a short walk today. My meeting schedule is heavy on Thursdays and it kept me from wandering far from my office most of the day. Of course, as fate would have it, all my meetings ended up being cancelled minutes before they took place so the tether to my office was, in the end, pointless. By the time the last of my meetings had been scuttled, it was too dark to venture back outside. Time for a nice cup of tea and a lounge on the couch. Perhaps next week I’ll be back in the swing of things enough to work properly.

As a technical side note, I just wanted to mention that I’ll be adjusting a few things here on my website. So if you see the occasional oddity in the typefaces or sidebars or headers, don’t be surprised. I’ll try to keep the inevitable dust cloud of HTML and CSS to a minimum. I also have a backlog of posts to finish and publish so be sure to keep an eye on the archive for additional entries. If you are so inclined.

Lodge Lake, Loughton
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Assortment

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.
On the Trail Again
On the Trail Again
It’s Memorial Day and for today’s hike I decide to return to Lumpy Ridge to hike the Black Canyon Trail. My plan is not elaborate, I only hope to repeat the hike I did two weeks ago along the Black Canyon Trial.
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.