A Walk in the Woods.

Last weekend I decided/resolved to roll my lazy, hiding from Life in (really, actually REALLY good) GOT books behind out of bed to go and take advantage of my last free time to take pictures before the long Reign of Scary Call Shifts begins.

I might be completely broke right now, and have already taken pictures of (most of, I’m sure I’ll find more!) the interesting things within walking distance of my apartment, but fortunately, I am also really good at finding opportunities/places to take cool pictures on the cheap.

This weekend I considered a few options, and then after a brief web search decided to take a chance on an arboretum a short drive down the interstate. Even though I’d heard how awesome the place was from a few people over the last year, I still didn’t know exactly what to expect, but was heartened by the great pics on the place’s website. I did the photog-on-a-budget (of pretty much zero) math in my head: < $10 admission fee and basically no gas costs + probably excellent opportunity for many photographs/fun afternoon of taking said photos + facing long stretch of scary calls = WTH, let’s do it.

I am glad that I did.

The arboretum was located deep in the woods that do occur at random intervals around this highly urbanized place, and basically a quiet, beautiful, tranquil, oasis of nature, infused with the lovely sounds and scents of a place essentially untouched by man and the changes and stresses we bring in inherently with all of our messing and industrializing.

I was thinking as I was walking around, enjoying the quiet nature sounds, sniffing up the tantalizing flower and woods smells, that I understood why some people I’ve heard or read about over the years would want to run off and live in the woods, off the land and all that jazz. What a peaceful, simple life that might be, full of quiet and nature’s beauty.

(I understood, but then thought about having to catch and clean a fish or catch, kill and skin some sort of varmint for food, or sleep in the poorly constructed shelter I would be capable of building, and I was personally glad to live near but not necessarily in such a place.)

As I was walking around sniffing, enjoying, and snapping pictures, I ran into another camera-toting nature lover. “Do you feel like we got here too late?” they asked me as we crossed paths.

I knew what they meant, I’d seen it too, and you can see it plainly in some of the pictures I got. The signs of summer’s retreat and the early onset of winter were everywhere. Leaves starting to fall, only a few varieties of hardier flowers left in full bloom, and produce starting to wither on the trees. It wasn’t worrying me though, and there was so much still to enjoy and appreciate, I just smiled and shrugged at my fellow photog’s comment.

Before I started to go through the pictures I’d gotten, I went through my WordPress reader and found an awesome new photography blog to add to my blogroll. I perused the blog, soaking up some tips about lighting and admiring all the beautiful pictures, and then I went back to my own. And promptly got super self-conscious about them.

Having gotten into photography by just decided that I really liked taking pictures one day, and then saving up and buying a sort-of fancy camera figuring I’d learn the rest as I went, I remembered that in addition to finding affordable photo ops, I still have a lot to learn to about taking good pictures when I find them.

But here are the ones I thought were decent enough to share.