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Aside from specific technology or fashion being pictured, black and white photography can pretty much have been taken at any moment in history (the past ~200 years anyway). In that regard, it can be as timeless as the trees. I enjoy that idea, although I suppose the trees are not truly timeless either; just consult the understory graves of Ash Trees or Dutch Elms or American Chestnuts. And just like the forests, and all inhabitants contained within, we never know our time is up either. So go and revel while you can.
This was a fun afternoon jaunt at Riveredge. The clouds and light were out in full effect.
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Autumn is such a celebration of contrasts. Clouds tumbling through the sky as blue peeks through, striking colors as plants senesce for the year, the sweet scent of moist leaves underfoot while the temperature drops and humidity follows suit. What are your plans this weekend? We suggest a visit to explore Riveredge in this seasonal celebration of color. . . . . #fall #autumn #fallcolors #hike #hikingtrails #milwaukee #prairie #forest #midwest #explore #clouds #sky #nature #naturephotography
This has been a fun first for me, especially as a loyal beer drinking Wisconsinite. Was able to participate in naming and describing a beer with my colleagues at Riveredge Nature Center. Before the snow came I went out and took some glamour shots of this 4-pack with the Milwaukee River in the background. Join us for a first sample on Friday, November 8 at The Fermentorium Brewery & Tasting Room.
Earlier this spring, I took pictures and wrote a blog about the native orchid restoration project at Riveredge Nature Center. Read the story here.
Each time I read or hear people refer to riding a motorcycle as “wind therapy” I roll my eyes. Sure, somewhat for the unforgivable corniness (and I’ve got plenty of dad jokes), but it’s more than that.
The thing I find irritating is that we have to brand something as “therapy” in order to legitimize enjoying it. We’re so caught up in both branding and preposterous guilt for enjoying the moments of our lives spent not working that we have justify the simple act of riding a motorcycle as “therapy.” It reminds me of the idea of food as medicine. Sure, some foods have a healing component, but are we really so far from simply enjoying a dish for its own sake that we have to call it medicine to legitimize its existence on our plates?
I think having so much close technological access to working all the time plays into this. The moments when we’re not on our devices doing some sort of work, when our eyes are watching the curving road, hands busy throttling and braking, feet shifting and leaning, we’re too otherwise absorbed to possibly be working. And for this respite from work, to be in our own heads with our own thoughts, to be providing no financial benefit to anyone (except to the gas and tire and motorcycle companies…) we have to explain away our own enjoyment as “wind therapy.”
In the Midwest, two things we do a lot of is working and apologizing. Beginning a sentence with, “Oh, I’m sorry…” is commonplace. Our culture teaches us to be life-long martyrs for our work and therefore we must apologize for the moments when we’re not working. Calling it therapy is half apology and half hail mary claim that it’s necessary for our health. Nearly every act a person engages in that is enjoyable and not somehow detrimental is therapeutic. We don’t need to brand having a life outside of work as therapy.
I enjoy skimming the surface in a canoe, ice skating in lieu of cross country ski snow, riding motorcycles and mountain bikes – plenty of activities. Being active is good for my body and brain and soul and I don’t think that makes me unique. I enjoy plenty of sitting still activities too, like writing and reading and sitting in my chair in the dark and thinking, sometimes with jazz on the record player. Bowhunting will always be sitting in the woods listening to birds and hoping to spot a deer. I enjoy those acts simply for being alive and capable enough to do them. Sure, sitting in the woods with your own thoughts can have a healing effect. But I’m not going to start calling the moments I’m simply enjoying my time being alive “therapy.” I just call that having my own life and not being at work all the time – for which none of us should need the justification of a brand or a hashtag or an apology.
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I imagine my recent “Get rad, blah blah blah…” might seem odd or immature or self-indulgent. Going out riding mountain bikes (for example) feels active and provides some sense of adventure while surrounded by nature. Each time I do it I inevitably accomplish some maneuver I didn’t entirely think I was capable of and it makes me feel more confident to consider pursuing acts I’m on the fence about. And sometimes I crash, or nearly crash, and that feels exciting too. So when I say “get rad” it’s my own little activity mantra that I’m having a fun little adventure. A few months ago I graduated college at 5’10” and about 230 pounds. I think weight can overall be like age and how you feel is more important than numbers, but for context I’ve been this height since I was 15 and throughout my 20s when healthy weighed ~165 or so. I haven’t felt very good for years; the numbers are for context. (This isn’t intended to make people compare their individual weight or body shape. All of our vessels are different, this is just a rumination of the body I’ve lived in for these 39 years) Sometimes it feels like the entire world of adulthood endeavors to muck us into a quagmire of inactivity. Sitting in class. Siting at work. Standing in lines. Computer, computer, computer. Sitting at soccer practice, at ballet class, at rowing. Parenting can turn us into professional lounging spectators if we don’t make a point to also be active too. And on top of it – being a writer – probably wins out somewhere in the “least calories burned” category of professions. Then add that oracle of data acquisition in our pockets, the goal of which is to make us slow down and input information so that we can be more effectively be sold more products related to the idea of what we say we’d like to be doing instead of actually doing it. We adults and parents must make a point to do things that make us feel good, otherwise those things won’t happen and our brains and bodies and souls suffer for it. We need to make time for, oh yes, to GET RAD! #ridebikes #getrad #adulting @salsacycles #writerlife #parenting