Monday, September 21, 2009
Close to home
It never ceases to amaze me what I can find somewhat close to home when I look for it. I was up quite early Sunday morning as usual, grabbed some coffee, and plopped down in front of my computer to check emails, sports scores, etc. I had no intention of heading out for any picture taking. BUT, then out my office window, I caught a glimpse of orange in a clear sky with the sun rising. That little voice came on in my head, "Mark, don't be so lazy. What is so important with your emails at 5:45 am that you can't go out and catch a beautiful sunrise? So I said to myself, "Self, you're right". I headed west and right away I could see there might be some opportunity for some nice landscape shots, with all the fog that was going on and a somewhat clear sky. After driving about 15-20 minutes, I decided to turn down a "paved" side road. Paved might be giving it too much credit. I drove another 5 minutes and saw a County Preserve sign that was set back off the road and the gates were open. (Notice: If for some reason, you feel you need to have gates across your entrance to your land/home, and they are open, I will drive down that road.) I drove down it and while driving for about 5 minutes, I could tell there was going to be water of some kind in the preserve just by the type of vegetation along the road.A little sidenote. Many of my landscapes will include some kind of water in the shot,river, lake, fountains. With the absence of any kind of mountains or large hills in Illinois, you gotta grab what you can . Sure enough. I found one of the most beautiful lake scenes I've ever viewed in the area. The preserve was well kept, but I really think its a well kept secret to most people. There was at least one loon on the lake ( I have never seen a loon in Illinois until now, besides the drivers on the tollway), some geese and during my hour and a half there I saw 2 deer, 2 Blue Herons, numerous hawks, and, of course, the prerequisite geese and ducks.
This area has since jumped up to number one on my list of places to visit more this fall. You can see in the pic colors are on the verge of turning. I can only imagine what this place will look like in about 3-4 weeks.