Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mathiessen State Park

The worst thing about living in Chicago, which is otherwise pretty great, is that to get yourself to any sort of natural environment you have to go far. (There are of course many city parks, the lakefront, the forest preserves, the botanic garden, etc., all of which add immeasurably to one's quality of life around here. But it's not the same as being away from it all. Nor are the Indiana Dunes, with their nuclear-power-plant views. And, let's face it, farmland is as "unnatural" an environment as a city.) Most Chicagoans go to Starved Rock State Park, about 1.6 hours away in Utica, Illinois. And indeed, Starved Rock is a nice place to be. But it's too bad that people skip over Matthiessen State Park, just a couple of miles past the entrance to Starved Rock. For one thing, there are often fewer people at Matthiessen. At the Dells Area, there are waterfalls and you can go walking around in the river: it's arguably more pleasant than the sandstone bowls at Starved Rock. We recently went to the River Area for the first time, and found wild orchids. If you've already been to Starved Rock a couple of times, try Matthiessen the next time you go.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Gazing Globe - Spring

Got out today to do the final season of Chicago gazing globes - spring. This was the most spring-like and most appealing picture. But although it's more abstract, I also liked this one of the globe sitting on a log:

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Kayaking on Lake Michigan

It seemed warm enough today to go kayaking, so we went out on Lake Michigan. For the first 3/4 of the trip, it was great - then the sun disappeared, the wind kicked up, and we got cold. Still, Chicago looked great.

See, it was fun!