We got to sleep late this morning, thanks to my teens’ schools calling a late start on account of last night’s snow. Yesterday Rebecca wanted to stay home and I had to explain how life doesn’t stop just because we think it’s too cold, or too wet, or too windy. Today it was much warmer than yesterday; it was 5ºF when we woke up and 10ºF by the time I finished walking in Forest Park!
It was Birds-of-a-feather day today. The little birds were out in groups; sparrows flitting in and out of the grasses, a round of robins (American style, seemingly more sociable than those in the UK - the two are different species, not close to each other, the American robin being a true thrush and the European robin is currently considered to be an old-world flycatcher) drank out of a stream and two dozen more were engaged in a free for all in a tree not far away. I also spied a gender-inclusive college of cardinals by the waterway near the Sternberg Rink, eagerly scarfing down seeds along the bank.
It all got me to thinking about the “been there, done that” school of thought. It seems a rather jaded view of life and for that reason and others, it’s not an approach that I subscribe to. I am the sort of person who likes to buck the trends. One of them, popular with photographers, tourists and the general public, is to go the places everyone else goes, at the times when everyone else does. And, for the photographers at least, photograph the exact same things that the great photographers have done. If you are a follower, and like crowds, that can result in some interesting photos, after you carefully crop the image and touch out the trash the other photographers have left behind.
I prefer the serendipitous approach, as you may have been able to tell by my wanderings in Forest Park. It may seem a contradiction to serendipitously explore such a popular place, but the difference is the way and the times I explore. I don’t set an agenda, I don’t have a masterplan, I don’t even generally think about what the day’s theme will be, because when I do, something happens to derail that plan. It also takes me out of my comfort zone and into new and interesting places.
You really should try it, maybe every day of the year!