So the weather has not been the greatest this December. It hasn’t been that cold, but it has been very gloomy and rainy. It certainly isn’t the best Christmas weather. But I came across this photo that I took last summer. It was one of the first photos with my new camera. The snow that day was beautiful. Hopefully we will get some of this weather soon.
While I am not sure of the exact date, it was around this time last year that my camera broke. I was out shooting at an abandoned schoolhouse with Brandy one day when it happened. We were walking around the property, which was creepy, taking photos when we saw this car and the garage. As we walked towards it, everything was very still and we felt a really cold spot. It was very eerie and weird. I took this photo and then my camera just shut down, mid shot. I thought it was the battery that had died. I was mad because there were other things I wanted to get photos of. And the battery was not close to being dead. I put my other battery in and it still didn’t work. Come to find out the camera just died. Completely broken. This was the last photo I ever took with it. I’m not sure what exactly made it break, but maybe it was something there at that schoolhouse. Anyway, I was certainly not happy with the situation and eventually I got the camera that I have now.
The great palette of blues, whites and grey is another benefit of winter. Unlike a lot of people I usually like winter. Now, I have my limits and I don’t like the freezing, bitter cold that Indiana can get, but overall winter is a great time. I like the cold better than the heat anyway. And the photos can be great during the winter. So I was excited when I was treated early to the ice, reflections and blue skies in the photo above.
Today at work, Stephanie and I set out to clear this hill of Honeysuckle, which is an invasive plant in the Ecolab. The plant pretty much takes over everything and shades out all of the native plants, so it is a big problem. We had been clearing off the hill for a while, which is not the easiest because parts of the hill are very steep and slippery. Today it was even harder, as the weather was cold and unpleasant and everything was covered in wet, slippery snow. But we still got some work accomplished, though we had to take it slow.
The Ecolab is a stunning place. I have probably said that a few times by now, but it really is beautiful. And it can make for wonderful photos. I’m sure I have said that too. But this place is a little gem. While the rest of campus continues to get increasingly boring, there is always something to look at in the Ecolab. It’s great to escape the campus and come down to this place.
Today I decided to take a walk in the Ecolab. Honestly it was more because I had to take some photos for class. It was a freezing cold walk, but I got some good shots. The Ecolab is a beautiful place and the snow only made it prettier. As I walked around I heard one of the coolest sounds that occurs in right now here in Indiana. That is the calls of the Sandhill Cranes that are migrating right now. They are beautiful birds and they are moving from Canada to the south. You often hear them before you see them. So if you’re in the area and hear a weird noise, look up and you might seem some.
It snowed today! It isn’t the first day of snow, but today the snow actually stuck and stayed around. It snowed lightly, but consistently almost all day. It was very pretty to watch it and I honestly don’t mind the snow. I love snow. I just don’t care for how cold it is. Oh well, that’s winter here in Indiana. I think Peanut even liked the snow.
For Halloween I didn’t go out, or party or drink or whatever you do on Halloween now. I just stayed in with Hannah and we gave out candy to the kids that came to her house, which wasn’t many, because of the cold and snow. Yeah, it was kind of crazy that it snowed on Halloween this year. But it was still a fun night with ghost stories and a Halloween story.
Another beautiful morning in the Ecolab. I was actually in class when I got to take this shot. We were told to go take pictures of the fall colors and do portraits. I just focused on the colors and ended up modeling for the portraits and helping some other people get their shots. It was a good morning for shooting, though it was a little cold.
How often do you walk down a city street and pass by people like the ones above and never give them a second thought. How often do we pass by and never even see them, wrapped up in our own comfortable world. How often do you see them, but you just glance and try not to make eye contact. How often do you stop to give a dollar, because you feel a little guilty, but you keep the words to a minimum and you walk away quickly, uncomfortable with them. Do you ever stop and talk to them. Because they have names and stories and experiences. One is a musician and the other a graphic designer, artist and writer. One tunes his guitar and complains about the cold, not because he is cold but because it makes tuning difficult. The other reads his newspaper, folding and unfolding it, and he smokes. But you can see in his face the ideas and the creativity that are working. They talk to us and share their stories. One tells us about a short story he’s working on set in the future where people rely on electricity to live and they have to plug in and recharge. We move on and we will probably never see them again, but I know I will remember them. And there are countless more like them. We talk to a woman who has a cat with her, trying to get money to feed herself and the two cats she has saved. We talk to a man happier than most of the well dressed and well fed people around him who gladly poses for pictures with the biggest grin I have seen in a while. We talk to another man who has been sitting in the cold and rain, wrapped up in a coat, all day. By this time we have given away our cash and we apologize. He says, “Don’t worry about it. I try to earn it by giving directions and helping people find things. I’ve been here two years so I know the city really well.” These people are real and they are all around us. It’s good to stop and talk with them and hear their stories, because everyone has a story to tell and this is reality.