I’ve mentioned before that I left the somewhat pastoral hills of Southern Illinois for the bustling city of Chicago, leaving an MFA program for the city and then applying and arriving at Columbia.
While I might not take great inspiration from nature, it feels important for any prospective students to know that the bastion of culture in the city of Chicago is just a short trip from the outskirts, filled with trees and moss and the hints of deer who are likely too quick and clever to be spotted by a couple of folks wandering around in the middle of the day. It was a nice day that has me considering looking into the conservation efforts when that grad school life is marginally less demanding, though I have to say that my recent trips to the Art Institute of Chicago and The Field Museum did so much more for the creative side of my brain than the brisk nature walk. I left a close friend in Carbondale, however, and when I tried to tell her that, no really, there is nature in the Chicago area, she was skeptical.

I can enjoy nature as much as the next person, but it’s a rare occasion I find myself inspired to write by or about it.
Despite the cold that comes with living in the midwest in January, there was a nice, sunny day just before the end of the month that I was able to explore a Chicago area forest preserve with a friend. The above picture was one of the few I took while out and about, and it was something about the impending sunset that did it. The golden look of the shot did a lot more for me than the setting (a setting encroached on by humanity via that shelter).

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