A visit to my home town of Clarendon Hills brought a surprise: the unremarkable train station from the mid-twentieth century has been replaced by a modern station and platform with a lot more greenery and some really interesting materials.
The station itself uses both lacquered rails (on the left) and wooden slats at odd intervals (Fibonacci-esque, but I didn’t measure to be sure.)
Chicago’s suburbs are filled with older train stations like this one. In an area where quaint, older homes are often knocked down to make way for McMansions, these stations are sometimes an area’s only link with the past. (Luckily, Hinsdale is better than most areas in this respect.) On a particularly dramatic and thunderstorm-ready afternoon, this particular train platform feels like it could be unstuck in time.
Walking through the forest with family on Christmas day always has a special crispness to it. The roads are deserted, the days are short, the trees are bare. If the weather is chilly, the whole experienced is sharpened with red noses and warm drinks afterwards. That was the experience on the day I took this photograph.
This old pump links to an old well, and when I was a child, my favorite part of coming to this forrest was getting a chance to work the huge handle and get our just a little bit to drink. This pump is a water fountain you have to seriously commit to. In the time I’ve known about it, this pump has been repeatedly repainted; most recently, it was a chipped and dull red. When I returned to it as an adult, it was new, bright blue.
Today’s photograph comes from the same forrest preserve where I photographed the creek and frozen pond. The setting sun was eclipsed by the trees to my back such that only the branches far away from me picked up that lovely, golden hue. I really liked the way that contrasted with the dull trees and textured grass closer to me.
On the same day that I took this photograph, I found this awesome, half-frozen pond in the back of the forrest preserve. Though the sun was setting and the clouds were already picking up an orange-pink color, from this angle only the bluest parts of the sky were reflected. It had been above freezing for a couple of days, and the ice had melted to the point that it comprised two or three different textures. The brightness of those colors and the variations in the pond’s surface made for a nice contrast with the dormant and dead plants surrounding it.
On Christmas day, I had a chance to walk through a forest preserve outside Chicago. The sun was setting as I stopped by the side of this creek, and I loved the way it lit up the stalks.
It’s also refreshing to have proper clouds in my photographs; there are so few well-defined clouds in California that the sky can look a bit boring. That’s rarely the case in the midwest.