When we travel to a far-off place or an exotic location, we change how we see. We are tuned in to every detail in the landscape - everything seems new, exciting, and fresh. I remember seeing a farmer thrashing hay in a field at the foot of the Alps on our family vacation to Europe two years ago. I remember being amazed at the patterns and lines the fresh cut hay made in the field. And I remember seeing the details of the tractor and the farmer driving it. I took countless photos. Earlier this week on my bike ride I went past the same scene 15 miles from where I live (minus the Alps of course). No photos, hardly a look, and certainly no slowing down the bike! And perhaps because I was thinking about this blog post, I realized it was exactly the same scene from two years ago - I just wasn't seeing it the same way.
The images in this post are from Hawk Mountain - 10 minutes from where I grew up. It can't get more close to home than that. The image at the top is from two years ago and the images at the bottom are from several trips this month.
My goal has been to make repeated trips to Hawk Mountain and see it as if I had traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to get there. See it at sunrise as I did this past weekend. See it at sunset waiting for the full moon to rise over the valley like we did three weeks ago (unfortunately too cloudy for the moon!). See it in the snow, see it in spring with the mountain laurel in bloom. See it in autumn with the trees turning red and orange and yellow. See everything there is to see in this relatively small area of wilderness. See the exciting in the normal.
Try picking a place that is close to home for you. And try seeing it as if you traveled hundreds of miles to get there. I'd be willing to bet you start to see some things you've been missing for years!
A work-in-progress gallery of images from Hawk Mountain is shown here... Hawk Mountain Gallery.