Even though our winter was mild by Michigan standards, and I like photographing the barrenness of winter landscapes, it is not a time of year that I am keen on bundling up in many layers and traveling icy, snow drifted roads for the sake of adventure. Our spring has not been much kinder, full of raindrops, gray skies, and arthritis aching dampness.
Last Friday, the sun and the temperature finally united to form a perfect spring day. Knowing my daughter was working in town that day, and that she could give the puppy and my dear Scout an occasional potty break and romp around the backyard, I set out for a day long adventure.
As I drove towards my yet-to-be determined destination, I could hear the voice in my head singing with delight. I hesitate to call the voice in my head my Muse because that makes me sound so Woo Woo, and I am not a Woo Woo kind of person, but calling it the voice in my head makes me sound mentally unstable, so I think I will embrace Muse. I realized while I was driving, that I had not been on a solo adventure since last October when I drove to Pennsylvania to meet my friend Andrea for a week. Six months is much too long between adventures for my Muse, and she had grown very quiet, barely a whisper on the rare occasion. I need to hear her loud and clear in order to stay on my creative path.
I had two destination possibilities in mind, both were off the same highway exit, it was just a matter of turning right or turning left. When I reached the exit, I chose right. Right was towards a town I had wanted to explore last summer, but summer ran out before I got there. It was a twenty mile drive from the highway to the town, I settled into the country drive, and kept my eyes open for possibilities. About halfway to my destination I saw it: a small, white clapboard outbuilding nestled into the tall pine trees in an old country cemetery. The building would be perfect for the first lesson in Susan Tuttle's new e-course, Mobile Art Mastery. As usual, I didn't react fast enough to turn onto the narrow cemetery lane, so I drove to the next gravel road, and did my first three-point turn of the day. Once parked on the cemetery lane, I got out my camera and tripod, and got lost in the moment.
Overjoyed with my first find of the day, I knew I had made the right turn. As I drove on towards my destination I saw a mileage estimate sign for upcoming towns. My destination was only seven miles away, but another town, one that I had never been too before was only twenty-seven miles away. Well what the heck, the day was still young and I had plenty of time. I drove through my destination town and on to unknown adventure.
As I neared my new destination, I began to look for a bathroom, the chai latte I had had an hour earlier started to make it's presence known. Then suddenly to my left, I saw a sign for the Leila Arboretum, I forgot about the bathroom. I drove along the tranquil blossom filled roads, but then the chai's presence returned, I looked for a restroom along the tranquil roads, but no such luck. I decided to drive towards the downtown find a bathroom, have an early lunch, and then return to the gardens.
After lunch I returned to the Arboretum. Grabbing my camera with macro lens from the back seat I set off down the paths filled with flowering trees. Being high noon, I knew the macro was my best option, I wasn't going to get full landscapes, but I could get close up shots of the blossoms under the shade of the trees. I spent an hour walking, photographing and exploring.
I knew this was a town I wanted to come back to and investigate more, so I left the rest of the town for another day.
On my way home, I had the option to return the way I had come, or to pick an alternate route. I chose the alternate. There was more stopping, walking and photographing as I traveled along, all the while my Muse singing songs of joy. It was the creative day that I needed, and something I need to do on a more regular basis, both for my sanity and for the voice of my Muse.