What Happened on the Way to St. Louis

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Pic of the Month, Stories & Expeditions | 0 comments

I ended up having only one opportunity for landscape photography on the 1260 mile round trip to St. Louis last weekend.

Instead of sleeping in on Saturday morning, the day of the wedding, I left where I was staying in Louisville to head out for a sunrise. I didn’t get up as early as I wanted to, so it turned into more of a golden hour shoot, but I wasn’t too terribly disappointed since it was a perfectly cloudless sky anyway.

I was headed west out of Louisville on I64. I really could have pulled off anywhere to explore the countless backroads close to the Interstate. Views from the Interstate were fantastically beautiful: low-hanging mist, illuminated pink by the first rays of sunlight, filling valleys of frost-covered fields and forests.

But I didn’t end up stopping until I made it to Hoosier National Forest. The Interstate cuts straight through the Forest, and I was hoping maybe I could make it to a place called Hemlock Cliffs before the sun was up for too long.

Well, forget trying to make it to a destination! As soon as I turned off the Interstate, the combination of heavy frost and golden, morning light was just irresistible. I stopped at the top of a small hill along my route. It was open, lots of fields around, and there was an old barn in the distance and a giant, black bull staring at me from across a tiny electric fence. There wasn’t anything particularly beautiful about the place per se, but to just be in a quiet, quaint spot with no time constraints and no pressure to perform was delightfully relaxing.

201205_James Staddon_1271 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 23 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

A farmer came out to see what I was doing. He said it wasn’t every day he saw a guy hanging out at the end of his driveway. (I bet it wasn’t every day he sees guys standing on top of their cars, either.)

The FedEx guy drove by. Thank you for waiting for me to close the door before driving past. Smile I, uh, promise I don’t just leave car doors open all the time.

A stone’s throw (or two, or three…) up the road, wasn’t much of a change of scenery, but even rural Indiana can be an artists playground.

201205_James Staddon_1279 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

I slowly made my way down N. Union Chapel Rd., and what do you know? I came across Union Chapel. Online scouting is overrated. Smile

201205_James Staddon_1322 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 35 mm, 1-100 sec at f - 11, ISO 100

No agenda. Not really a destination. Just enjoying a beautiful morning in God’s creation! The perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.

201205_James Staddon_1301 W

Frosty Morning
N. Union Chapel Rd., English, Indiana
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I never did make it to Hemlock Cliffs that day. I found a good spot to pull off for devotions and a nap, and before I knew it, I had 3.5 hours to make a 3.25 hour drive to the wedding!

Fun times. Thank you, Lord, for giving us richly so many things to enjoy. May we, being as abundantly blessed as we are, be not highminded nor trust in uncertain riches, but instead, to trust in the living God and to be rich in good works. I Timothy 6:17-19.

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