I bought a bicycle last year. All I wanted was exercise.
I stuck my smartphone in my pocket. For emergencies. And I rode.
This was in May. I rode south to Chisholm Creek Park, where a bike path traverses the park east-west.
Two things happened: I noticed wild animals and wildflowers again. And I took my smartphone out of my pocket. Thousands of times.
Never miss a local story.
Photographers like The Eagle’s Travis Heying used to poke fun of photos I posted. But after shooting thousands of frames at Chisholm Creek last year, I got better. So — as Outdoors writer Michael Pearce said — the photos here will show what one simple imbecile can do with a smartphone and daily effort.
Chisholm Creek contains hundreds of acres of prairie with dozens of species of wildflowers that bloom in a cycle.
Nature parks give us public access, deep inside city limits. Pearce says our wildflowers show more colors than a box of crayons. He loves the annual display, as does Cynthia Abbott, a local master gardener who identified the flowers in my photos.
I rode every day before work. I timed my arrival for sunrise because Travis had shown me how low light paints colors.
I shot most of these photos from right off the bike path, or the smaller walking trails. Watching a season closely means watching a giant masterpiece take shape — the pinks of gayfeathers, the rich yellows of sunflowers, the rust color of tallgrass. I studied the blossoms and fragile tendrils of wild flowers up close, and saw the sunlight bathe them. I sometimes shot more than a hundred frames of one flower, as the light changed, from every angle — high, low and from the sides.
Along the way I saw baby deer start as wobbly-legged fawns in spring, then outrun their mothers in fall.
Most people drive past all this, poor souls.
The first blossoms open soon.
Take a camera.