Neon star

Today I took a quick lunchtime walk toward the Framingham Centre Common and back, just to see what I could see. It was a clear, cold day, the kind of day when you can easily stay inside if you have a warm laptop, a long to-do list, and a large sunny office window that gives you the illusion of being outside. But I’ve taken enough winter walks to know that once you’re moving, your coursing blood quickly warms you, and I’ve spent enough sleeting, gray days cooped up inside to know that you should always get your winter walking in when the walking’s good.

Padlock

In this year’s attempt to take and post to Flickr at least one photo a day, I’ve been taking lots of pictures, and on days like today I find myself walking with one simple goal in mind: to find today’s picture. It’s certainly possible to take photos inside: already this year, I’ve taken plenty of pictures of sleeping cats. But on sunny days, it seems a shame to resort to indoor photos when the light lies brightly on every flat surface, the landscape gilded with glare. On clear, brisk days, it seems almost criminal to stay inside when there are things out there to be seen.

Found feather

So today around noon, my camera and I took a walk to see what odd or quirky things we might find between here, there, and back. Walking with a camera in search of One Decent Picture turns a lunchtime stroll into a scavenger hunt, with ordinary objects suddenly transformed into treasured discoveries. Instead of walking dully past the Same Old Stuff, you walk with your eyes open and alert: what can I see Today that is different from Yesterday, or that won’t be here Tomorrow? And sure enough, the photo I snapped this afternoon of the bare-neon star on the Super Discount Liquor store sign, pictured at the top of this post, is already dated: when I left campus tonight, I noticed they’d repaired the sign, capping the bare neon tubes with a blue star-shaped cover.

Notice the bare ground in that final photo. The next time I post here, we’ll probably be buried in snow.