Photography: Tendril at Indiana Dunes

I took this photo in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 2010. You can support my blog by ordering a print in my Etsy store. Use coupon code 5OFF2013 and receive $5 off any purchase of $15 or more.


While traveling in the Pacific Northwest, after I told people I was from Indiana, they acted as though their immense soaring views must be utterly mind-blowing to a flatlander hayseed like myself. It almost solicited a feeling of Midwesterner pride in me. Although they were right, of course.

I've long held romantic ideas of the west. As a kid, traveling west seemed like travelling to another world. They had mountains, geysers, and wildlife that didn't exist in my small patch of Earth. My world existed in a place where the views through the windshield were largely determined by the current height of the corn.

Sometimes I think my appreciation for nature and romantic view of the west wouldn't exist if not for my Midwestern roots. Might I have grown up thinking mountain views were ordinary? Would they have the same power over me? This picture, however, reminds me that my love of nature goes deeper than that. I look at this photo with the same sense of awe as any grand mountain view.

I spotted this tendril grabbing onto a branch for support while hiking through Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I tend to forget that plants aren't stationary. In fact, they are rarely still. They simply live by a different clock than we do.

No matter where I live, a major part of me will always live somewhere out west, but beauty in nature is everywhere. You just have to stop and look.

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A Backpacker's Life List by Ryan Grayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.