Oberlin Blogs

Sometimes I pretend to be a photographer

July 30, 2009

Chris Gollmar ’10

A sunflower.

Sometimes, when I have just a bit of extra time on my hands, I take out my camera and see what interesting sights I can capture. A couple days ago, I happened upon a small patch of wildflowers up by the athletic fields. So, finding myself with about half an hour of free time on my hands, I ventured back there with a camera to see what I could see.

The patch of wildflowers I found.

Getting outdoors, spending some time by myself, has been a way for me to relax ever since my first year at Oberlin. I find I get so pent up on campus sometimes that I just have to get out. It’s not hard to find little peaceful spots around town if you’re willing to stray just a little ways from campus. If I can simply happen across a little flower bed sheltered between the road and the athletic fields, surely there must be a dozen more spots just like this all around. Of course, the arboretum, the bike trail, and the nature preserve offer peaceful recreation as well.

This time I ventured out, I was interested not only in the beautiful wildflowers I found—some of which were in bright colors that my camera simply couldn’t capture—but also in the insects that lived among them.

Tetraopes tetraophthalmus
I found a pair of these red milkweed beetles on the top of each milkweed plant.
Popillia japonica
Oberlin, like many places around the country, has become a home for Japanese beetles, which feast on various kinds of leafy plants.
Yellowjackets are building a small hive in an old fence along the north athletic fields.

This isn’t the first time I pretended to be a nature photographer for an afternoon. Back when I was a first-year, I stayed on campus for Winter Term. Oberlin is very quiet, very still during January. Finding myself freed from the workload of a typical semester, I had much more time to explore than usual. I set out for the Arb to experiment with an old SLR film camera I bought for $10 on eBay and my tiny 3.1-megapixel digital camera (those were the days).

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Be it July or January, Oberlin does offer some beautiful natural sights. No, you’re not going to be able to do much hiking or backpacking without venturing a little further out of town, but for those brief moments when you just want to get out, I think this place is actually kinda nice…

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