Diane Schirf at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

I grew up in Hamburg, New York, where, thanks to my local public library and a 5-cent manila paper library card with my name typewritten on it, I read works by authors ranging from Agatha Christie and Arthur C. Clarke to Charles Dickens and T. H. White.

After studying, or trying to study, the Anglo-Saxons, Eastern thought, music appreciation, Chaucer, silent film, modern drama, and a smattering of English and American history, I graduated on a Saturday in 1983 from the University of Chicago with a bachelor of arts degree in English language and literature and no idea about what to do or where to go on Monday.

By day I work as an integrated marketing manager. On weekends when I can, I point an iPhone and a Nikon D7100 with image sensor spots at nature and natural elements and sometimes surprise myself.

Most of all, I have the heart of an adventurer, the soul of a poet, and the body of the Pillsbury Doughboy.

— Diane Schirf

My life has been steeped in loneliness, Mr. Smithson. As if it has been been ordained that I shall never form a friendship with an equal, never inhabit my own home, never see the world except as the generality to which I must be the exception.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles