IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, I’ve determined, to fast walk my way through a park or nature center, camera slung around neck or over shoulder. Impossible.
I cannot hurry, even with the goal to raise heart rate and burn calories. My desire and need to notice details, to take in and often photograph my surroundings, overrides.
On a recent Sunday afternoon walk at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, I tried, oh, I tried, to step it up. But then Rudi appeared and I just had to pet and photograph this friendly collie. The thing is, I’m not a big dog lover. Typically, I’ll skirt a canine. But not this one who reminded me of Lassie.
Rudi proved to be distraction number two after I observed penned goats attacking invasive Buckthorn (more on that in a future post).
My husband and I fast-paced for awhile before my eyes focused on patches of oak leaves in burnished shades of orange and red. I veered slightly off the tarred path for close-up images.
And so the distractions continued—fossil embedded in rock, leaves, tree trunks, contrast of colors and light, a quick chat with another couple, milkweed and signs and berries and dried swamp grasses.
Everywhere, nature drew me to a halt.
And that’s alright. Sometimes life calls for a slow pace. An eye that sees a single leaf in the woods. An ear that hears the crunch of leaves underfoot. A nose that smells the earthy scent of autumn. A hand that feels the rugged bark of a fallen tree.
(These images were shot on October 12. One week later, River Bend’s woods had changed considerably with most trees bare of leaves. My husband reminded me that autumn can transition quickly in Minnesota.)
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling