LAST SATURDAY, WHEN I NEEDED an escape into nature, Randy and I drove to the northwest side of Faribault and a favorite outdoors destination, the Faribault Energy Park.
I anticipated our walk there along dirt trails that wind past ponds. Even with Interstate 35 in sight and traffic droning in the background, I still enjoy this spot.
The openness of the landscape, the tall grasses and wildflowers (when in season) and the mix of wetlands remind me of the prairie.
I delight, too, in the birdsong and the glimpses of red wing blackbirds, waterfowl and other birds. I don’t like, though, the dogs sometimes unleashed here by irresponsible dog owners. This isn’t a dog park. On one occasion, a large dog jumped on me, slicking me in mud. This is not OK and it angers me when people have no respect for others.
But on this Saturday, there would be no walk through the Energy Park, no dogs to dodge. The gate into the park, typically open from sunrise to sunset daily, was closed and locked. I didn’t understand, until I observed police vehicles and a group of law enforcement officers gathered nearby. Later I would learn of a shooting in a local hotel parking lot and the hunt for a suspect in the northern industrial park where the Energy Park is located.
My plans to escape into this natural setting vanished and so we went to Plan B, a walk along the trail in North Alexander Park, a favorite spot bordering the Cannon River. Seems others had much the same idea. The park and trail were busy.
I still prefer the mostly undiscovered Energy Park. I hope the gate will be unlocked this weekend, when the weather forecast calls for sunshine and 60 glorious degrees.
Note: I took the above photos in mid-March at Faribault Energy Park, which is owned by the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency.
© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Just what you needed and it was lovely to see your photos. Always uplifting to see beautiful nature photos.
Nice photos, Audrey. Some of my favorite photos are in the winter months – many times the stark landscape allows us to see what we might have otherwise missed. I never forget how fortunate we are to have the orchard and leased property beyond to hike and watch spring unfold. Lately Forrest and I have managed outings to forage for morel mushrooms, and to search for antler sheds. Being out in nature has always been a soothing balm for me. I am glad you have a place nearby to enjoy walking.
Lori, I appreciate your deep appreciation for nature. Your images and words show that depth of appreciation. Thank you for that gift to all of us.
The photos in this blogpost are breathtaking, Audrey. You are a fine photographer!
Thank you, Becky. So sweet of you to say that. It’s good to hear from you.
There is just something about being one with nature during this time. I am not sure if it is due to being cooped up, needing a change of pace, destressing, etc. I know I have been taking more walks. I have not really had the energy to do a 30-minute to 60-minute virtual exercise class due to the amount of work hours I have been putting in each day. Do not get me wrong I am grateful to be working, however; I have to remind myself to find the balance too. Making the decision to work a few days remotely has been a nice change of pace. Be Safe and Take Care. I hope your park is back open too. Have a Great Weekend 🙂
Well said, Renee. Balance is so important.
I’m taking joy today in hanging laundry on the line and feeling the warmth of the bright sun.
Did you purposely use the word “escape” in the title of this post since you did not get to enter the park because the police were searching for an escaped crime suspect, or did your subconscious just slip that word in there?
That word choice of “escape” was totally subconscious. Good catch.
These kind of nature walks can really revive the soul. We may do just that this afternoon, but for sure this weekend! Photos are beautiful as always!
Thank you, Jackie. Are you still going for drives in the country? I miss those and our day trips to small towns.
I have done a few lone trip and one with my dad…. we actuall were in Faribault last weekend on our way through to my brothers lake home.
Glad you’re still going on those drives. Our last out-of-town trip was to Menards in Dundas to buy a new garage door. Fun times. Not. Of course, Randy drives to Northfield every day to work.
Ah, still looks very wintery there. Spring had sprung despite everything going on here in NYC.
You’re right. It’s still quite wintry here with patches of snow in shaded areas. We had about six inches of snow on Easter. But tomorrow, with temps predicted to be around 60, that snow should melt.
How are you and yours? I think of you often, Keith, and cannot imagine living in NYC right now. Be safe. Be well.
We’re hanging in there. It’s tough at times. I am working remotely of course, Ethan has remote classes. Nicole was just laid off after 10 1/2 years. Going to be very tight for awhile.
Keith, thank you for letting me know your family is well in NYC. I am sorry, though, for the loss of Nicole’s job. Stay safe and well, my friend.
We have yet to explore that park. Maybe a different walk for our daily outing sometime soon.
Thank you. If we see you there, we will social distance.
Gov. Walz announced today that parks would be open for nature walks and exercise. That’s wonderful. Hopefully more open spaces will be reopened.
As far as I know, Greg, parks were already open. The ones in Faribault never closed, except for last Saturday at the Energy Park. And I believe that was due to the manhunt. I’ve been to the Energy Park since the Stay at Home order was put in place. Is the “park” in Almost Iowa open?
The photos are just stunning. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Marilyn, and you are welcome.
What a beautiful post. The photos evoke so much feeling. I’m glad you got a nature escape.
Randy and I walked there yesterday. We had the park to ourselves. Glorious day of sunshine and 60 degrees!
That creek in the Energy Park looks like it is inviting me to kayak!🤔
Nice thought. But too narrow and too shallow for kayaking.