THIS EARLY INTO SPRING here in southern Minnesota, everything seems amplified. Colors. Sound. Even the air temperature.
You can almost see the grass growing, its green especially vivid in the still mostly monotone landscape. The greyness of woods reminds us that winter only just exited, and could return. Yes, we’ve experienced measurable snowfalls in May.
But for now, the weather has proven mostly glorious with shirt-sleeve temps and lots of sunshine, although on Tuesday much-needed rain watered the earth.
One evening last week, Randy and I headed to River Bend Nature Center for a walk in the woods and along the prairie to the pond. The incessant peeping of frogs created a symphony as we drove into the center, van windows rolled down to hear the music. I always wonder why we can never see these musicians, only hear them.
Once parked, we entered the woods, crossed the Turtle Pond, wound through the trees, paused to scan the river valley, then looped back through the woods, eventually reaching woods’ edge.
I especially enjoy the section of our hike which leads us onto the prairie, a place of dried grasses in April. My eyes welcome the openness. But on this evening, we detoured from our usual route. A cluster of geese grazed the land and I wasn’t about to get too close. Their protesting honks as we drew near proved deterrent enough.
I paused momentarily to photograph a martin house, thrilled to see a bird perched on the edge of the apartment complex…until I realized the bird wasn’t real.
Onward to the pond, a favorite spot to photograph cattails, which have always intrigued me. They are especially lovely in the filtered light of sunset.
By then my ears ached from the cold of the evening air. The din of frogs continued as we headed back to the parking lot and our van.
We had, for an hour, immersed ourselves in nature. Listened. Observed. Retreated from reality, if only for awhile. And sometimes an hour is all you need to find peace.
Disclaimer: I am paid for my work as the Warner Press blog coordinator and blogger.
© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling