YEARS HAVE PASSED since I visited Falls Creek County Park just east of Faribault off Minnesota State Highway 60. I remembered the hill and the expanse of lawn leading to a shelter house. And the creek at the edge of the surrounding woods.
I didn’t recall wild roses. Those I would remember because I love wild roses. They remind me of my native prairie home, where, decades ago, pink roses grew random in road ditches. Oh, the sweet scent and the sweet memories.
Randy noticed the roses first at Falls Creek. We both paused to breathe in the old-fashioned fragrance and to share our rose stories of yesteryear. What an unexpected delight.
After a picnic lunch, I grabbed my camera to photograph roses and wildflowers and an elusive dragonfly before we aimed for the bridge over the creek.
I love the sound and sight of water rushing over rocks. It’s mesmerizing, calming, soothing.
And, as we walked to water’s edge at a crook in the creek, we found water running clear. That is mostly unseen in these parts where rivers and other waterways and lakes are muddy and murky and often nothing you would want to wade into. I dipped my hand into the clean, cool water. Happy at this unexpected discovery, at this untainted water flowing past me.
From there, we followed the narrow dirt path hugging the creek. In parts, the trail had eroded. Tree roots underfoot and a makeshift crossing of rocks and branches caused me to slow my pace, to watch my feet, to walk with care. The last thing I needed was to stumble and tumble and break a bone or land in the creek with my camera.
The woods proved a lovely place of greenery and dappled sunshine filtering through the trees…until the mosquitoes discovered our presence. My body reacts intensely to bug bites. So I needed to turn back and exit the woods.
Back in the open, across the lawn and up the hill and on the far side of the massive gravel parking lot circled with tire track donuts, Randy spotted more wild roses. These were larger, better positioned to get sunshine. Once again, we paused to admire these dainty-looking, yet strong, prairie flowers. Once again, I breathed in the sweet scent.
I will remember Falls Creek County Park now for more than the falls I have yet to see—because of those mosquitoes. I will remember this place for the wild roses that edge the woods. And remind me of my native Minnesota prairie home, where there are no woods.
NOTE: This visit occurred several weeks ago, when the roses were nearly done blooming. We’ve also had substantial rainfall in the past two days, meaning the creek may now be muddy, the trail more eroded.
© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Photo #4 – I don’t care if it is a weed or not, it is beautiful. But what is it? My memories of wild roses recall the neighborhood walks we took with Dad. One wild rose vine (or bush?) grew on the bank of a steep ditch just west of us and usually only a few blossoms at a time. That made it hard to locate and all the more precious when someone finally spied it amongst the undergrowth.
I don’t know the identity of that “weed” either and I agree, it’s beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your wild rose story. Such a lovely memory.
Such lovely flowers, and yes the mosquitoes are a nuisance for sure. Thanks for sharing I could almost smell those roses.
I just could not stop smelling those wild roses. Brought back so many memories.
I love wild roses too! And that clear stream is gorgeous!
See, you are a prairie girl if you appreciate wild roses. And, yes, that stream is gorgeous. I couldn’t stop looking at it. You just do not see clear water like that around here very often. Can’t recall the last time in southern MN.
I love wild roses too. I will want to visit this park…next year?
I’ve heard the term: Weeds are just flowers you won’t want in your garden.
I think the white flower may be Queen Anne’s Lace.
I was thinking the same about the white flower. Love that quote.
I was really drawn to the image of the clear creek water and rocks… so much to see in that photo! Mesmerizing!!
That’s my favorite photo, too. I could not stop looking at that clear clear water with those stones so visible.
What a beautiful day! I love wild roses but I don’t see them very often these days
You’re right about not seeing wild roses often any more. Probably because of spraying of road ditches. Sigh.
Lovey photos. Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome, Penny.