FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME who grew up on the prairie, woods are not a natural fit. I’ve always felt a bit out of place in the density of trees. Uncomfortable even. But time and distance from a landscape of big sky and wide open spaces have eased me into the woods.
I appreciate woods, as long as there aren’t “too many” trees. I need to see glimpses, even vistas, of openness. River Bend Nature Center in Faribault offers both. Prairie and woods.
On a recent visit, I followed trails into the woods. And, as always, I noticed the beauty therein. I view the natural world through many lenses. Close-up. From afar. With an artsy perspective. But mostly with a deep appreciation.
It doesn’t take much to catch my eye, to cause me to pause and reflect. Photograph. Delight. Savor the moment, the scene.
If you walk with me into the woods, you won’t fast track from Point A to Point B. Sometimes I go at a rapid pace. But most of the time, I can’t. Because I simply see too much. Poetry in puddled leaves. Spring in a patch of green grass. Abstract art in a mottled tree trunk. Dancers in twisted branches.
Sights and sounds draw me to linger in the woods. The shrill call of a cardinal and a flash of red cause me to pause. I wait. Listen. Photograph.
I feel such a sense of wonderment in it all. A peace, too, that comes only from immersing one’s self in the natural world. In the chaos and noises of life, the woods are on this day, indeed, my sanctuary.
TELL ME: How do you react to the natural world?
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
I love to wander through the woods, I always discover something and leave somehow better than when I entered. I can understand what a big adjustment that must be for you, having grown up in wide open spaces
I understand the leaving somehow better than when you entered the woods. There’s a certain peace which comes with immersing one’s self in nature.
there really is –
Great Capture of the Cardinal 🙂 Birds rarely stop moving so hard to get a good pic of them at times. You know me and my love of nature. I am so lucky to be up on the 3rd floor at work and have my own Nat Geo out the window plus a beautiful campus to walk with fauna and flora and birds and turtles. I have a natural sanctuary at home and love sharing that with the birds, bees, butterflies, etc. Love getting out into the great outdoors or out on the water in my kayak. Happy Exploring – Happy Escaping to Our Happy Places – Enjoy!
Thank you. That was actually my first shot of the cardinal, although I took many more, just to be sure I had a good one. Yes, birds are difficult to photograph.
It sounds like you work and live in a wonderful natural environment and enjoy every minute of that.
I grew up in Florida on the Fort Lauderdale/Miami side. When we started looking for places to move to we did not know it would take 2 years and many States and Countries to decide where to land. While on vacation to the Tampa side within 3 days we knew this was “the place”. We are happy and making a home here – best decision!
I’m thankful you found your “happy place.” I thought you grew up in Minnesota???
My home base was MN, however; throughout my childhood I spent time with my grandma who had a place in Michigan as well as Florida. She was a retired educator and I would revert to homeschooling when with her. I know to a degree that inspired the gypsy in me – ha!
Ah, OK, now it makes sense. I do recall you using that term “gypsy” in the past. It seems to fit. I love that word. My paternal grandma used to mention gypsies in her storytelling.
I love being outdoors,,,in the woods, near water, on the prairie. Riverbend offers it all. It’s a great place.
Thank you for appreciating River Bend.
Living on the edge of 20 acres of woods, I can relate to finding peace walking in the woods. A favorite quotation comes from John Muir, “in every walk with Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” “Time spent among trees is never wasted time.” Is another favorite. Enjoyed your photos, subjects look familiar, as I live just miles from you.
Carolyn, thanks for stopping by and sharing that John Muir quote and the peace you, too, find walking in the woods.
I am opposite to you, growing up in the Northern Minnesota woods I feel lost on a wide open prairie. I need trees, lots of them!
Nature of all sorts is a healer for the human soul. It connects us to the circle of life, minds us to look for a deeper connection. Shows us the wonder and miracles of life and death. Much we all can learn from listening and connecting with nature.
Paula, I figured you would feel an affinity to the woods given your northwoods Minnesota upbringing. I’ve definitely grown to appreciate the woods, as I do the prairie.
I agree with you. I like to visit Northern Minnesota, it’s beautiful, but too many trees. I’m a flat-lander. I need to see the horizon, see the weather moving in.
Ah, another flatlander. You get it. We appreciate the woods, but prefer wide open spaces to, as you state, see the horizon and the weather moving in. Well summarized.