TRAFFIC DRONES ALONG the nearby interstate, overwhelming the scene with intrusive noise.
Yet, I find reasons to appreciate Faribault Energy Park, a mostly under-used park on Faribault’s northwest side. Located next to I-35, this Minnesota Municipal Power Agency Park features dirt roads circling ponds.
With trees, a variety of other plant life, waterfowl, songbirds and the rare occasional sighting of wildlife, this makes for an interesting place to walk. Especially for a photographer. Even though I’ve been here many times, I enjoy the challenge of finding new ways to photograph a familiar setting.
As I followed the roadways, a theme emerged. Remnants. And reawakening.
Everywhere I looked, I saw remnants of seasons past.
Bare branches. Dried berries. Grey milkweed pods. Fluffs of cattails.
April marks the transition from dormancy to reawakening. Spring bursts into the landscape in tree buds, in green grass, in the reddening of dogwood.
I noticed, too, when photographing the on-site wind turbine, the scuttle of white clouds against blue sky.
After months of grey everything, the sky looks bluer, the new green greener.
I don’t know if this is a Minnesota thing, this seeing spring colors through an especially vivid lens, or whether this is universal as seasons shift. Or perhaps it’s the photographer in me.
Yet, as much as I credit myself for environment awareness, I missed the chipmunk camouflaged among rocks along the creek.
I missed, too, the muskrat rippling away from the shoreline into the pond. And the dead fish lying on its side near water’s edge. Randy saw all three and drew my attention to them. Then he wondered why I would photograph a dead fish. “Because I want to show what I saw,” I say. Yes, even the unappealing. Life isn’t always pretty.
Yet, we can choose to focus on the beauty in life—in the remnants and reawakening. And we can choose to shut out the noise that threatens to silence the sounds of joy.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling