The big snow storm is moving out of Minnesota. Yes, we had snow and wind and white-out conditions, and now we are left with the task of shoveling. Our world has been very white the past few days as the snow blew horizontally with the gusting northeast winds. The fluffy lightweight snow was easy prey as it was picked up and carried by the wind. It collected along buildings, fences, and previous piles of snow. Our usual demarcations of walkways and sidewalks are now obliterated by the drifts. And yet the white curves are now a lovely contrast to those sharp edges that our eyes are used to seeing. It’s as if the whole world has been softened just a bit.
Our steps haven’t been completely clear for quite a while this winter. Even when they weren’t covered with fresh snow there were still the inevitable patches of ice or compacted snow. And the temperatures just haven’t risen high enough or the sun hasn’t beat down on the steps enough to clear them.
After a recent overnight snowfall it seemed that the steps were just peeking out of the snow, making a wonderful study in black and white. The mounds of shoveled snow on either side of the steps (remnants of previous snows) breaks up the white with a welcome curve, and the lone leaf was there for only a short time before a gust of wind swept it up and into the air, across the yard.
We’ve recently returned from a three-week road trip to visit family and explore new places. We experienced sun and heat, smoke-filled days and nights, a full moon, and a sky filled with countless stars. We traveled through miles of corn, soybeans, sunflowers, grasslands, badlands, prairies, mountains, and black hills. The diversity and beauty of our country is truly amazing.
On our return to Minnesota we stayed one night at Lake Shetek State Park in the southwestern part of the state. As we explored the park and lake we walked across a causeway connecting the lake shoreline to Loon Island. The causeway was constructed as part of a WPA program. Earlier in the day I had seen a family swimming and relaxing at the end of the causeway. But as I walked again in the calm of late evening my attention was drawn to these rocks that extended from the sandy beach into the lake. Their pattern seemed to be welcoming me back to the land of 10,000 lakes and asking me to come along, follow each one, into the coolness of the lake.
A trip to the Weisman Art Museum
It was another bitterly cold day in the Twin Cities. Suffering from cabin fever from our long drawn-out winter, we were looking for a diversion and headed to the Weisman Art Museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The visit was wonderful – a chance to forget about the weather and get absorbed in the art inside. The building itself was designed by Frank Gehry and features his Deconstructivist style architecture. The outside panels are a treat for photographers as they reflect the surroundings. With the cold sunshine there were amazing abstracts, lines, designs, and colors.
Raindrops amidst the fading colors
The bright colors of fall have come to an end. The oaks have turned to their deeper rust color and the ground is now littered with faded colors. As I was out raking leaves, a light rain started. On the still lake it provided its punctuation in the water surface. The reflection was beautiful and a reminder to me that even though the bright colors of fall are gone and many of the trees are without their vibrant leaves, there is still an amazing beauty in the world around us.