I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (and Family)

posted in: Ely Adventure, Photography | 3
Walking the path today was lovely even with the 15 degree temperature.


With a day of snow and 2 days of high winds last week I stayed indoors at the house near Ely, MN. After several days of seeing no other humans I was happy to head to Minneapolis for a few days to see my granddaughter’s second grade music program and to spend time with Jon and Gracie cat. For me the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” was true. Even though I was separated from them for only a week, I greatly appreciated my husband, cat and home.

Yesterday I arrived back up north. At first I felt a little at loose ends to be here alone again but received a phone call from a photographer friend who told me about a free online video class on “Photography as Art” by Art Wolfe. As soon as we ended our conversation I began watching the class.

It was just the creative shot in the arm I needed. Today, I have a list of ideas I want to work on, all sparked by watching the video class yesterday. And I feel more confident about my decision to spend about 3 months up north photographing despite the winter weather and feelings of isolation I am experiencing.

Before I started this adventure I had all sorts of ideas about what I wanted to accomplish and what I would do while I was here. Like any adventure, the reality is much different from my imaginings. I wanted to get out hiking every day with my camera while I was here. After the first 3 days here I discovered some of my old physical challenges making it impossible for me to hike every day. I hoped that the weather would begin warming and melting the snow  soon. The winter weather and cold temperatures of the past week were not the beginning of a warm easy slide into spring.

I also learned that hiking in the snow here is very physically challenging. With melting and refreezing snow, ice is often hiding under a thin layer of snow, and crusty snow carries me on top most of the time but just when I’m not expecting it my feet break through the crust causing a jarring drop. While I’m not afraid to hike by myself in the woods I find I’m less willing to risk falls or injuries knowing that I am all by myself far from any help.

Today I went for a hike but instead of heading out at sunrise when the temperatures were below or near zero I waited until early afternoon when the light is less ideal but the temperatures were up in the low teens.

I am finding myself letting go of ideas about what this experience should be like and embracing what is. Treating myself with compassion and kindness, realizing that I may visit my home in Minneapolis more often than I originally planned, and listening to my body with respect I look forward to the next steps of this walk-about.

Today I am thankful for friends and family who inspire, support, and challenge me to grow and thrive. I get by with a little help from my friends. How about you?

May you walk in beauty.

Good morning eagle friend! You look so regal on your favorite branch.
I love ravens. This morning two of them spent time on the ground picking up sunflower seeds near the bird feeder.


The Burntside river is surprisingly still mostly open despite sub-zero temperatures at night for several days.
Trees cast long shadows in the early afternoon sunlight.
These trees on the far side of the river always intrigue me. I love the tall pines and the many shades of green.



3 Responses

  1. Jerry Sattinger

    So much to learn about self and space. It sounds like flexibility is the way to go! Have a great week!

  2. Susan Mainzer

    Love your photos and reflections. So proud of your noticing the internal and external world. Wish golden retrievers were allowed so Leo and I could visit. Love hiking in snow. Miss you and live vicariously through your words and pictures. Susan M

  3. Joanne Engelking

    Love that photo of the river flowing even though the world around it is still frozen–a sure sign that spring is coming. And when it does, life will seem less lonely as you are able to engage more in the external environment. Carefree days ahead!

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