I probably have taken thousands of photographs at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Even though it is at least a forty-five minute drive, I feel my membership is well worth it and well used. My preference is to visit this large tract of land on week days especially when the children are in school. My artificial knees told me to bring my trekking pole, as I was lining up my equipment and deciding what to bring and what to take. Knowing that I would be out for a long time my decision was to bring my vest but not my tripod or monopod. After filling my camera bag with equipment it gradually became heavy. I was pleased with it as a backpack so the weight was balanced on both shoulders. Knowing it might be a long day I added two water bottles in my bag.
I decided early, that fall day my quest would be for my favorite color. I knew that I had to get that perfect orange flower before the gardens were turned over for the winter. On this cool day, I knew it would be my last chance of the year to get just the right view of my flower. Walking in the wind, the weather became cooler, however I knew if I kept my eyes open while scanning this beautiful tract of land that special flower would pop up. This would bring the best picture of the day, possibly of the year.
I’m pretty healthy except for some orthopedic problems. I had to be very careful that my fatigue kept me steady, staying upright and making sure that the ground didn’t come up to meet me and make me fall. As I walked along in this cool weather I felt the necessity to zip up my vest. I had already walked for the same amount of time it had taken me to get there and still no orange flower.
Listening to my inner self, I knew my persistence would help me with my goal of creating a beautiful piece of art. Living alone with my cat, I was able to take as much time as needed to find my orange beauty. There were a few hours until the Arboretum would close, so after resting my knees I continued on my treasure hunt. Just like the penny hikes from childhood where the turns were random I let my inner self direct my search. With the patience I had developed throughout my life I waited for the call of my flower.
Suddenly I glimpsed a small fleck of orange. Walking up the hill I found it! There they were soft flowering orange blossoms my mouth watered thinking of the photographs I could create in this beautiful garden. As I walked along I touched my camera and brought it to my eye and started to figure out what was the best angle to photograph from. Intoxicated by the smells of the flowers it was difficult to do anything other than view the close-ups through my lens. Within what felt like seconds I had chronicled more than fifty observations in my camera.
Realizing that I was probably a good half hour from my car I knew I needed to start going towards the parking lot. The long walk had made me very weary and fatigued. I knew I had to head out before the main building closed. I started my slow walk back at a leisurely pace so my aching knees would not prevent me from arriving at my car. Trying not to think about them I ambled down the pathway through one garden to the next.
Finally, I saw a glimpse of the parking lot and a feeling of relief washed over me. The building was still open when I arrived at my car. Although anxious to view my photographs on the computer, I knew it was imperative to rest before heading home. Slowly pulling out of the parking lot about fifteen minutes later, I knew I’d be back again. Nearly an hour later I was arriving home, saying hello to my cat and pulling out my computer to inspect my photographs.
It was now time to scrutinize what was on my camera card. As I inspected the photographs I had taken, my heart was in my throat. Would I have a winner? Not knowing much about editing, I knew what I had photographed had to provide me with another beautiful flower. Suddenly it was there on my computer screen. Relief rushed over me, orange abounded on my screen, and there were many entries to be saved. It was time to put my computer away after the elimination of several of the photos. Feeling it had been a successful adventure it was time to relax, eat, and enjoy a peaceful evening.
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