This day I had a reservation at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen, MN, a forty-five minute drive. Although I planned on just wandering along the paths, I decided like always to bring my photography equipment. Pulling out my camera backpack, I started loading my camera gear into the pockets. This day leaving my monopod in my apartment but taking my foldable trekking pole for any stability problems that might arise. Excited to be among the flowers I didn’t realize how heavy I had made my bag, especially with a couple of water bottles. Although my goal was hiking, the feeling that my camera would not stay in my bag was flowing through my senses.
My goal on this cool day was to walk at least a half hour into the gardens then take a different trail back. I couldn’t ignore the flowers along my way so out came the camera and the walk continued. Along the travel from my car to my end point over a hundred photographs appeared in my camera. Meandering along the trails I would stop, admire the flowers, and then at times capture their beauty to take home with me in my camera. Finally, I decided to make a beautiful piece of art using all that goes into it. The light was changing, so I was able to get different angles and lighting. Some of my photographs were taken from a standing position, others from crouching, from the stroll my body was loose and warm. I knew I would be able to get back up.
Later the effects of the exercise started to affect my body. This occurred at around the two hundredth photograph, taking several flowers from different angles and light changes. My knees decided to tell me that they were artificial and that I was a senior. I’m just starting to learn Lightroom so I doubted there would be much editing. For this reason I wanted each flower to be a great subject in my camera.
Early in my life I learned things are not handed to you and persistence was necessary for me. In college this was necessary to get my degree along with patience with myself. During the 1970’s I decided I wanted to learn photography, therefore I bought an SLR camera and taught myself to be a photographer, eventually becoming a successful portrait photographer. It was not until my seventies that I took my first lesson using my computer.
I was very relaxed since I had not planned this to be a photographic adventure. Planning a slow, contemplative stoll through the Arboretum I had no tension in my body. Walking alone through this beautiful territory I was able to stop and smell the flowers, whenever it tickled my inner self. I had gotten a membership to the Landscape Arboretum so I could see and explore this immense area of land almost any time it was open. My imagination could almost taste these gorgeous beauties melting in my mouth feeling their smoothness.
Since this was a walking tour I was glad I had my trekking pole to keep me in an upright position . At times when I bent low to photograph an attractive flower I felt the ground was rising up to meet me and I would fall. I was very unsteady on my feet and wondered if I could make it to my car.
Slowly I meandered toward my car. Every time I saw a bench I debated sitting on it but wondered if my strained body would be able to stand again. Instead of sitting I leaned against trees and walls so I knew I would not have to worry about rising from the benches. As I approached my car I knew I had over extended my limits. Telling myself I wouldn’t do this again, but deep inside I knew that would be a difficult task.
Luckily the approaching rush hour was just starting and I knew I would be home within an hour. Although I was tired I was alert but anxious to see the results of my day. Had I obtained that special photograph? Wanting to load my photographs onto my computer as possible, I knew I had to drive safely and not continue to be mesmerized by my adventure. Driving slowly I arrived safely home.
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