Rain, rain, go away…

Yuk. Sorry Mother Nature, and flowers and plants and trees, but I hate it when it rains.

I know, I know. We need rain. Rain is good. But I can’t take my camera out in the rain and I’m itching to get out around Winona. This is the time of year when the forest floor starts to green up with all sorts of beautiful little flowers, when the goat prairie on Garvin Heights begins to wake from winter, when baby ducks by the dozen are paddling furiously behind mom all over Lake Park…. Aaaagghhhh – I need to take some PICTURES!

I probably have 10,000 pictures of Winona and the bluffs and valleys around it in my archives, so one could argue that maybe I have enough already. But here’s the thing: Winona is so rich with beautiful and interesting things that there is no such thing. I could literally spend all day, every day, walking around shooting the flora and fauna that the Mississippi River and bluffs provide. Unlike some of the places I’ve visited, Winona has an unprecedented amount of access to its natural beauty – it’s all there for the looking within five minutes of my house.

Prairie Island Road, a little arm that stretches out from the city along the river, is one of my favorites. Across the backwaters I can shoot amazing photographs as the sun sinks behind the bluffs, and almost right next to the road I can photograph blue herons and egrets so close I could hit them with a rock (which I would never do, because that would be wrong, wrong, wrong and my karma would be ruined forever). I especially love Prairie Island Road when a mist hangs over the river in the morning – it all takes on an ethereal feel as you watch ducks float silently by and the only sound is an occasional fish splashing somewhere. And I’ll be heading out to the Lefty Hymes Deer Park on Prairie Island Road soon to see where does have hidden their new fawns in the grass, and I love to sit at Prairie Island Park and watch eagles compete with fishermen for a fresh catch from the rolling water of the dam… sigh. It’s beautiful.

Usually I only post a picture or two with my blog posts, but today I’m going to post more. AND – I’m going to give one of them away. I was visiting with Jade at Jade’s Community Acupuncture (another aaaaawesome thing in Winona) last week and telling her I felt lonely because I know people are reading the blog but not commenting. She, or maybe it was her front desk helper, said maybe I need to give something away to draw people out of their shells. I love this idea.

So here is how it’s going to work. You post and tell me something you like about Winona. If you’ve never been here, tell me something you would love to see. Next Wednesday I’ll take each of those posts and drop them in a hat. Whoever I pull out can pick an 8×10 of whichever picture they like. I’ll post the user name of the winner, then you’re going to have to contact me so I can hook you up. Sound fun? Let’s see how it goes. I’m excited. Almost as excited as I am for the forecast of 70 and sunny Saturday!

7 thoughts on “Rain, rain, go away…

  1. Carol Sheffer says:

    I love WSU. I graduated from there in 1959 (the dark ages), and has the campus ever changed since then. Now they have indigenous trees from all over MN and lots of flowers and even running water features on the grounds. They have a wonderful library and fantastic new science building and the same friendly spirit the faculty and staff had way back when.

  2. Ella Moyes says:

    Oh my goodness! We just were in Winona last week. We now make it a place to visit,at least once a year. We’d like to more often. This trip we got to drive around the streets and look at the wonderful buildings and churches. We always go to Watkins…just love it there..we stayed for a few days (in Winona,not Watkins..haha). One very helpful place is the welcome center,across from the “lookout”..we have had so much help there and every time the person working is so extra nice and really knows the area…and all about the places “up the road”. Oh yes, I noticed there are so many walking trails..everywhere…Winona is WONDERFUL!!! My husband love the old train station and the trains….ok,I’ll save some for next time…oh ..also, the blogs ARE very helpful and I DO read them…shame on me for not commenting…I will try from now on…

  3. Lori Gordon says:

    Your flora & fauna photos are stunning! However, I really like looking at all the Victorian architecture around town, especially those places that have been restored.

  4. amy burke says:

    I love all the fun neighborhood bars…a great place to meet all the interesting people of Winona 🙂

  5. Sandi Burt Hall says:

    I just started reading your blog & find it fascinating. First of all your photos are absolutely stunning. My husband & I are both originally from Winona but have lived in N. Illinois for 40 yrs. & we still say we are from Winona first & now live in … I guess you could say we are just very proud of growing up in such a beautiful place & want people to know. You also have told about a few bars that my husband who knows bars, was surprised to hear about. Now when we come up to Winona, we will have new places to visit. Thanks.

  6. Cynthya says:

    LOL Sandi – more neighborhood bars coming, I made it a mission to visit every single one and I *think* I accomplished it. Thanks so much for your post and your nice comment about my photos – this really is a beautiful place, isn’t it?

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