f14, ISO100, 1/10s, 17mm on a Canon 60D

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Minnesotans seem to take their natural landscapes very seriously. By that I mean preservation of the natural grasses (what I typically call weeds) that used to dominate the mostly prairie landscape here is very important. Within state, regional and local parks, you’ll find areas where the natural grasses are allowed to be as they once were, natural. No mowing or trimming, just free growth as it would have been before anyone settled here.

Personally, I understand the want/need to do that, but don’t find myself getting too attached to it – makes no real difference to me. But, I must say, the more I see of these natural areas, the more I think about how it must have looked back in the Lewis and Clark days, when Native Americans were the only humans to have placed their feet here and had no intention of changing its appearance to suit them. Particularly in the summertime, it must have been a beautiful site.

This particular image was taken this past weekend at Spring Lake Park in Hastings, MN, otherwise known as Schaar’s Bluff as it overlooks the Mississippi River Valley immediately behind the camera. This is one of those spots that likely took the breath away from the person who first seen the valley from atop the bluff. I say that but have no idea what it REALLY looked like – how many trees have been cleared and such. I’d be willing to bet that this hillside was pretty much the same though, with the natural grasses blowing in the wind. Still a pretty site I’m sure!

Just for reference, I’ve included a shot of the valley below – one I shared on Facebook earlier in the week.

Laugh more!

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  • Nice photo Jim. I often wonder what the places we visit were like 200 years ago.

  • Man, we just got rid of all our snow and now we have more arriving today. I am so ready for spring!

  • I too wonder what things must have looked like before we paved everything and put up millions of buildings. Gorgeous images here.