September’s End

septembersI had a great opportunity to take some photos of the area around East Park early yesterday morning. The temperature was pleasant and since it was an early Sunday morning, there were very few people out and about. There was just a smattering of walkers and runners and but a few automobiles in motion, but besides that, there was simply the quiet orchestra of nature playing an opus likely named, The Still Waters of the Winnebago. Indeed it was a rare occasion to find the river and park so beautiful and I wish I could have captured more photos but the light was beginning to change.

I’ve mentioned this before about how many residents of Mason City have not taken the time to explore the natural beauty that lives in our park system. I am also somewhat to be blamed for not making more time to visit our natural attractions. There is something very soothing about being a single spectator to the ever-changing light, river mists, and shadows being cast.

If only we all could step back several hundred years before the white settlers arrived in the area and see the camping indians perched on the bluffs around the confluence of Willow Creek and Winnebago River. You’d likely see more native oaks and a bit more of a wetland area on the south side of the Winnebago. Can you imagine the sights, sounds and smells of those times? Perhaps you’d hear indian children playing at the riverbanks and smoldering campfires from the previous night as well as the sounds of the numerous bird and animals calls coming from the thicker timber. The indians understood the inter-connectedness of all living things and respected nature as it was part of them.

Allowing one’s mind to wander back beyond the mists of the past helps us to remember that we must consider ourselves stewards of our land so that generations after us will have the same opportunity to have their communion with nature on an early Sunday morning at September’s end.

Joe Chodur

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