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More of Minot, The Scandinavian Heritage Park

I refuse to even acknowledge how quickly time passes. Okay, so I guess that was somewhat of an acknowledgement. Let’s just say that we do not need to mention it further. This post is to continue my journey in Minot. While there, I was fortunate enough to have a decent day or two to explore the Scandinavian Heritage Park located near the middle of Minot.

I had driven by it several times before the weather permitted me to make a stop there the first time. It was in the early morning hours and I was on my way back to the hotel from work. The lights draped in the trees beckoned me to stop if only for a few minutes. I complied and as I gazed around at the snow-covered park, I vowed to make it a point to take a day to explore it further.

That day presented itself a short time later. The temps rose from the subzero mark to the high 20s and low 30s. I parked the Jeep and gathered my gear. With a long swig of the steaming Starbuck’s concoction, I opened the door to brave the frigid air, piled snow, and slippery ice.

My first stop was at the visitor’s centre, where I enjoyed the heat for a bit longer than I should have. I did pick out some unique gifts for the twins and little Steven.

I proceeded down the pathway and was greeted by none other than Hans Christian Andersen. As one of my friends pointed out, he was up to his bum in the snow for our meeting and I wondered what stories he would write about if he knew just how deep in the stuff he was. Regardless, he and the ugly duckling made me smile as I attempted not to slip and slide too much on the pathway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The windmill replica was beautiful against the blue sky even though it seemed frozen at the moment. The blades stood motionless in the cold air.

Continuing on the pathway, I noted the water was covered in snow and therefore was unable to see the babbling brook that meandered through the park. Temps just were not feasible and the babbling was non-existent on this particular sunny morn’.

In one of the pathway bends I came across Leif Eriksson, or Leif the Lucky as he was also known, with his unwavering gaze peering across the snow-clad park. If you do not know who this Viking is, read about him. His life just may interest you.

The waterfall wall, too, was frozen in time and no water fell down its face during my visit there. I could envision it, though…the water falling to fill the brook. Maybe I’ll visit it another time when it actually is flowing.

Past the waterfall, two gentlemen made my thoughts drift off to taking to the slopes and speeding down on skis. I quickly reminded myself that my skiing consisted of water and not snow…boats and not slopes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon, I was upon the beautiful church, with its intricate carvings. This church was simply stunning and although I wasn’t able to go inside, I knew what it looked like from my previous exploration of a church like it in South Dakota. You can view the video here.

No Scandinavian park is complete without the Dala Horse. The one here was colorful, even if a little cold, with icicles hanging from the belly. I simply loved how they designed the park with the pathway going underneath this creation.

After the horse encounter, I came upon a simply adorable cottage and imagined I could certainly live inside with no difficulty. Again, the intricate carvings and details left me in awe.

And then there was the Sigdal House, simple yet perfect. This too could make a special home without a problem.

The park was a perfect way to spend some time and to learn more about this culture. I definitely would go back to visit again when I’m in the area.

 

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The Farm I Didn’t Buy

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Farm in South Dakota

When on the back roads to Mirror Lakes, I passed this beautiful farmland. It reminded me of the phrase, “bought the farm”, which has a meaning far different than actually purchasing a farm. However, I did chuckle as I thought  – there’s the farm I didn’t buy; but with its rolling hills, old farm buildings, rolls and rolls of hay, horses, and mountain range for a backdrop, it is certainly one I would love to have.

The setting is beautiful and being out of town, away from the chaos, is a welcoming reprieve. The long gravel road beside this little piece of heaven seems to remind you of a quieter, more peaceful time; surely less traveled than the paved roads throughout town.

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Gravel road leading to the farmland.

The buildings! I absolutely loved the buildings. I wonder how old they are. I was tempted to drive up to the house and knock, but the gate was locked and I didn’t want to jump the fence and get locked up for trespassing, or worse…shot. The thought did cross my mind as I contemplated exploring those old buildings.

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Old farm buildings
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I wonder how old these are?
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Love the rustic look.
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A perfect setting.

The hay bales reminded me of home and my mom. She always wanted some pictures of her and bales. We need to find some when I get back home and get those pictures done for her. I will have to take away her excuses. If she had been with me on this trip, we would have taken advantage of one of these rolls! Probably the one that was on the edge of the fence, standing all alone.

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Look at all the hay! This place is huge.
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Hay bales….more and more hay bales.
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For my mom.
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The lone greeter.

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The horses were keeping a close eye on me, particularly the big one in the middle. I’m sure they were curious as to why a Floridian was way up here in the hills taken shots of their home.

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Farm guardians

I’m glad I detoured off that main road and found this farm. It was absolutely perfect and I hope the owners know how blessed they are to have such a haven.

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Is It a Home or a House?

IMG_5482Recently, I was able to photograph a family’s home, or what was their home for a few years, in Alabama. This family is in the process of moving to another state due to a job transfer. The wife told me she loved the house the minute she saw it and it was hard to leave her home. I noted how she said house in the first part of that sentence and home in the last part. As I photographed the four bedroom, 2 bath, brick house, I thought about the differences between a house and a home; or at least what I thought made the difference.

After photographing the house and surrounding property, I asked the woman what she thought made it a home instead of a house. She told me, she had felt a comfort when she walked through the door for the first time.

649WestbrookShe said a peace enveloped her as she viewed the house and once they had moved in, the feeling had progressed and became stronger. The family had made the house theirs, by personalizing it…giving some of themselves, living, loving.

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She had learned to love her husband more there. They had raised their children there. She then said that they had not just lived there, but they had LOVED there…totally and unconditionally. She gave me many more reasons why the structure I had just photographed was a home instead of a house and I listened intently to her.

IMG_5473We talked about a lot of things while I was there, but the part about the structure being a house or a home has stuck with me. Our conversation has made me think of the beach house I had at one time, of how I felt at peace there. It didn’t matter what kind of day I had, when I was there I could relax, live, and love. One day, I am going to find a home again.IMG_5477

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More From the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens

I never grow tired of visiting the Botanical Gardens in Dothan because I’m always able to see something differently there or experience some new feeling. This trip didn’t disappoint me and I have decided to share something that I wrote while taking my photographs. Hope you enjoy!

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With no where to go, I sit in the garden contemplating, thinking, planning until my mind exhausts itself and is able to relinquish the maddening thoughts to finally be still.IMG_4683

A peace flows over me as a breeze lifts stray strands of hair and the sun glides from behind the clouds; its warmth soothing me and its rays relaxing my soul.

Even on what is a cold, cloudy day, color is to be found; colors to brighten  even the most distressed spirits. With each plant, a vibrant color takes away some of the gray.IMG_4649IMG_4663IMG_4652IMG_4653IMG_4662IMG_4660

The birds’ songs join with the trickling of the flowing water, creating an almost magical sound… a lullaby;  draining the remaining chaotic thoughts from the mind.IMG_4693

Stone faces keep watch over the gardens, the playground of fairies, gnomes, and other wee beings. Silently they stand guard as the world revolves around them, their thoughts never to be known.IMG_4665IMG_4667

Pathways, some easily discerned and others not so much, lead the wanderer to wherever they choose to be. Some going downhill, some uphill, yet others curving to destinations ahead.

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These paths remind me of the ones I have taken on my life journey; some clear and easily navigated, others littered with debris and obstacles that must be overcome.IMG_4669IMG_4673

Walking along them, with the wind’s voice whispering among the trees, I realize that my journey is far from over. There’s still so much to see….so much to do…so much to share…and so much love to give.IMG_4658IMG_4651IMG_4679

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About RRB Photography

photo of Renda Brooks RRB Photography

I have experience in portrait, wedding, engagement, real estate merchandise/product, wildlife, and landscape photography. I’m passionate about great photographs, capturing moments, and think that you can never have too many photos.

If you need photographs for special events (i.e. birthdays, weddings, graduation, engagements, etc.), merchandise and/or products, property/real estate, or decor for a special room or work space then I am here to help.

At the very minimal, I provide a CD/DVD with your photographs on it within a few days of your shoot. This allows you to print the photographs of your choice at your convenience. I can also provide you with physical prints, including canvas prints, at an additional cost.

Your satisfaction is guaranteed!

Feel free to contact me by email or phone:
rendabrooksphotography@gmail.com
334-200-8437
or Hire me on Thumbtack.

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RRB Photography
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