In Closing

Mine wasn’t an easy year. Especially the last few months. A second of year of forced Covid complications. Having what I considered a strong and beautiful engagement unexpectedly end. Not being able to fly for a gathering of sons in Norway due to costs and Covid.

Yet, there were many moments to cherish. A fine and safe trip to the West Coast with friends, to visit friends and see some incredible sights and to Nebraska for the annual Crane migration. A few trips to state parks on camping adventures. Meeting up with long “lost” friend Michael Muir in Wisconsin in August to tour the Aldo Leopold cabin and farm, as well as the International Crane Foundation. Some great musical moments including my first Willie Nelson concert.

There was also the art. Exhibits of the Haunted by Waters at Java River, and placements in the juried Horizontal Grandeur exhibit. Then the unexpected invitation to display canvases at Stones Throw Restaurant in Morris. Once again we were able to have the summer Big Stone Lake Arts Crawl in June, and the Meander the first weekend of October.

As much fun as the exhibits and shows can be, just being in the field gathering images is almost a daily joy. Before my fiancee left at the end of August we spent many evenings driving around the prairie or at her lake cabin on field trips. Those were wonderful moments I’ll always cherish.

So in accordance to tradition left over from my newspaper days where we photojournalists were asked to select our favorite image of the year, I’ve done the same again this past week with the liberty of being the sole soul of Listening Stones Farm art gallery. It is a time of both reflection and review. For my exercise I began with over 80 images out of hundreds before whittling it down to these … 12 with a bonus of two for special circumstances:

From our trip to Nebraska for the Sandhill Crane migration as hundreds of the birds descend upon the prairie …

This was from the Summer Solstice of a nearby wetland and intriguing clouds …
I stopped for because of the light and simplicity of a deadfall in the Minnesota River, only to have a swallow dip down for a gulp of water …
A fitting sunset a few days after the end of our engagement …
A reflection image from the International Crane Foundation, and now part of my Haunted with Waters exhibit …
A lone tree at dusk on our family’s farm in Missouri in the fence line of a switchgrass prairie …
Cormorants at rest on the stump pilings at the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge …
An afterglow through a shapely tree at Big Stone Lake State Park …
Sumac texture in a layerinig landscape …
Sunset over the split rock on the Odessa prairie …
No, it wasn’t the Winter Solstice but close enough … the moon a day or so before highlights a crescent of wintery leaves in my backyard …
Taken on one of the most difficult days of my life, and symbolic portrayal of a bond of a shared relationship …

And, my bonus images …

Dawn on a hill on 25 Mile Creek above Lake Chelan where a wildfire came through two years ago, and less than a week later another wildfire on the creek destroyed the house where we gathered as a group …
Not often are we blessed with Northern Lights, and I had camera issues earlier in my quest when the lights were dancing. This was the first image once I had reconfigured my settings and focus, when a falling star blazed through.

Thank you, and have a great New Year, one of peace and goodwill!

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About John G. White

Somewhat retired after a long award-winning career in newspapers (Wisconsin State Journal, Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Denver Post and a country weekly, the Clara City Herald). Free lance photographer and writer with credits in more than 70 magazines. Editor with various Webb Publishing magazines in St. Paul, and a five year stint as editorial director at Miller Meester Advertising.

4 thoughts on “In Closing

  1. I so look forward to seeing your Haunted with Waters exhibit, John. All of these images are superb, but that one is exemplary – so divine and beautiful.

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