During a recent stay at Shekinah Retreat Centre I made it my mission to witness at least one sunrise. August 15th I beat my alarm by a few minutes, quickly dressed in comfortable clothes and applied a liberal amount of insect repellant.
My camera was ready. The bag housed additional lenses. My tripod was leaning against he wall near the door. Immediately outside the Timberlodge I crossed the gravel road, kicking up dust and loose rocks while following the path to the meadow.
A small foot bridge led across the narrow creek. Only a few weeks earlier the surrounding area and bridge were impassable as the gently trickling creek had been transformed into a destructive river. The landscape was tranquil this morning. The air was laden with humidity, and the distant mist shrouded the landscape mysteriously. It seemed to muffle the sounds of birds animals.
A view of the flood plain while crossing the foot bridge revealed gravel that was deposited when the creek meandered outside of its bed.
Spotting a pool of standing water confirmed my suspicion of plentiful breeding grounds for mosquitoes this summer. I was thankful for the insect repellant I applied before leaving my room. Mosquitoes were curiously buzzing around my face but didn’t like my scent…
And just before I turned my full attention to the meadow I discovered a sure sign that autumn would soon arrive. Ripe berries added to nature’s complementary color scheme. Soon the foliage will turn color as well and made the fruit readily available to the local birds.
My breath stopped for a few seconds as I stepped into the meadow. Diffused light enveloped the distant woods and hills. I felt as if I had entered a 19th century painting and the urge never to move on took hold. The click of the camera startled a bush bunny which hurried from the open field to find shelter in the underbrush bordering the meadow.
A close up of a compromised round bale showed evidence of new growth. Grass blades swayed back and forth in the gentle breeze.
The eastern hill was soon fully illuminated by the rising sun. I felt fortunate that I had timed my visit to the meadow well. With the rising sun the mist disappeared quickly and the landscape was saturated in bright color.
In search of a resident Blue Heron I made my way through the heavy forest and discovered an overgrown pond, the shore lined with Aspen trees.
A close up of the shore revealed intense colors and a variety of textures. The sun, now well above the horizon, illuminated the sky to the point where the blue appeared nearly white in the photograph.
Time to return to the Timberlodge to reconnect with my group, enjoy a hearty breakfast and carry on with the day. The evening brought a cloudless sky and another opportunity to capture star trails.
Shekinah Retreat Centre is far removed from any form of light pollution. It is the perfect place to capture the night sky mere steps away from the lodge. This is the time I treasured most, all was quiet, no distraction; the best way to converse with nature.
I hope you enjoyed my short recap of spending time in a remote area of Saskatchewan. Moments like these are rare and need to be treasured!