The fall colors almost didn't come this year. We had a very dry last half of the summer and for a while it appeared as though the trees were simply going to shed their leaves without the glorious change of color that we have grown most accustomed to. But at the last moment the leaves changed overnight and we had about a week of fiery orange color. From year to year the autumn colors are never the same--it really depends on the growing season and how much energy the trees were able to store during the long summer months.
This is the view that my car sees all day long as it is parked behind my office. You can see the gazebo to the left side of the photo--it was built by the Archer House Hotel as an amenity for its guests, but is also used by locals as a picnic sport. The bridge crossing the Cannon River in the center of the photo is for pedestrian use only. If you cross from west to east you will find yourself on the doorstep of my favorite watering hole--The Contented Cow.
This tree anchors the quaint bucolic setting of Central Park on the east side of town. Some years ago the city fathers wanted to bulldoze Central Park and add unsightly construction and pavement. The citizens from the neighborhood rose together to fight against the idea and Northfield is left with a pretty green spot which is lovingly tended to by the local garden club.
This is the building in which I toil day in and day out without glory, fame, wealth or appreciation : )
I have drawn an arrow showing my window. I look northerly over Highway 3 as it leaves town. Most of my view is dominated by a portion of the Carleton College campus.
Minnesota is, of course, the land of 10,000 lakes and we have a few in my neck of the woods. One day I was out at Union Lake and I was treated to the sight of three blue herons taking off in succession. It was pretty cool.
The beautiful Japanese Garden at Carleton was built in 1976-8, after my time there. I had missed it during a reunion, but this visit I made sure to stop by, as it was my professor of religion who inspired its construction.
Here you can see the curving arches of 'Twigonometry' spreading its arches and secret nooks over one end of the campus main 'square' known as 'The Bald Spot'.
In my day the Bald Spot was used for campus-wide functions. In the winter it was flooded to form a large ice skating area, half of which was for the hockey team. I made my debut as a performing skater [ha!] in the Winter Carnival production of 'All-ice in Wonderland' my senior year. No contracts were offered:)
One winter's day I was driving across the bridge spanning the Cannon River and I saw all these geese hunkering down. I pulled over and took the photo. We usually have a few dozen ducks and geese milling about town, but in this case it was hundreds.
The campus has several "sited" artworks. This one, which you can walk through, is called "Twigonometry" and was created by Patrick Dougherty in 2002 with lots of help from Carleton volunteers.
Cute little church that fits nicely into the neighborhood. Just a couple blocks down the street from where I live.
Another of the works of art sited on the Carleton campus is Earthwork, installed by Ed Zelenak in 1973 on the edge of the Bald Spot.
The Japanese Garden at Carleton College is a traditional "dry" garden where stones replace water. There is always a "master rock" which tells the maker where to site the other rocks.