By Ted Grussing
… very thankful that a mere 9,000 years ago the planet got serious about warming up and thawing some glaciers; the view in this photo is from the top of the bluffs overlooking the Minnesota River Valley, south and west of Minneapolis. Nine thousand and some odd years ago the glaciers that covered this entire area began to melt and the water runoff was enormous … there was so much water that the water from the melting of the ice formed a huge lake, Lake Agassiz and enormous river, the River Warren which drained the area flowing to the Gulf of Mexico and around 8700 BC it had melted enough that another huge outlet also drained all the way to the east coast emptying into the Atlantic Ocean; after about 500 years the ice advanced again and cut off the flow to the east coast.
It is hard to imagine what living conditions must have been like for the few human beings who inhabited the area … eventually the glaciers retreated, the big melt slowed down and the waterways that remain are a slight ghost of what once was here. Latest prediction by the NYT in 2008 was that NYC would be under water by 2015 … as usual, still waiting … there was a time, not so long ago though that I think it really was under water and darn near everything else. Thank heavens for climate change, otherwise where would we be? It is helpful to look at time frames that actually mean something … thousands of years is pretty good. Can you even begin to imagine what this flow of water was like? And it is so close to now!
I love this area and my Dad leased the hunting rights for about 1,000’ of shoreline near the top of this lake, and all the land and the lake above this main lake down in the bottoms including about a mile of a creek, two potholes, slough and great farming land with crops where we got pheasants; leases for hunting were not terribly expensive in those days and what a treat for us kids and our friends. Among the highlights of my high school years were the fall days when conditions were good and some friends and I would cut school and head down to the river bottoms for some serious duck hunting. Then there was Mr. Janes, the school disciplinarian, a reminder to conform to accepted and expected norms … I had problems with that. Glad he was there though and we could use more of that.
I’ve really had a great time back here the last few days, visited friends and family I have not seen in a while, some Macalester classmates I have not met before, and about 25% of our graduating class from high school showed up for the reunion. Mostly I was surprised at how many of them I recognized and that anyone really remembered me as I was not exactly active in many of the school activities. I was still years away from taking anything school related seriously and was heavily engaged in other things that were of interest to me. I excelled in science, and think Shakespeare saw me floundering … did I really take a class in that? Not a clue, but if I did, it probably did not bode well for the report card … how could that compete with a good day in the bottoms or a day on the ski slopes or an evening with friends?
Mercifully, my daughters and granddaughters found a reason to apply themselves to their studies at an early age … but I would never have traded those beautiful days, months and years pursuing nonacademic activities for an earlier pursuit of the intellectual. It simply was not me and my parents still loved me and there was time for study later :+)
I hope the photo looks okay; didn’t really do much to it, but working on photos on a laptop is challenging to say the least; an older ThinkPad with an LCD screen that has huge variations depending on the viewing angle is even more so. I took the shot from the top of the bluffs whilst doing a two hour hike in the Richard Anderson Conservation area a few miles below Flying Cloud Airport. These are real forests!
Plan to stay in touch with many of my classmates with whom I have reconnected both from Washburn and Macalester and a huge thank you to all of them that put in the work to make this event happen. It was fun. I have also re-fallen in love with the beautiful green forests, lakes and storms … although I would never move back here I can see spending more time in short term rentals here especially during my favorite time of year … fall! We’ll see, but what a fun few days this has been.
Catch a plane back to Phoenix in the morning and the shuttle back to Sedona … looking forward to being home and also with One … just saw her walking by a camera a few minutes ago :+)
Enjoy your life … do it your way and share your joy and a few smiles with all whom you meet … you can help change the world that easily.
Hold high your head and be an honest man.
May kindness guide your daily steps, and in each deed and thought
Let Christ’s sweet soul always reflect itself
And love your fellow men as I love you.
— Max Ehrmann
“Breaking Home Ties”
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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