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Prairie Ramblings Episode
Fri March 1, 2013
When Nature Calls, Don't Answer
Despite a flu shot and obsessive hand washing to avoid this season’s germ, it found me. If folks tell you it’s bad, believe them. If they add it lasts forever, it’s true. After a week and a half indoors, struggling to overcome primary and secondary symptoms, cabin fever set in. Climbing the walls had new meaning. I needed a dose of outdoor therapy to help me battle sniffles, coughs, and headaches left in the wake of this super virus.
Feeling sorry for me, my husband let me tag along on one of his expeditions. I think he was tired of listening to me whine and hoped sunshine and walking across open prairie or along a stream would distract me even if it didn’t cure me.
On a mission to improve my attitude, he drove along the North Solomon so I could photograph that morning’s beautiful hoarfrost before it disappeared. A heavy fog and freezing temperatures had combined to turn the landscape into a winter wonderland that looked like Christmas in a designer’s showcase.
Following this adventure, he intended to take me home, but I’d had enough of that place and insisted on continuing with his journey, however long it lasted. Sunshine channeled through the truck windows and warmed me, making me feel better than I had for days. Even better, he was going somewhere I had yet to visit.
Once we got to the location where he was going to do some work, the dogs and I hopped out to hike. This particular site has a number of huge trees, standing and lying on the ground. I enjoyed the challenge of seeing what kinds of photos I could get with Ol’ Sol directly overhead.
An aged farmstead distracted me and the puppies so we wandered down another trail to see what treasures we could capture with the Nikon. Rusty hinges and windmill gears occupied me for some time. Then I wanted to see what my lens would do with shadows inside a fallen barn and an old shed.
About that time I noted a meandering stream full of cottonwood leaves that begged to be saved as images on an SD card. Snow still lay on the ground, which reminded me it was frigid despite the sun beaming on top of my head. The cold and the running water prompted me to recall the extra coffee I’d sipped that morning and how long we’d been away from home.
I grew up as an outdoors kid so finding relief in nature is not an issue. However, there was a road not far away, and I didn’t know how well-traveled it was. I dismissed my discomfort, but every bush from then on screamed my name.
It took all my willpower to ignore my insistent bladder while I marched back to the truck where my spouse was storing supplies. “Hey, is there a good place to answer nature’s call?” I asked.
He scanned the area and grinned an ornery grin. “Sure, just look for trail cams.”
Holy cow! I hadn’t thought about game cameras. Suddenly my fortitude strengthened so I could make it home. Four walls and cabin fever didn’t seem nearly so bad when nature was hollering.