Finding a view

A couple of months ago, the editors at MinnPost asked me if I’d be interested in doing a weekly blog for them. They suggested a photo-based format that would feature a variety of subjects from week to week — events, places, people — anything that I find visually interesting. I thought about it . . . for about a second . . . and then jumped at the chance. It was a generous offer and an amazing opportunity to let me give myself a weekly photo assignment and have a forum for sharing it.

This week I posted my fifth “View Finder” piece, a group of pictures about the section of the Mississippi River that flows between Minneapolis and St. Paul south of St. Anthony Falls. The fall colors had peaked and were beginning to fade.

Here are my first 5 View Finder posts. Just click the blue link to go to the MinnPost page.

Monarch Butterfly Festival at Lake Nokomis
September 15, 2011

My love affair with Keller Golf Course
September 22, 2011

Revisiting Highway 61
September 29. 2011

Twin Cities Marathon
October 7, 2011

Exploring the Mississippi River Gorge
October 13, 2011

We’ll always have October

I remember Harley, my father-in-law, when he was my age, saying, “I’m only middle-aged if I’m going to live to 115”. People my age — born in the ’50s — have to face the fact that we’re in the October of life — at best. But this is not entirely a bad thing, as October is a beautiful month.

The Twin Cities Marathon (Oct. 3) started on a sunny, 39 degree morning that was perfect for a 4+ hour run. The 2nd mile takes runners past the Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis (photo by Steve Date)

This year, we had 5 October weekends and in my part of the country, they were all spectacular. As part of my “Photo of the Day” project — now 7 months and counting — I made it a point to get outside on weekends and shoot some of the things I noticed. I’ve posted a lot of these photos to Flickr in a collection called “October Weekends“.

A biker heads toward the late afternoon sun on Minnehaha Parkway (photo by Steve Date)

But even on the nicest of October days, the mornings are cool, the shadows are long and the days are getting short. In Minnesota, we know winter is going to hit us soon, so on those bright, colorful days we need to get out there and take it all in.

You don't have to go far to find something nice to look at. (photo by Steve Date)

Time for a last round of golf or two before winter hits. Roger Buoen contemplates his approach shot on the 18th Green at Keller Golf Course in St. Paul (photo by Steve Date)

When I was thinking about being in the “October of life”, I started going to various websites to find out what my life expectancy actually was. I figured I could put a percentage-of-lifespan number on my life and then calculate where on the calendar of life I am. After becoming completely confused by the myriad of different numbers out there of how long people tend to live these days, I came to the realization that it’s not about that at all. Plus, it was a heck of a lot of research to do just to develop a metaphor.

The truth is, October can be a beautiful time. It can also be cold and miserable. I got out and enjoyed the beauty while it lasted. And now that October has passed and I’m tempted to complain about the passing of summer and fall, I only need to remind myself that I’m not guaranteed November or December.

Frost on Halloween morning (photo by Steve Date)

If you’d like to see more of my October Weekends photos, go to my Flickr page here.