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Two Weeks of Solitude Create a Significant Shift in Perspective

While spending two full weeks at a remote cabin along the Vermilion River, I took only my camera for entertainment.

Two Weeks of Solitude Create a Significant Shift in Perspective | by Sherri Tilley

© Posted 9/10/21 | Photos by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Orr, MN

Only a few days had gone by after arriving at Gold Mine Camp before I realized that I had already developed a fairly predictable routine. Almost every day, I woke up, fed my dogs, and made a big family-style breakfast including fresh scrambled eggs, hickory bacon, and buttered pancakes drenched in thick maple syrup. After everyone else left for the day, I leisurely walked both dogs along the edge of the Vermilion River letting them explore all the new sights and smells and sounds. When they had exhausted their morning energy and were ready for canine naps in their cozy beds on the warm sunlit floor, I then headed out alone to survey the campground and take morning photographs in the soft glow of the still-rising sun. When the sun became bright overhead and I felt satisfied with my picture-taking experience, I walked back to the cabin and rested a bit before taking a shower and making myself presentable for the day. After a few little housekeeping chores like making the beds, sweeping the porch, and washing up a few dishes, I generally ate lunch and headed back out for an afternoon walk down to the boat dock where I'd sit on the wooden bench for extended periods of time simply looking at the picturesque scenery, watching various birds fly by, or engaging in the occasional chit-chat visit with other guests at the camp.


Late afternoons usually consisted of drinking a cup of hot tea while reading my camera manual since my one goal was to hone my photography skills and thereby work toward perfecting my craft. The ensuing early evenings always included another trip down to the boat dock to eagerly watch each beautiful sun set which was a gloriously unique experience every single time. At dusk as the sky turned dark, I'd typically return to the quiet cabin and sit in a chair by the screen door as I watched a visiting little mouse who playfully kept me amused nightly as I kept a vigilant eye of the gravel road and waited for the others to return in time for a late dinner. Day after day, this routine became the norm … and after two straight weeks, I was forever ridded of the idea that life is too busy to just stop and look around. I mean, I surely wouldn't have wanted to miss any of this:


Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Like watercolors.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Fall foliage.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Monarch butterfly.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Evening sunglow.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Pilosella aurantiaca.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Great outdoors.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Pine scented.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Sight seeing.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
This guy.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Red berries.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Cloud reflection.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Rock formations.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Busy bee.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Flying V.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Complementary colors.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Wet grassblades.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Bear country.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Quiet afternoon.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Catching pike.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Stashing food.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Roadside attraction.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Morning fog.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Yellow tansy.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Avian aerodynamics.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Rain drops.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Dark woods.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Cedar Waxwings.
Photo by Sherri Tilley | Vermilion River | Minnesota
Piéce de résistance. True story:

God: Let's spend some time together on the dock.
Me: Yeah, sure, absolutely. Buuut, let me just take a quick snapshot first. Wait, just one more. Oh, another. Aaah, I can't stop if you keep improving it!
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