It may be bright and sunny here but don’t let those sunbeams fool you – it’s a mere 15 degrees today! We had plans to head out of town on a little day trip yesterday with some friends but seeing as it was one of the coldest days we’ve had this winter, we decided to hit up the Bell Museum of Natural History on the University of MN’s campus.
The Bell Museum was established in 1872 to preserve and display the state of Minnesota’s animal and plant life for teaching and research. I found this fascinating as many of the diorama’s that displayed the state’s bird and mammal species were completed in years like 1922. (That’s old!)
Check out the picture below showing the museum in the olden days… and now.
Quite impressive if you ask me… that the museum has been preserved and seen as important all these years!
As we toured the museum and looked at all the birds & animals, one thought continually struck me about the birds: the detail of each bird’s feathers drew me in. Whether different shades of browns and white or all out colorful! God is pretty creative! From owls, to crows, a HUGE bald eagle, to pheasants and ducks! All are so very uniquely colored.
We didn’t choose this museum necessarily to look into diorama’s of MN’s animal population but we chose it because of an exhibit that is there now.
Jim Brandenburg’s Chased by the Light
Mr. Brandenburg is a MN native and spent his career around the world as a National Geographic photographer. In the 90s, he chose to take a 90-day journey into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (MN) to capture a single photo for each day, hoping to capture a renewed vision of the natural world.
For these 90 days, he would take only ONE photo, with film. No re-do’s, no preview to see if it was good enough, just one shot. He walked for hours each day, all day in search of the perfect frame, in search of his renewed passion for nature.
The exhibit and his photos were profound. Each marked by a date, the time it was taken and his signature. Besides the magnificence of the photos themselves, the natural wood frames and thick matting left the viewer with an innate sense of the purity of nature.
In a day of complexity, digital photography that allows you to take endless shots in hopes of capturing the perfect one, this photographer set out to capture nature in it’s untouched, natural setting. Spending hours looking through his view finder, he has to make choices each time as to whether that little window view was worthy of a single day’s photo. I was awestruck as we went through the gallery and came away myself with a renewed love for the natural environment that God created. The multitude of colors, the intricate patterns, the delicate details of how rain drops rest on leaves or how the dense fog rises just above the lakes. I’m amazed at his ability to capture the photos that within seconds would change. And he wouldn’t know how any of the photos would print until he was back home.
If you’re in the area anytime before May, I urge you to go check out this exhibit! And if not, check out Brandenburg’s book Chased by the Light at your local library.
The photos are exquisite. The journey, compelling.
Look around you today – at the colors of the season,
the details and sheer beauty of the world God created.