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  • Sheri Minardi

Photography - Mother Nature's Therapy

It has been a tumultuous last few years. It has had many highs and many lows all at the same time. If it wasn't for photography, I don't know how I would have coped.


I am very fortunate to have a very loving family and a very supportive husband in my life. I wake up every morning grateful. Although very grateful, I needed an outlet as I was in one of the toughest stages of my life, loosing my mother and father three years apart.





As a family, we were taking care of our father who had a heart attack. Dad had open heart surgery and on his one year check up, discovered he had cancer. At the same time, Mom seamed very tired and we chalked it up to the extreme stress of worrying about Dad. Within a few months Mom was hospitalized and to our dismay, Mom was suffering from Dementia and lung cancer. Within ten months, Mom passed away. Shocked and dismayed, we wondered what just happened? Dad fought hard and was an absolute trooper fighting cancer for an additional year and a half past what the doctors had told him would be his life expectancy. We were grateful for the extra time. Dad passed away almost three years and four months after Mom. Mom was only 72 and Dad was only 78. Too young and gone too soon.


So I sit here today typing away to get to the topic of this blog. Photography was and continues to be my therapy. Life throws a lot of curve balls your way and people deal with these situations in various ways both positively and negatively. I am not a smoker or drinker and I needed an outlet. Photography was and still is my outlet of choice.


Heading out either early mornings or later evenings, photography gear in hand, driving or hiking sometimes with purpose to find the next amazing sunrise or sunset or driving the country backroads scouting for the next wildlife encounter saved me. When I am out in nature, I find the pressures of the world seem to disappear for a treasured time rejuvenating my spirit. The crisp fresh air on my face, the "smellavision" of the forests, the sweet sound of babbling brooks and the thunderous flow of river rapids ignite my inner soul. I don't really care if I see that next great shot I call my money shot. Just being present with the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the current season is my reward. I thank Mom and Dad for those blessings as they had me and my brothers hunting and fishing our whole lives from the moment we were born.


My brothers and I spent our whole childhood roaming the rivers and backroads of Garden Lake and the Ranger Lake area hunting and fishing. We were taught to bait our hooks; how to hook that fish and yes, filet that fish as well. We were taught how to track that moose, how to look deep into the forest to spot the dark shape that didn't belong in the trees or on the ground as we gazed tirelessly out the glass window of our old green and yellow van for hours on end to hunt our next delicious dinner. I thank Mom and Dad for training us for a true appreciation of nature and the keen eye we have today for our hunting, fishing and photography adventures.


Although being in nature is a reward in itself, one can't deny that when you get that money shot, it is truly "icing on the cake". The adrenalin rush and excitement of spending cherished time with that owl, hawk, bear, moose, sunset, sunrise or aurora borealis is euphoric. I get giddy and it fills my soul with gratefulness. For a moment it time, the world is perfect. There is no more pain or suffering. My body relaxes, my heart beats fast and the smile on my face is from ear to ear. You can't by that in a therapy session!


Well, the sun is coming up, I am grabbing my gear and heading out. Mother Nature is waiting for my next conquest. She never disappoints. She feeds my soul and rejuvenates my mind for life's next challenge. I don't know what I will find today but it doesn't matter. I love where I live.








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