In Minnesota we say we are lake people. The rivers , though less talked about, shape us too. In 2009 my husband and I purchased our dream home in the town of Belle Plaine. It’s not fancy, or large, it’s old and sometimes drafty when it snows. Being close to the Minnesota river made it our dream. There’s a richness in the air living on the side of the valley next to the river. Less than a mile away you drive down to the boat launch hidden under the highway bridge and you enter another world. It’s my favorite location to take my clients for outdoor portraits. The light there is magic. The landscape is ever changing with the rise and fall of the waters. The silent woods at the end of November are like a forest out of a Tolkien novel. One day when our first snow of the year melted away I went down into the valley and was reminded of of all that magic.