My parents, who are in their mid-seventies, do some kind of outside activity every single day. In the winter, they cross-country ski or snowshoe, sometimes in the woods behind their house but often in any of the beautiful parks in this area. In the fall, they have a bicycle-built-for-two that they ride along the flat path that runs along the Famous Canal here in Snowstorm region. People who are at the canal walking their dogs or jogging will often stop to talk to them and ask them about the tandem bike. Up at camp in the summer, they canoe and sail and swim in the river. In any season, they like to hike, often walking trails they have walked many times. Since my father has lived here his whole life, he knows the natural areas by heart.
Now that he has a digital camera, my father has started taking the camera with him on their hikes. He will email me a photo and ask, "Can you tell where this shot was taken?" And of course, I do always know. I've lived here for almost 45 years, and I've hiked these same places many times, sometimes with my parents.
When I look at the photo below, I recognize the landscape immediately. I know just where my Dad was standing as he took the shot. The walk they took goes up high above the canal, up the hill of dirt created by the digging of the canal years ago, up to a spot where you can look across the landscape at the woods and meadows and big sections of houses that have mostly been built in my lifetime. And of course, even if the photo hadn't come from my father, I would know immediately that the person walking down the hill back to the car, enjoying the cold winter air and thinking about the cup of hot tea she will be having when she gets home, is my mother.