When you spend most of your life on the ground, a view from above gives dramatic perspective to the things you thought you knew.
Spring flooding is one of those that many grow used to. Many look forward to its passing in order to move into a drier season. From the ground, it's hard to get a full picture of the reach of water that days ago was snow. Drive by a river and you get a glimpse at the power of water in the spring. But from a bird's-eye-view, the breadth of that water can fill an entire camera lens and then some.
A creek that is little more than a trickle 11 months out of the year, turned into a raging river over the course of a couple weeks leading up to the end of March in west central Minnesota. A swamp scattered with deer stands turned into a shallow lake as the water reached up the steps not tread on since November.
While it looked impressive and wild in some areas of our region, other area rivers and creeks were handling the load. Areas completely covered in water were mostly swamp lands, which are no strangers to standing water. A view of most area roads showed none under water, though some did see some damage. While mud surrounded many farmsteads in our region, snow had become a scarce sight. While rivers flowed free of ice, lakes still remained ice covered in the Leaf Lake chain and beyond to Otter Tail Lake.
After a long, hard winter, the view from, Wadena resident, Don Niles' two-seat Cessna, was especially breathtaking. Despite most of the ground brown, most trees bare and most land untouched since last fall, it was a great sight. Winter was gone. In just weeks, a rebirth will take place again. The entire landscape will change once more.