There is something magical about falling snow. Especially when there is fog and the snow is still falling. I love capturing snowy speckles across my photographs. This winter we haven’t had many snow days. I think this was the third or fourth snow of the season. So I knew that I definitely wanted to take advantage of this gorgeous day to go out and shoot some photos.
I decided to head down to the Rock River in Colona, Illinois. The rivers around our area have a huge impact on our community as a whole. Already this year, we have had massive flooding from the Rock River and the Mississippi River across the Quad City Area. And since I grew up in Colona for part of my childhood, I have a certain attachment to the Rock River and watching it’s different cycles throughout the year.
A Brief History of Colona
Colona is actually a merged, small rural city that combined the City of Green Rock and the Village of Colona in 1997. Green Rock was named for it’s location between the Green River and the Rock River. Where the name Colona came from is still rather elusive, but Colona has had settlers in the area since 1835. Colona is the currently the home of one stop light and 5,000 people. The Green River, Rock River, and the Railroad have all had a large impact on this community. And Dairy Queen was apparently started by John McCullough in this area (Green River, Illinois).
Hennepin Canal Park
Another body of water that connects this area in the Hennepin Canal. This is an abandoned waterway between the Mississippi River and the Illinois River. It was originally opened in 1907, but it ended up being abandoned because of railroad competition. The idea behind the Hennepin Canal was to reduce the travel distance between Chicago and Rock Island, Illinois. Today, the Hennepin Canal is used strictly for recreational purposes.
I began this photography session with taking photos of the snow-covered road headed to the Hennepin Canal Parkway and the boat launch for the Rock River. I couldn’t help but stop and snap a picture of some fallen trees, along the gravel road, that had already been covered with snow in the few minutes since it had begun snowing. Atty was also not very happy with this little detour to the boat launch, because we passed the Hennepin Canal Park, and she really wanted to go play. She did not understand why we couldn’t go slide just because it was snowing and it was cold. Ah… to be three years old again!
I also found a fabulous group of geese that were swimming along in the Hennepin Canal, completely undaunted by the snow falling around them. It was a pretty cool experience to see them so closely, without them being in a hurry to fly away from me.
The Boat Launch and Rock River View
The Hennepin Canal feeds into the Rock River near the boat launch. It was pretty cold that close to the river and the wind blowing the snow froze my fingers pretty quickly. The Hennepin Canal was pretty much a block of ice and snow this close to the river, but the Rock River itself was smooth as glass. The effect of the fog coming off the Rock River gave the entire scene such a soft and dreamy feel to it. It was absolutely silent at the river. No birds. No animals. Not even the water lapping up on the shore. The only sound was the wind blowing through the channels.
The entire scene left me feeling calm and serene. Let me know in the comments how these photographs made you feel! Do you love the beauty of snow? Also, if you’re a local Quad Citian, tell me about any experiences you have with the Rock River. I’d love to hear all about them!