The Bridge – Photo Heart Connection

Savanna-Sabula Bridge III

Savanna-Sabula Bridge © 2012 Bo Mackison

 There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning. ~ Thornton Wilder

When I decide upon my photograph for my monthly Photo-Heart Connection entry, it is often because there is a story connected with it. This month’s photograph follows the pattern.

The Savanna-Sabula Bridge crosses the Mississippi River and connects the island city of Sabula, Iowa to the river hugging town of Savanna, Illinois. I’ve lived in the Midwest all of my life, and have spent many a day traveling the roads that border the Mississippi, but until I crossed this lovely bridge, I never knew there was an “island city” in Iowa. I think of farmland and cornfields when I think of Iowa, not island cities. And certainly not island cities with the character of Sabula.

First, the bridge spans the Mississippi River, then crosses Sheepshead Bay, and manages to find enough land for the bridge supports as it crosses Israel Day Lake, Town Lake, and Dog Wood Lake. Finally we reached the small island-city of Sabula – we were on solid land, for a while.

Sabula has the BEST ice cream sundae I have ever had – and I come from the Dairy State and have had more than my share of ice cream sundaes. The Korner Ice Cream Shop, a tiny walk up, is easy to find. It comes into view just as you enter town from the bridge.

Then we drove the river-side streets of Sabula – old mansions with sit-down-and-rest-awhile-porches, widow’s walks, views of the river life. I imagine in earlier years,, these were quite the places to visit during the warm summer months.

And there’s more. Driving out-of-town toward mainland Iowa, we crossed one more lake, Sabula Lake. And we saw a flock of Great American Pelicans – probably 200 birds, all floating closely together as they churned the waters with their webbed feet, stirring up their dinner. I’m certain I have never seen a single pelican near the Mississippi River, so this was a big treat indeed. (Lots of photo, too!)

But best of all, I shared all these experiences with Sherpa, my hubby, who is always willing to accompany me on a Sunday camera shoot, always happy to check out a new ice cream shop or cross a new bridge. Even after 36 years!

A road trip, the discovery of new wonderful places, and great company. Ingredients for a perfect photo heart connection.

This is a year-long practice with a community of photographers.  As Kat Sloma explains on her blog, Kat Eye View, “Deepen the connection between your photos and your heart and soul by participating in this monthly review of your images, to find the one that best connects to your heart.” All are welcome.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.

Waterlilies on the Mississippi

Waterlilies on The Mississippi River

Waterlilies on The Mississippi River © 2012 Bo Mackison

In mid to late July and early August, the backwater lakes and sloughs are full of floating white water lilies. This waterlily grows in thick patches of lily pads. The flowers of the Fragrant Water Lily are only open three days every year, however a patch of water lilies will have blooms at slightly different times thus extending the bloom viewing season.

This patch of water lilies was in the Stoddard, Wisconsin area of the Upper Mississippi. Three hundred foot high bluffs are on the Minnesota side of the river.

I have quite a few photographs from this trip that have strong horizontal lines, and so I am working on a series of photos with a vintage look. The new series is called “Paper Placemats”, because they remind me of the decorated paper mats so often seen in the tiny diners and cafes along the route. This is #2 in the series. The first photo in the series was  “Tugboat Docked on the Mississippi” posted yesterday.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is no longer wondering how the Mississippi River as subject will fit the Seeded Earth theme. Thinking of all the seeds watered by its muddy waters, including these water lilies!