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Autumn in Winona (10/20/2013)
By Sarah Squires
I remember when I didn’t live in wonderland. When I called the rural flatlands of Minnesota’s west side home, people would caravan from the ‘cities to see the fall colors ignite across the forest clusters dotting the crop and pasture land along the horizon. When I lived in more urban centers, I would join the ranks and head home to see all the beauty of autumn myself.

Those people don’t know what they are missing. There is nothing that compares with the sights in the Winona region when the nights grow cold and winter is just beginning to wake. We all know this, and we enjoy the company of Minnesotans and Wisconsinites-and those-beyond-who know which direction to head when they want to witness the hues of the fall season in their full glory.

The next time you hear a friend planning a trip “up north” — which is what Twin Cities folk call every direction but south — remind them we’ve got a better show if they steer their route this way. I’m always delighted when old friends are able to experience the beauty of the Winona region, and once they have, they always come back. I’ve got friends with toddlers stuck so fast to their legs they can’t even make it out to the mailbox, but somehow, they know it is worth all the work of bringing the whole family a couple hours south for a fall getaway. It’s not just beautiful; this region has so many fun things to do with family that each visitor always has a long list of activities that must wait for the following year.

This morning, as I stood outside enjoying a crisp breezy sunrise, a blast of wind blew hundreds of yellowed oak leaves from their branches, and they twirled and floated across a forested background. It was one of those frequent moments that reminded me to grab my camera and make sure I have it with me this weekend, when my husband and I plan to hit the river for a last boat ride before ice fishing season claims the territory.

You should make sure to grab your cameras, too, while you’re out and about over the next few weeks. One of the prettiest scenes in Winona is certainly one that includes our historic Mississippi River bridge, and the Winona Post is sponsoring a photography contest to capture the spectacular scene. From now until December 2, we will be accepting photo submissions for the contest, divided into two categories: amateur and professional. (You get to decide which you’d like to enter.) With the submission, entrants should include which category they are entering, along with their name, address, telephone number and email address. Each entrant may submit up to two photos, and we are discouraging entrants from overly processing or altering submissions with digital image editing, although some retouching is acceptable. Photos that have previously won other photography competitions are not eligible for the contest, nor are employees of the Winona Post or their family members eligible to enter. Those who have submitted photos to the Winona Post for print, but who are not employees, are encouraged to enter.

Digital entries should be submitted in high resolution form and emailed to winpost@winonapost.com. Discs or prints may be mailed to or dropped off at the Winona Post, P.O. Box 27, 64 East Second Street, Winona, Minn.

The winning entries will be printed in the Winona Post in late December, and winning photographers will receive prizes including annual passes to some of the coolest regional attractions, along with other exciting prizes.

So get out there with your cameras and capture the beauty of the Mississippi River and the historic bridge that spans it. There are so many unique views — different vantage points, different sunrises and sunsets spread across the river background — that this contest will definitely be hard to judge.

If you have questions about the photo contest — or anything else news related — please give me a call at 507-452-1262. I’d love to hear from you.



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