Stories & Experiences
Nadine Blacklock and her well-known photograph
In 1989, Nadine visited me in the Blackduck, MN area when the showy lady’s slippers were blooming. Her project at the time was new photography for a revised edition of The Hidden Forest. The original book was a collaboration between Sigurd Olson, the nature writer, and Nadine’s father-in-law, Les Blacklock, the photographer. While driving south on the byway she spied a picturesque bouquet of showy lady’s slippers. We stopped to capture the image and I helped her hold in place a dark cloth to isolate the bouquet and a diffusion tent to soften the harsh light. We spent the greater part of two hours at the site to get just the right photos. We didn’t know then that the cover photo for the book had just been created. It became one of her best-known photos.
Nadine, a gifted photographer, was also a talented writer and a champion for the environment. Sadly, she was killed in an automobile accident in July 1998. Her family chose the lady’s slippers photograph to place on the front of the program at her memorial service. This special lady’s slippers group is located near easily identifiable landmarks. I had been monitoring them occasionally, and since Nadine’s death I have tried to visit every year. In 2004 I took my own photographs of the group (adjacent) and at the time, the number of plants and blossoms had increased. I think of it as a living memorial to Nadine. I miss her.
Shirley J. Gilmore
Rabideau Conservation Academy & Learning Center
Camp Rabideau is in the process of being upgraded into a “Conservation Academy & Learning Center” for young adults aged 16-25. Just as the original Camp Rabideau CCC was created to employ young men doing conservation work throughout the region, Rabideau CALC will employ young men and women for the same purposes. Participants will be paid a living allowance and stay on-site for terms of 6-9 months; doing conservation projects throughout the Chippewa National Forest. At the end of their term of service each participant will receive an education stipend for post secondary education. This will impact the local communities in many positive ways and allow visitors who tour Rabideau to see the best preserved CCC in the United States, as well as an actual working model of a modern day “New Deal” program.
Turtle River, MN