Mandala Monday ~ Net River and Holyoke Park

A simple nature mandala my sister and I made together last week with some randoms we found along the Net River while we were exploring Holyoke Park.  It’s nothing fancy, just a little offering we left at the end of our time there.

You guys, this place is really special! It’s so untouched and uninhabited, I almost don’t want to share about it, lest it become more known and populated.  It’s truly one of those hidden gem kind of places, and the vibes there feel almost sacred.

Here was what I saw immediately upon arrival…

So picturesque!  And this was only about 50 feet from where we parked, so not far to go to get to experience the beauty of this area.  Don’t get me wrong – the parking area was just as ‘hidden’ and if you didn’t plan to go here, you wouldn’t have even noticed the turn off the main road. The main road itself being actually a ‘back’ road.

I don’t know what the rest of the river is like, but this portion of the Net River at Holyoke Park is like just one continuous series of short waterfalls and rapids with a few pools along the way – only to pour over to create yet more falls.  It’s so absolutely wonderful!  And the waters are the color of frothy root beer.  I don’t know what causes the color – my sister said she heard it had something to do with the Tamarack trees, but it’s very unique and beautiful.

Here you can get a better idea of the color of the water…

Frothy root beer amiright?

This particular spot along the river had some cool acoustics too.  I’m not sure where it was coming from, but there was a drumming effect that had a rhythmic beat to it.  It was so amazing!  I tried recording it with my phone, but you couldn’t hear it. I know it wasn’t just my imagination, because my sister heard it too.  I’m not able to upload videos directly to WordPress, so I’ll try uploading it onto YouTube to share it.

Here it is…

Yeah, you can’t hear the drumming sound at all, but it still sounds nice.

And while I’m in the mode of sharing videos, here is another one I took…

This was in one of my favorite spots where there were two falls.  It was SO stunning!  I wish I’d gotten a better video.  Please excuse the jerking, there were mosquitoes trying to get me and I was repeatedly blowing them off my arm…

I took a couple vertical snapshots in this spot too…

I love this next one!  I could have stood there for hours had the bugs not been an issue.  As far as the bugs go though, they were pretty tame considering the wildness of the area in the height of summer.  You can’t see in the photo, but there are 2 or 3 tiers of falls above in the background.  It was so absolutely lovely…

I tried to take a wide angle shot to get both falls in the photo, but I’m still not familiar enough with that setting on my new phone, so it turned out looking a bit distorted.  Still looks kinda cool…

I loved the moss and growth on that rock outcropping.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet what a gorgeous day it was.  The weather was so perfect in the mid to upper 70’s and there was a most welcomed breeze.

We sat by the river and had our lunch and it was really nice.  Well, except for the pesky wasp who was attracted to my food. I don’t know what the allure was, it was just a simple bagel.  I pretty much ate while running around like a weirdo during lunch, but here’s a nice shot of some of the falls from when I was able to sit…

And here’s my beautiful big sissy sitting in another one of my favorite spots along the river…

What gorgeous setting!

I went over and joined her there and at some point snapped this selfie.  Those lovely falls in the background though!

We sat there together for a nice long while with our feet in the water.  It was SO refreshing.  I talked about how the water flowing over our feet was on a journey from somewhere to somewhere and that we were now a part of its experience on that journey.  I can’t really explain what I mean by that, but it was a meaningful feeling and a sense of connectedness with the river and the Earth.

We found out later that the Net River empties into Lake Superior.  Oooh take me with youuuu!

I blew my little love-tuner (a 528 Hz whistle of sorts) while we were sitting there and my sister happened to take a short video of it…

Hopefully as I continue to use it, my exhale will get longer so I can enjoy it’s tone for a longer duration.  I got it as a meditation tool and I really love it!

Speaking of my little love-tuner, there were several areas during our exploring where I felt the need to stop and blow my love-tuner for a while. I can’t explain why, I know I’m weird.  But here’s one of the places…

The vibes you guys. I’m telling you – there was something about these two trees.  I wish I could make what I was feeling translate through the photo.  But it was a special spot.  It was really cool when a little flock of tiny birds alighted the branches of the tree right next to me and kept flitting about trying to get a closer look at what was making that sound.  I could really sense their curiosity and inquisitiveness.  Sweet little things. 🐦

This was another area where I stopped, and there was even a stronger sense to pause and soak it all in. It was truly magical…

There was a tall old Tamarack tree just to the right of this shot that was super cool.  It was standing like an ancient sentinel right along the bank watching over the river.  I tried to take a picture of it, but it didn’t turn out.  I love old trees, they make me wonder about all they’ve seen throughout time, storms they’ve endured etc.

Here are a couple other angles I snapped in this same spot…

This is the view of from where we came through. We couldn’t really even tell from the other side if there was an actual path and hesitated whether we should push through.  We were so glad we did, it was so lovely.

As hidden and untouched as it felt, you can see a definite path there, so it’s obviously used by people, but we had the entire area to ourselves, and we were there pretty much all day.

This interesting tree was literally standing on its tiptoes…

It felt more like a creature than a tree, and its bark had the coolest texture.  I’m not sure why the lighting in this photo turned out so much brighter, as it was in the exact same spot as the ones above. I’ll chalk it up to how touchy my new phone’s camera is. I guess it’s not really that new anymore – I got it in mid May, but I’m still getting used to it.

I wish you could see the multiple tiers of the river in this next one, it was so very pretty, and the way the sunlight sparkled on the water made it all the more magical…

Here is a video my sister took of my love-tuner while we were in that spot…

My senses were really heightened and it was a wonderful feeling.  I think nature liked listening to my little love-tuner. 🥰

With as much as that magnificent river draws your attention in Holyoke Park, I was really drawn to the trees.  As usual.  What can I say… I love trees!

Especially when they have so many interesting and unique features. This one really caught my EYE!

Maybe this is why I had the feeling that we were being watched. 👀

This beautiful lichen also caught my eye, and look a little closer… do you see anything else besides the lichen?

Moth!  What great camouflage!  Nature is so freaking amazing!

I’m not sure what’s going on with the bark on this next one, but I thought it looked interesting, so I snapped a photo of it…

And how can you not love trees when they drop such bright, colorful ‘flowers’ at your feet?

First autumn leaf of the season!  Yay fall!  🍁🍂

Here is where I think we might have walked through some sort of portal – a truly enchanted forest lies just beyond these two rocks…

Now that I think about it, there were lots of twos on this adventure – two rocks, two trees, two falls, two sisters.  💕

I’m really grateful two my sister for bringing me to see this beautiful, magical place.  And so grateful to have the time together frolicking in the wild.


Thanks so much for reading, I know this was a long one one. Happy Mandala Monday, I hope you all are well. Wishing you joy and beauty in the coming week…




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

24 responses to “Mandala Monday ~ Net River and Holyoke Park

  1. Julie–this is such a wonderful post. Great vibes gonna stay with me all day. Take care, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thanks so much, Lois, I’m so glad you liked it! You left this comment several hours ago and I truly hope the great vibes have indeed stayed with you throughout the day. 🙂 Also, I hope all is well with you and yours down there in sunny Florida! ❤


  2. What a beautiful park Julie! I can see why you felt mesmerized by the trees, lichen, waterfalls, rocks, and cool water color. I would love to visit this park. Thanks for sharing your magical adventure. 🧚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s such a lovely area, Brad, definitely a special place. If you’re ever in Minnesota, I would highly recommend it, you would love it! I can’t wait to go back during the fall and check out its autumn colors. I bet the rich color of the water along with autumn’s palette is a stunning combination! I’m so grateful for natural spaces, as I know you are too. Hope your week is off to a good start! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks like a very magical place Julie, I enjoyed listening to the sound of the water as I ‘walked’ with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just loved this so much, I had to visit it twice! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely Beautiful. Perhaps a trip to this area in a colder time when the bugs are all gone would be fun. Loved all of the pictures and the videos – wow what a gorgeous place. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone where it is. Ha

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Peggy! Yes, I’m definitely planning to visit here again in the autumn. No bugs, fall colors… yes! So glad you enjoyed the pictures and the videos! Haha thanks for not telling anyone where it is! Maybe I could have left the name out and just shared the story as a ‘secret’ place. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful refreshing experience you had with your lovely sister Jewels. Precious moments. We seem to treasure our special times with our siblings more when we are older, it means more since it is more voluntary and done because we want to rather than because we are just sisters or brothers. You have caught some beautiful nature moments which would make any one of us want to be there with you. This is now a special place for you and your sister with such lovely memories. Blessings 🙂


    • Thanks Ashley, we really had a great time here. My sister is always showing me new places and sharing new experiences with me, she’s THE best big sister! She’s been my best friend all of my adult life and we have so much fun together. Some of my most memorable moments have been ones spent with her. We haven’t had as much time together over the past several months and I’ve really missed her, so I was especially grateful for this little adventure together.😊 Blessings to you in the coming week!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful connection to river, nature and celebration of life. Thank you Julie 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a lovely find, Julie! You’ve painted a wonderful scene for us to join in your Shinrin-Roku (Forest Bathing) day. I love the tiers (I do love waterfalls as you know). After today’s heat, it looks refreshing. 🙂
    Oak and conifers leach tannins into water from their roots and leaves, which gives the water that tan appearance, as well as its frothiness.
    Neat love-tuner. So cool that you attracted the birds’ curiosity and attention. Loved the lichen and eye on the trees. The jagged scar looks like a lightning strike. Curious thing about the tippytoe tree… it germinated on an old decaying tree stump, which rotted out under it as it grew, leaving it high and dry. Amazing, oui?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eliza, it’s such a lovely find! It’s actually my brother-in-law who first ‘found’ it – he recalled a place from way back in his younger years that he had accidentally discovered, and then found his way back there when he and my sister were out exploring earlier this spring. As soon as my sister saw it, she knew she HAD to take me there. 😊
      Yes, I know how you love waterfalls, and you would absolutely love this place, Eliza! That sounds right what you say about the tannins leaching into the water. I wondered if it may have to do with all the iron ore in the area too. I know, it was so wonderful when those little birds came, I couldn’t get a good look at them to see what they were and their tweets didn’t sound familiar, but they were cute whatever they were! Oh, that jagged scar does look like it could be from a lightening strike, now that you mention it. I should go on a little hiking adventure with you, you’re quite knowledgeable! I wouldn’t have guessed that tree on its tippytoes was because it had germinated atop an old decaying tree stump that had rotted away. So cool!!


  9. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I sure could use a day like that. I’ll take my long pause in Autumn when it will feel less like hot sticky exercise and more of a brisk excursion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joey, it was so beautiful there! Yes, omygosh yes, I so agree that autumn is much better for taking a long pause! 🥰 🍁 The day of this adventure was nearly perfect weather though despite it being summer – not hot or sticky and a lovely breeze! If it hadn’t been for those few mosquitoes and that wasp I would say it WAS perfect. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Clearly a lovely trip – splendid photographs and videos

    Liked by 1 person

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