Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Winter weather tidbits from cold and snowy Minnesota January 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:58 AM

Snow buries a lawn chair on my backyard patio.

IN MINNESOTA, weather often dominates conversation and no more so than in the winter.

Inches and inches of snow have piled up into impressive snow banks, at least here in southeastern Minnesota during the past month. Temperatures have been so consistently, bitterly cold that the entire state, not just International Falls, could be considered an icebox.

Snow just keeps piling up, everywhere.

This has made many of us a bit squirrelly.

So, just for your entertainment, here are some weather tidbits from the frozen northland.

“Man, it’s a tropical 12 degrees,” my 15-year-old son says at 7:50 a.m. Monday before stepping outside. As the back door closes, I hear him mutter, “Uh, it’s still cold.”

Our grill, held in winter's grip.

And from KSTP television news anchor Bill Lunn comes this comment: “My truck has more salt on it than a bag of pretzels.” He’s referring, of course, to all the road salt that crews dump onto our roadways and which ends up coating our vehicles in a fine layer of white.

White vehicles, white woods, white everything. This is Minnesota in winter, as seen from my backyard.

My husband and I surmise Monday evening that the then 17-degree temperature qualifies as a heat wave, remembering that at one point on Saturday, the temperature registered at minus 17 degrees below zero, a 34-degree difference.

“Buses on plowed roads only.” That crawler scrolled across television screens constantly last week as southern Minnesota dealt with yet another raging winter storm.

My favorite snow story comes from Redwood County, where an eastbound vehicle became stuck along Minnesota Highway 19 near my hometown of Vesta. Once released from the snow’s hold, the motorist followed a snowplow to Redwood Falls and was then ordered to stay put. The traveler apparently didn’t heed that warning. Later, the same vehicle became stuck again, in the exact same location near Vesta. However, this time the driver was heading west towards Marshall.

Don't fence me in. Apparently the Redwood County motorist took that literally. Here's my backyard fence, casting a shadow upon the snow.

If you have an interesting snow story or tidbit to tell, I’d like to hear it. I’ve already begun gathering stories and photos from southwestern Minnesota and I’ll share those in a later post.

In the meantime, enjoy the warm-up supposedly headed our way.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling