Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Discovering the beauty of winter in Minnesota December 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:41 AM
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WHEN I LOOKED through the patio doors of my middle brother’s rural Redwood County home on Christmas morning, I saw this picture-perfect postcard scene.


A farm place near Lamberton on Christmas Day morning.

The quaint farm place sits along Redwood County Road 6 near Lamberton, just north of the county park I call the “gypsy park” because my paternal grandma told me gypsies once camped there.

From the park, the farm site lies only a short distance from an electrical substation which, during my growing up years, my siblings and I dubbed “the chicken pox factory.” It was a name we gave to all such substations, I suspect around the time chicken pox plagued the area. Ironically, the brother who now lives near the chicken pox factory never had the disease.

But I am getting sidetracked here. I wanted to share this photo with you for several reasons. First, this winter in Minnesota is quickly becoming long and wearisome with all of the snow we’ve gotten recently.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to search for the positive (which I have not been too good at lately) in winter. For me, that means viewing the landscape as a photo opportunity. Photography forces you to really see, not simply look at, the details in your environment.

While composing this image, I noticed the contrast of the red buildings against the pristine white snow, the defined fencelines, the old farmhouse that surely has many stories to tell, the slight rise of the land, the shelter belt of trees protecting the farm from the fierce prairie winds. With a gentle snow falling, the scene possessed a dreamy, peaceful, surreal quality.

So, yes, when you make a conscious effort, you truly will find beauty in this winter of overwhelming snow.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


3 Responses to “Discovering the beauty of winter in Minnesota”

  1. Gordon Says:

    Thanks for the great picture and your detailed remarks. Yes, it is getting tougher to see the positive. Nancy and I just came in from shoveling snow from the roof. She uses a long snow rake so she can stand on the ground.I went up on the roof again, but this time I got smart and tied a rope to the tractor parked on the other side of the house.
    Here’s a true story from the 1970s. Before he went atop the garage roof to shovel snow, a guy tied a rope around himself and the other end to his car, which was parked in the driveway. When he was on the roof, his wife drove the car away and he came over the roof like a rocket. He had some damage but survived to shovel again.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Sounds like Randy and me last week. Me on the ground with the snow rake and Randy on the roof with the scoop shovel. You are a smart man to tie yourself to the tractor.

      Now…I’m wondering…were you the guy who flew over the roof when his wife took off with the car? That is quite the story. I believe you. I mean, who could make up something as incredible as that?

      • Gordon Says:

        No, it wasn’t me. It was some guy that worked where a friend of mine worked.
        I laugh every time I think of this guy rocketing over the roof top!
        It must’ve been pretty scary.

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