Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Tossing the Christmas tree and welcoming spring May 6, 2011

The remains of our dried up Christmas tree, now properly disposed of at the local composting pile.

ON WEDNESDAY EVENING we tossed the Christmas tree which has been buried under snow for, oh, about six months. Well, not quite, but winter seemed to linger into half a year.

I’m serious. As recently as this morning, we had temps in the 30s and several days ago wisps of snowflakes whirled in the sky.

But enough of that. With the official disposal of the Christmas tree at the finally-opened Faribault Compost Site, I can declare that spring has finally arrived here in southeastern Minnesota.

You don’t have to simply take my word for it. Join me on this photographic tour of my yard, where spring has clearly, finally (I hope) ousted winter.

Hostas push through the soil, unfurling bright green leaves. Why does green always seem brighter in the spring?

Most of my tulips are clasped shut yet, waiting for more sun and more warmth.

A plump red tulip about to burst into bloom.

A yellow tulip edges ever closer to full blossom in the spring sunshine.

Unfurling wild raspberry leaves hold the promise of summer.

Dainty violets, so easy to overlook in the splendor of spring.

Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


10 Responses to “Tossing the Christmas tree and welcoming spring”

  1. Bernie Says:

    Oh, this just made me happy. All springy and sunny.
    I must admit the tree surprised me and made me giggle.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I’m happy to make you happy on this sunny Minnesota morning.

      We always toss the tree out the door after Christmas, figuring no one will see it until the snow melts in the spring.

  2. Bernie Says:

    We so deserve the sunshine and warmer weather!

    Good for your niece on being the FFA pres!!! How awesome…seems like all the young kids now days have so much confidence in everything they do, unlike me who quit FFA cuz they said we needed to back up a trailer with a tractor!!! All three of us girls quit that day….seriously, I grew up on a farm, but I was the one who wanted to be cooking or cleaning, NOT driving a tractor!
    Thanks for the spring pics

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Bernie (originally from Vesta, not to be confused with Bernie from Montana), I agree that young people today have so much more confidence than we ever had. Perhaps that comes from more opportunities available to them, or parents pushing them, or simply the need to stand out in today’s competitive world.

      I certainly hope FFA requirements have changed and members are no longer required to back up a tractor with an attached trailer. That’s crazy. I’ve never heard of such a rule. No wonder you quit. I must have missed class that day because I did not have to do this.

      I loved working outside in the barn, feeding cows and calves. I always told my dad I wanted to be a farmer, but he told me I shouldn’t. He was right. I would have made a terrible farmer because I couldn’t have handled the stress and spending all that money every spring to get the crops planted. But I would have loved living in the country. I still miss the farm and the prairie.

      Glad you enjoyed the spring photos. My tulips are blooming today with all the warmth and sunshine.

  3. -dweej Says:

    Wow…I’ve taken almost these EXACT same photos over the last week. Crazy! And just had to tell you that we were inspecting our identical Christmas tree just this morning. Hilarious 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Whew, good to hear your family in Michigan has also recently uncovered the Christmas tree.

  4. dorothy Says:

    Christmas trees. We have two fake trees on which the lights are left on all year. One is stored in a storage room and the other in one of the spare bedrooms with a cover over it and a fake wall part way around it. No more going out in the cold to buy one for us!!! Maybe if I get more lazy I will just leave all of the decorations on it year around! Sounds like a time saver to me! But I do miss the smell of a real tree. Otherwise sure is easy!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I have thought of a “fake tree,” but my family will have none of that. However, now that we have a new front and we scratched the last one with the Christmas tree stand, I am leaning more toward an artificial tree. Or we’ll just have to be more careful carrying the real tree into the house.

  5. Gordon Says:

    Great photos. I love the spring flowers boldly peeking out of the ground.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Gordon. And, yes, this year I would have to agree with you and term the flowers “bold.”

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