YOU CAN TAKE the girl off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl.
Even decades after leaving my childhood farm at age 17 to start my freshman year of college in the fall of 1974, I hold tight to my agricultural roots.
My rural upbringing shaped me as a person, defined me as a writer and photographer.
More often than not, I find myself creatively focused on the rural, on those places and memories that remind me of the farm and which hold the strongest grasp on my heart.
So I am naturally drawn to photographing rural landscapes and barns and country churches and tractors and small towns whenever I travel. These are the places and objects to which I feel the deepest connection.
Today I’ll take you along U.S. Highway 52 and Interstate 90 in the southeastern section of Minnesota. I’ll show you rural snippets photographed at highway speeds through the passenger side and front windows of our family’s cars. Yes, cars, plural. My husband and I made a quick jaunt to Tomah, Wisconsin, on Sunday to exchange vehicles with our second daughter. Hers needs repair and we met her half-way between her home and ours.
After 2 ½ hours of travel to reach Tomah, we lunched with Miranda and a friend before turning around and heading back home to Faribault.
The day rated as gloomy and dreary weather-wise. Yet, as you will see, such moody skies bring out an emotion in images that you might not feel had the day been sunny bright.
I’m always surprised, when I view the photos, to see the details I missed in the process of shooting the images. But then, along-the-highway scenes flash by in an instant and they are gone, not wholly appreciated until that second, later look in a photo.
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling