Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A Mn Prairie Roots photographic review from January – June 2012 January 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 4:36 PM
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HERE IT IS, the first afternoon of the new year. I am snacking on a cut-out Christmas cookie while writing. No resolution today to cut out the sweets.

The husband is napping in the recliner.

And the college-aged son only just stirred from slumber awhile ago given his late, or perhaps early, arrival home at 4:45 a.m. I lost exactly one hour and 19 minutes of sleep last night when I did not see his car in the driveway at 3:26 a.m.

Given that interrupted sleep, I arose late myself and am off to a slow start to this new year. I had no blog post in draft, not even an idea. But then a post on thekitchensgarden (a blog you absolutely must read) inspired me to review 2012 in photos, except I’ll review half today, half tomorrow, showing you some of my favorites.

My husband and second daughter head toward the Farmers Market at City Center (colorful awnings to the right) while I linger to photograph the street scape and Hey, daisy.

My husband and second daughter head toward the Farmers Market at City Center (colorful awnings to the right) while I linger to photograph the street scape and Hey, daisy in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin.

JANUARY: Last year my husband and I spent New Year’s weekend in Appleton, Wisconsin, with our second daughter. In the two years Miranda has lived in this northeastern Wisconsin city, we’ve grown to love it, especially the downtown. This image captures the essence of a downtown that appears both vibrant and quaint.

Reading a newspaper while waiting at the mall barbershop.

Reading a newspaper while waiting at the mall barbershop.

FEBRUARY: While attending a chili cook-off competition at the Faribo West Mall, I snapped this photo of a man waiting in a barber shop. It is the everyday Norman Rockwell feel of this scene and the soft light filtering through the mall doors that appeal to me.

A new generation of mint-makers crafted mints Saturday afternoon on my sister Lanae's deck. I took a break (that's my empty chair in the front) to photograph the event.

A contingent of my extended family make mints for my mom’s 80th birthday party.

MARCH: This photo is unusual for the time of year it was taken. Typically, we do not have days like this in Minnesota in March. But here we were, sitting on my sister Lanae’s backyard deck on a warm afternoon in March, making mints for our mom’s upcoming 80th birthday open house. Unbelievable.

An abandoned farmhouse along Minnesota State Highway 19 east of Vesta on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.

An abandoned farmhouse along Minnesota State Highway 19 east of Vesta on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.

APRIL: Although this photo was shot in March, in southwestern Minnesota, I did not post it until April. But let’s not get too technical with dates here. This is my favorite photo from April because if any single poetic shot could summarize the prairie, this would be it. If you wish to read the poem which accompanies this photo, click here.

Howard

Howard from Farmington

MAY: For May, I chose two photos, the first of Howard from Farmington whom I met at the Rice County Steam and Gas Engine Swap Meet and Flea Market. ┬áThere’s really nothing to say except I appreciate the opportunity to photograph someone like Howard. Just look at those deep lines etched into Howard’s skin, the history reflected in his eyes.

Hanging out along Central Avenue during Faribault Car Cruise Night in May.

Hanging out along Central Avenue during Faribault Car Cruise Night in May.

One Friday evening in MAY, I shot this Americana scene along Central Avenue in historic downtown Faribault during Faribault Car Cruise Night. Everything about the image captures a small town, hanging out with friends on a beautiful evening mood.

I set my margarita on a vintage TV tray and settled into a lawn chair next to the fire.

An evening in June in my backyard.

JUNE: This image reflects a relaxing way to spend a lovely summer evening in my Minnesota backyard. Pour a drink and gather around the campfire to appreciate the company of my husband and the beautiful outdoors.

And my second JUNE pick:

The ever-changing/growing diversity of Faribault High School as seen in this post commencement gathering outside the school.

The ever-changing/growing diversity of Faribault High School as seen in this post commencement gathering outside the school.

Following my son’s commencement in June, I didn’t just photograph him. This scene unfolded before me and I realized what a great opportunity this was for me to show the ever-changing diversity of my southern Minnesota community.

That’s it for the first six months of 2012. I always strive for new ways to tell a story, to showcase the beautiful scenes and people I see with my camera. To capture such moments, such scenes, and then to share them with you, brings me great joy.

Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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