Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Mn Prairie Roots’ photo favs from July – September 2012 January 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:26 AM
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TODAY WE CONTINUE to scroll back through my 2012 posts, seeking out my most-loved photos. I planned to present to you images from the final six months of the year. But, I’m narrowing our focus today to the months of July – September because, clearly, when you live in Minnesota like me, you take many more photos during the warmer months than during the winter.

Given the sheer volume of photos from summer into early autumn, I found choosing a single image per month an impossible task.

Five-year-old David of Faribault, aka Apache Shadow, was among costumed reenactors from the Old West Regulators at the extravaganza.

Five-year-old David of Faribault, aka Apache Shadow, was among costumed reenactors from the Old West Regulators at the extravaganza.

JULY: Have you ever seen a cuter cowboy? The 26th annual Steele County Historical Society Extravaganza at the Village of Yesteryear in Owatonna presented numerous interesting photo ops, including this portrait of re-enactor David, aka Apache Shadow. I also shot the portrait, below, at the same event:

Family photo of John and Frank Styndl.

Family photo of John and Frank Styndl.

John Styndl was demonstrating blacksmithing skills when I asked him to pose with this cut-out of his great great grandfather, Frank Styndl. The family resemblance was remarkable.

At the same event, I shot this photo, a favorite because of the composition and how the word “horses” relates to the horsepower of the tractors.

Horsepower at the Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, Minnesota.

Horsepower at the Steele County Fairgrounds, Owatonna, Minnesota.

You might also rightly speculate that the farm girl in me considered the tractors worthy of a photo.

An elderly man turns to a hymn in the old pocket-size songbook that's been used for decades.

An elderly man turns to a hymn in the old pocket-size songbook that’s been used for decades at the mission fest.

AUGUST took me to Marquardt’s Grove south of Janesville on a Sunday morning for an old-fashioned outdoor mission festival hosted by Freedom and Wilton churches. I roved around the wooded hillside for the entire service and afterward for the potluck to bring you a photo essay of this memorable event. Even hands can tell a story and this, by far, rates as my most beloved image from that outdoor worship service. (You can view one of my photo essays from that day by clicking here.)

That same little boy who was so intently focused on the musician.

A portrait taken at the International Festival Faribault.

Also in AUGUST, I shot some of my best portraits of the year at the International Festival Faribault. To see more portraits and photos from this festival, click here.

The observer

“The observer”

SEPTEMBER: Labor Day weekend brings the Rice County Steam and Gas Engine Show to rural Dundas and ample opportunity for some great photos. I chose this image to highlight because of the perspective from which I took it and because this leaves you wondering, “What is the aging farmer thinking as he stands there watching the threshing crew?”

Singing Hills Coffee Shop's delicious maple bacon sundae.

Singing Hills Coffee Shop’s delicious maple bacon sundae.

SEPTEMBER also brought the sweet discovery of Singing Hills Coffee Shop in Waterville while on a Sunday afternoon drive. I dared to try the maple bacon sundae and loved it. You just have to see the inside of Singing Hills, so click here for a tour.

Inside Nemo, my absolute favorite part of the entire antique theme park.

Inside Nemo, my absolute favorite part of the entire antique theme park.

Another wonderful discovery in SEPTEMBER was Hot Sam’s Antique Shop (theme park) south of Lakeville. For decades I’ve seen the sign and the kitschy hillside art from Interstate 35. I cannot believe it took me this long to visit. This is a must-see for anyone who loves junk, art and creativity. Click here to view more images.

The kids served popcorn.

Tending the popcorn machine.

Finally, the waning days of SEPTEMBER took me to a 50th wedding anniversary barn dance near Dundas. Although the lighting for photos was not particularly good in the dark barn, I managed to capture this sweet pic of the popcorn makers/servers.

So I’ll leave you here, lingering in the final days of autumn, before taking you, tomorrow, into the final days of 2012.

Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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