Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Claiming a prairie sunset February 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:10 AM
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MY HEART BELONGS to my native prairie. Always has, always will.

Even after three decades away from southwestern Minnesota, I remain connected to the sky and to the land, to the place that shaped me as a person, a writer, a photographer.

In an environment as stark as the prairie, you notice details.

Even in southeastern Minnesota, where I've lived for three decades, expanses of prairie exist like this sunset scene.

Even in southeastern Minnesota, where I’ve lived for three decades, expanses of prairie exist like this sunset scene.

And so, on a recent Saturday, as my husband and I traveled south and east from Cleveland to Kilkenny (that’s in southeastern Minnesota, not Ohio and Ireland), I observed daylight evolve into evening, the sun slipping in a slim band of rosy peach across the horizon.

In that moment my soul yearned for the land I left at age 17, the prairie, the place of my heart.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

28 Responses to “Claiming a prairie sunset”

  1. Jackie Says:

    Peaceful and serene, beautiful photo Audrey!

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Lovely photo—as always!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you and good morning to you down there in Iowa.

      • Beth Ann Says:

        Can you believe we are missing this whole huge storm thing that is hitting the northeast???

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        That is a bit surprising, but the weather forecast calls for a wintry mix moving into Minnesota this weekend. And to me freezing rain is way worse than snow. The weather on the East Coast is exactly why I suggested my daughter re-route her flight back from Argentina. She had planned to fly in to Newark (in a few weeks).

      • Beth Ann Says:

        I am sure it will be here eventually—probably Monday when I have to drive Chris to MSP or Thursday when I go!!!

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        Yes, I believe the forecast calls for this mix to begin Sunday evening into Monday. We’ll miss you by a day at the airport.

  3. Clyde of Mankato Says:

    Lived in the north woods for most of my life. Moved to the praiire in part to find another home, another place to paint and photograph. So few see the beauty and allure in the prairie. But I must admit the really flat places would take some effort for me to love

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I can totally understand your northwoods perspective. I struggle sometimes, when I am in a wooded area, with feeling too hemmed in.

      • Clyde of Mankato Says:

        I love the north, miss it often.We do not get up there enough. I still paint it more than this area. But a new place to explore and in which to find a niche was a delight. We almost moved back up north when I retired. But our daughter and family are here. We do not regret staying.

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        That’s what I love about Minnesota, the diversity in landscapes. I can only imagine how you miss the northland. But being close to family sometimes trumps environment.

  4. Caryl Says:

    I love visting the woods and the mountains, but could not live there. I am a flat-lander through and through. I want to see the horizon and watch the weather moving in.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I’ve only ever seen the Appalachian Mountains, never traveled farther west than one mile into Wyoming. Heights and too much whatever blocking my view give me a sense of uneasiness. I understand exactly how you feel.

  5. Love that line of pink light.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      That’s what struck me about this scene. As you can see, I edited the photo to define that pink a bit and give the whole image more of a watercolor dreamy quality.

  6. cecilia Says:

    Oh I know that horizon.. beautiful! c

  7. Today our prairie view is fogged over…perfect for imagining boats on the “water”!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      And I know how much you love your water. I would have thought your corner of the state would be in the midst of a blizzard. We got heavy wet snow here, all of which Randy and I have already shoveled, scraped from our sidewalk and driveway and that of a neighbor. The snow was sooooooo heavy.


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