Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

On my way home from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport February 22, 2013

MY VISUAL VIEW OF THE WORLD often differs from that of the average person. I notice details like…

Delta planes, edited 3

…the cold harsh lines of a building fronted by an equally forbidding fence with only a hint of welcome in the slight, graceful curves of aircraft tails.

Bridge over the Minnesota on Cedar edit 2

…the graceful arcs of the Minnesota River bridge on Cedar Avenue south of the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Buck Hill

…the grace of skiers swooping down Buck Hill in Burnsville on a February afternoon

Barn along I35

…and the sweet redeeming grace of rural Minnesota as seen in the Sugardale barn along Interstate 35 just north of the Northfield exit.

HOW DO YOU VIEW your world?

Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


24 Responses to “On my way home from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport”

  1. It’s interesting what struck you when you took these photos (or, rather, before you took the photos – something had to prompt you to take them at all). The way I look at whatever is around me is certainly influenced by whatever is going on at the time, but I generally focus on the moodiness of a place and find illustrations of that mood in the smallest details, like a dried-up open milkweed pod filled with snow on a day like today, or the way the sunrise comes through the red pines in the yard down the street, or how the crows congregate around something in the middle of the street on an otherwise quiet morning. In the city, it’s the way the birds hang out on the arm of a streetlight, or how a flock with suddenly swirl together and rush over 35W as if our little end-of-day traffic jams illustrate some human inability to move everyone along together. Details matter. I love how you found one little hint of welcome in the curve of a jet tail in your first photo.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Kathleen, you get it. You so get it. The beauty is in the detail. Since acquiring my digital DSLR camera several years ago, I really got into photography. And that means I nearly always view my surroundings as potential images. That means I notice details, like the curves of the aircraft tails among all those harsh lines. Developing my skills as a photographer has also made me a better writer. Do you find that to be true for you also?

      • I think that, for me, working with a camera and writing poetry feed off of each other. The images and the words go together and I find it hard to figure out which comes first at times – the desire to articulate some feeling and then finding the image that goes with it or stumbling on an image that releases a torrent of words. Yes, I do believe that finding that visual focus point improves how I write (the analogy of depth of field!) – guess I kind of took my time getting to the answer…..:-) I find myself narrating photos in my head as I’m taking them. Do you?

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        When I’m composing an image, I’m always searching for a unique way to tell a story, that perspective which differs from the ordinary. I’m watching the light, the composition, the elements I want, or don’t want, in the frame, the angle, etc. Sometimes, like in the photos featured in this post, I really have no more than an instant, perhaps even only a single chance, to get the photo. In my pairing of words and photos, typically my words illustrate. But sometimes they inspire the content, as in today’s post.

        I’ve only recently begun to develop that connection between photos inspiring poetry.

  2. Great Captures! Happy Friday:)

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks. Always fun to do a little photo editing, too, to improve the images and give them an artsy vibe.

  3. treadlemusic Says:

    The world through the camera lens always provides such wonderful vignettes! At this moment we are surrounded by blinding whiteness! With the closing of the school, the plow has less motivation to achieve the normal clearing. With the weekend next up and another storm just waiting in the wings for Monday afternoon/eve, there will be ample time for the “orange beast” to blast by sending its cascade/plume of sparkly white! Ahhhhh, the joy of retirement (at least until next Tuesday, when I volunteered to work a day!!!!! Ha!). Blessings!

  4. Jackie Says:

    Like you Audrey, I’m always enthralled with my surroundings, I notice things all the time while driving,(or passenger) it’s almost obsessive!. Loved the editing touches to express and bring out the detail in your photo’s!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You’re right in that it’s somewhat obsessive. I can’t help myself though. And you know that editing is pretty fun, too.

  5. hotlyspiced Says:

    Lovely images Audrey. I really like the one of skiing. I haven’t skied for so long as it’s ridiculously expensive here – over $1,000/day – such a nonsense. My sister always skies in the US because it’s such good value xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Charlie. I like how the edited skiing image turned out also. One thousand dollars a day to ski in Australia? That is pure craziness.

  6. Sartenada Says:

    Love Your photos; especially the airport photo. You might remember that I worked all my life for Finnair (more in my About). Last time when we visited United States, Delta advertised: “When You are ready, we are”. Is it yet today valid?

    Happy week-end!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I have no idea what Delta’s slogan is, but glad you appreciated the image.

      My daughter, who is currently traveling in Argentina, took a bus from Buenos Aires to Tucuman this week. It’s about a 12-hour ride. She told me the airlines should take lessons from the bus company on how to treat passengers. No, she did not fly Delta.

  7. Beth Ann Says:

    Those places look very familiar to me. Very!

  8. I am forced to say it: the first time I saw Buck Hill I laughed out loud. I’m not a skier, but having grown up with REAL mountains…yeah, I could only laugh. I suppose it’s better than nothing…:-)

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I never thought of that, how someone who knows REAL mountains would react to Buck Hill. To me, skiing down Buck Hill looks incredibly frightening. Of course, I think the whole sport of placing yourself on narrow slats of whatever comprises skis would be incredibly scary. I also wonder why anyone would want to ski at a site along the interstate. IF I was a skier, I’d chose a quiet place in the country.

      • I quite agree about the country ski setting! 🙂 I’ve never tried cross-country skiing, but I might actually like that. The only time I’ve skied was in Switzerland and I was atrocious!

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