Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Goin’ quackers during a Minnesota winter February 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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THIS COLD AND SNOWY Minnesota winter has many of us natives going a little bonkers.

I am not good at judging size. But this is one big duck.

I am not good at judging size. But this is one big duck.

But at least one Faribault resident is goin’ quackers instead, sculpting a mighty snow duck in the front yard at 417 Second Street Northwest.

Another angle, looking toward Second Street Northwest.

Another angle, looking toward the street.

I spotted the waterfowl a few days ago, when temps reached a high of around zero and the wind was whipping something fierce.

Big duck. Little duck (decoy).

Little duck (decoy). Mighty duck.

Not a great day to pull out the camera. In less than five minutes of shooting, my gloveless fingers were chilled to the bone. Back inside the car, I positioned my hands within a wisp of a heat vent.

Gazing up at one mighty duck.

Gazing up at the mighty duck.

Now you’re going to ask, “Why a duck? And why would anyone do this?”

I nearly missed the rubber ducky atop the snow at the end of the driveway as I hurried toward the car.

I nearly missed the rubber ducky atop the snow at the end of the driveway as I hurried toward the car.

I didn’t knock on the door and inquire. My only thought after shooting about a dozen frames shortly before sunset was to get inside the Chrysler and warm up.

Therefore you get to offer your theories. Go.

FYI: Not that this has anything to do with the duck sculpture. But D3: The Mighty Ducks, a 1996 sports comedy movie, was filmed at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault and at Carleton College in nearby Northfield. NHL player Emerson Eten, who played prep hockey at Shattuck, now skates for the Anaheim Ducks.

UPDATE: After pulling today’s issue of my local newspaper, The Faribault Daily News, from the fresh snow atop my front steps, I settled in with the paper at lunch. There, on page two, were a story and photo about the mighty duck. Kurt Kletter is the artist behind the sculpture, having crafted snow sculptures during the past four winters. Why have I not noticed his leprechaun, dragons and giant stop sign in past years?

Click here to read the story. Mystery solved.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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29 Responses to “Goin’ quackers during a Minnesota winter”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    ‘Nuff said!!! No theories here! Brain freeze! LOL!

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    All I could think of was The Mighty Ducks and then you wrote that in your FYI!!!! How funny. It is pretty fun to see someone who made something out of the snow piles.

  3. 🙂 Minnesota folks get creative with snow. Love it.

  4. Mike S. Says:

    The sculptor may be carrying on the longstanding Minnesota tradition of creating giant statues of animals like the Black Duck in Blackduck, the giant turkey in Frazee or the otter in Fergus Falls.

    BTW, Zach Parise, current Minnesota Wild player and captain of the US mens hockey team also skated for Shattuck St. Marys.

    • That’s possible…

      Yup, I’m familiar with Parise’s connection to Shattuck. I believe several other mmembers now playing with the US men’s hockey team also played prep hocked at Shattuck. Twin sisters who played hockey at Shattuck are currently on the US women’s hockey team at the Olympics.

      BTW, I just hopped over to your blog and love what I read there. Readers, visit Mike and Melinda and read their stories about reopening the Emmaville Store in northern Minnesota. I promise, you will love their down-to-earth storytelling about a place and people they love. Great stuff here.

  5. Jackie Says:

    Now THATS a Duck! i guess maybe someone thought the classic snowman was boring and wanted to be more creative, but a duck???? Why a duck 🙂

  6. Oh No Cabin Fever Really Bad! Loving your captures – ha:) Happy Day – Stay Warm.

  7. randy Says:

    FYI the duck is lit at night for your viewing pleasure.

  8. hotlyspiced Says:

    That sure is a lot of snow and ice. Someone has definitely been very creative. I do hope this is the last of your winter! xx

    • Oh, Charlie, Minnesota winters last into April and sometimes May (but May snow is rare).

      I’ll be posting another photo of the duck soon once I get over to photograph it. Color has been added, making it even more spectacular.

  9. Oh man, best front yard snow sculpture ever! I’m sure going “quackers” is right on the mark. That little rubber ducky needs a nice warm bath, though.

  10. Always a fan of The Ducks! OREGON DUCKS, that is! The Fighting Ducks! But ordinary ducks are good, too! 🙂 The bigger the better.


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