Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Soup, salad & sandwiches at St. John’s March 12, 2014

SUNLIGHT FILTERS through the fellowship hall windows on an early Sunday afternoon in March. Outside the 40-degree temps feel balmy after a brutally cold and snowy Minnesota winter.

St. John's United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, rural Faribault.

St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, rural Faribault, Minnesota.

I’ve left my coat in the van, drawing my sweater tight around me as I pause to photograph St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, before hurrying inside. The strong wind has a bite to it.

Salad options.

Salad options.

Inside, I grab a shiny silver tray, select a salad from choices on ice, pinch lettuce into a bowl and add toppings before placing the tray on a table to photograph the salad selections. While I do so, a teen ladles a generous scoop of Ranch dressing atop my lettuce salad.

Lynn, right, tends the potato soup in this duo scene of kitchen and fellowship hall.

Lynn, right, tends the potato soup in this duo scene, divided by a wall, of kitchen and fellowship hall.

Next, I move toward the kitchen serving window to consider the soup offerings—chicken noodle, potato bacon and bean. All homemade. I start with potato. Lynn fills my bowl.

Kim and Keith serve diners.

Kim and Keith serve diners.

Juggling camera and tray, I move down the line to the sandwiches. Kim and Keith are ladling soup, too, and refilling the sandwich tray.

Sandwich choices from ham to sausage to open face.

Sandwich choices from ham to sausage to open face.

I choose an open face sandwich topped with a mix of meat and chopped pickles.

My husband and I settle onto folding chairs at a table nearest the kitchen. I want easy access to photograph the scene, the moments that define this first of three Sunday Lenten soup luncheons at St. John’s.

I’ve been here before, often enough that parishioners welcome me into this country church east of Faribault just off Minnesota State Highway 60 along Jacobs Avenue.

My first tray of food.

My first tray of food.

I know the routine, too. Gather my food and then transfer bowls and sandwich onto a paper placemat so the trays are ready for the next diners.

Key food preparer Craig, carrying a coffee pot, right, says 60 -70 diners were served at Sunday's luncheon.

Key food preparer, organizer, church organist and co-youth leader, Craig, carrying a coffee pot, right, says 60 -70 diners were served at Sunday’s luncheon.

There’s something about familiarity and dining in the company of the faithful, the din of conversation and the clack of kitchen noises, that comforts as much as a hearty homemade soup.

Mandarin orange dessert awaits diners.

Mandarin orange dessert plated for delivery to diners.

For two evenings and a day prior, Craig and his mother, 88-year-old Elsie, and their neighbor, Lynn, have labored, preparing the three soups, the nine salads and the mandarin orange dessert. Parents of Youth Fellowship members brought the sandwiches.

This is a labor of love and of service—the chopping of onions, the soaking of beans, the dicing of ham, the mixing of homemade dumplings (by the octogenarian)…

Brandon dries dishes. The Youth Fellowship sponsors the soup and salad luncheons.

Brandon dries dishes. The Youth Fellowship sponsors the soup and salad luncheons.

In the kitchen, 13-year-old Brandon dries dishes beside his mother and Elsie. Others tend the soup, sandwiches, salad and dessert. Youth hustle to bring and refill beverages, to clear tables, to deliver dessert. Craig rushes to refill coffee pots and cups.

Bibles, florals and candles  decorated tables.

Bibles, florals and candles decorate tables.

I observe it all, from tabletop bible centerpieces opened to Psalms to the dainty floral pattern on church china to the stool I’ve seen Elsie use in the kitchen every time I’ve been here. She’s always in the kitchen.

The hardworking team.

The hardworking team.

This congregation works together, feeding diners like me who appreciate their efforts and the taste of great homemade food as much as this rural setting and fellowship.

Inside the church kitchen, that's Elsie standing next to her stool.

Inside the church kitchen, 88-year-old Elsie works next to her stool.

Once I’ve finished my first bowl of potato soup, I get a new bowl and a scoop of bean soup, followed by a second helping of potato. I pass on the third soup; I’m not a fan of either chicken soup or of dumplings.

As I finish my dessert, Kim and Keith join my husband and me to rest for a bit and eat lunch. We talk about kids and the horrible long winter and vehicles in ditches and the couple’s continually snow blown driveway and such. It’s a comfortable conversation.

Elsie, 88, enjoys a bowl of bean soup.

Elsie, 88, sits in the kitchen and enjoys a bowl of bean soup at the end of the luncheon.

Before we leave, I pop into the kitchen again and catch Elsie finally sitting down with a bowl of bean soup.

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FYI: If you’re interested in attending St. John’s next two soup luncheons, here are details:

The church is located at

The church is located at 19086 Jacobs Avenue, rural Faribault.

These will be your salad options.

These will be your salad options.

On the way out the door, study the Germanfest photos on the bulletin board:

St. John's UCC Germanfest is another must-attend annual event in September. Great food, entertainment, bingo, quilt show and more.

St. John’s UCC Germanfest is another must-attend annual event in September. Great food, entertainment, bingo, quilt show and more define this ethnic gathering.

And then purchase a jar of St. John’s famous homemade apple jelly or butter:

Beautiful and savory St. John's apple jelly.

Beautiful and savory St. John’s apple jelly.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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Raising awareness of MS via snow art, plus an idea for Faribault March 11, 2014

IF KURT KLETT CAN CONVINCE city councilors, my community could host an annual snow carving competition in Central Park.

Faribault resident Kurt Klett and his latest snow sculpture, a leprechaun with a pot of gold.

Faribault resident Kurt Klett and his latest snow sculpture, a leprechaun with a pot of gold. Warm temps had partially melted the snow, fading the colors, when I photographed the art late Sunday morning.

That’s the plan, according to this 42-year-old Faribault resident who, for the past five winters, has created snow sculptures in his front yard and this year also entered the St. Paul Winter Carnival snow sculpting contest.

Photographed from Second Street.

Photographed from Second Street.

Given Klett’s enthusiasm and talent and the admiration of locals, his idea certainly could fly. I absolutely support his proposal as a way to bring visitors into Faribault, add a fun, diversionary aspect to an oftentimes long Minnesota winter and promote awareness of Multiple Sclerosis.

Entry fees for the proposed snow sculpting contest would go toward MS, says Klett, diagnosed with the disease of the central nervous system in 1999. The single father of three, ages 6 – 13, suffers from vision and other issues and is currently on disability. He once worked in construction and sales and now works at the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School hockey arena.

His body embraces cold temperatures, Klett says, so he needs to take care not to become overheated while sculpting.

Multiple rubber duckies not sit atop the giant duck graced with a heart and a colored bill.

Klett’s first sculpture of this winter, photographed in late February.

This winter he’s already crafted two snow sculptures in Faribault. The first, a duck, stood completed until two days of 40-degree temps caused the beak to partially fall off.

Klett showed me these photos he took of the two sculptures showing the especially vibrant colors before temps warmed.

Klett showed me these photos he took of the two sculptures with especially vibrant colors before temps warmed.

Undaunted, Klett and a neighbor then “sawed” the remainder of the beak off with a 10-foot chain so he could reshape the duck into a leprechaun holding a pot of gold.

As I’ve observed and as Klett notes, his sculptures are constantly changing, just like the effects of MS. His art, he says, is an ode to MS, a way to raise awareness of the disease.

FIGHT MS is barely visible now on the pot of gold after warm temps began melting the sculpture.

FIGHT MS is barely visible now on the pot of gold after warm temps began melting the sculpture.

FIGHT MS marks the front of the leprechaun’s pot of gold. Klett carved a bull for the St. Paul Winter Carnival snow sculpting contest, dubbing the bull as “Bully the MS Goalie.” Last year he created a stop sign with hockey sticks in his yard, honoring Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding who also has MS.

The leprechaun's pipe is crafted from a crowbar and a raisin container wrapped in hockey tape.

The leprechaun’s pipe is crafted from a crowbar and a raisin container wrapped in hockey tape. This sculpture reaches 12 feet to the top of the hat.

What he crafts from the snow gathered into a huge mound from his and sometimes a neighbor’s yards and even from the roof of his house at 417 Second St. N.W. “depends on what the pile looks like,” this sculptor says.

He’s previously also created a leprechaun on a shamrock, a komodo dragon surrounded by a skyscraper with two hearts, and a T-Rex. Sometimes his kids help choose the art.

This photo montage by Klett shows the process of creating the duck sculpture.

A photo montage by Klett of his 10-foot high duck sculpture.

The process of sculpting this year’s duck and leprechaun took him 14-16 hours each. Depending on the weather, the leprechaun may eventually evolve into a third sculpture. Already warm temps are eroding his leprechaun, fading the colors.

The artist shines a spotlight on his sculptures.

The artist shines a spotlight,left, on his sculptures.

His art draws admiring fans, so much that Klett shines a spotlight on his sculpture at night. As I photographed his leprechaun and chatted with the artist Sunday morning, an older couple stopped. The driver rolled down his car window. “That’s remarkable,” enthused the man. “It’s beautiful.”

I agree. Now imagine Central Park in Faribault graced next winter with such remarkable and beautiful snow art.

FYI: Kurt Klett has not yet approached the Faribault City Council with his request for a snow sculpture contest in Central Park. He is currently raising awareness and gathering support for this project.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Shopping local: My beautiful vintage floral art find March 10, 2014

Crewel embroidery floral art, looking up

IT’S SIMPLY A STUNNING piece. Stitched flowers, artfully arranged, springing from a blue vase.

I was beyond tempted to keep the crewel embroidered floral art for myself.

But, instead, I would present it to my eldest who, for her 28th birthday, requested thrift art. She knows my knack for finding great original art at thrift shops, garage sales and elsewhere. I’d been searching for awhile for her gift, to no avail.

So I conceded that, until I found the perfect piece, she’d need to settle for a bouquet of real flowers. Fresh flowers are always welcome and would be a great way for my husband and I to thank our daughter and her husband for inviting us to lunch at their St. Paul apartment.

Remember to shop local as noted in this mat at the entrance to The Nook & Cranny. Edited photo.

Remember to shop small local stores as noted in this entry mat at The Nook & Cranny. Edited photo.

The day before the lunch date, Randy and I stopped downtown Faribault for St. Pete’s Select blue cheese from the Cheese Cave. Our son-in-law loves this locally-made cheese. And while we were on Central Avenue, I would pop into a floral shop for flowers.

Crewel embroidery floral art, front

But, before I even exited the car, I noticed that stunning floral art in the front window of  The Nook & Cranny, a gift shop which features vintage, collectible and handcrafted merchandise.

The Nook & Cranny, 412 Central Avenue, Faribault, Minnesota.

The Nook & Cranny, 412 Central Avenue, Faribault, Minnesota.

I beelined for the store, my husband trailing. When he read the price tag on the artwork, my excitement diminished. It was priced way higher than I expected or wanted to pay. Art, but not exactly thrift art. As is typical of me, I debated whether I should spend that kind of money. I circled the store, fingering other merchandise, my thoughts never far from that floral art in the window.

Crewel embroidery floral art, side view

To make the potential purchase even more enticing, the shopkeeper shared its history. The floral art was created as a wedding gift some 75 years ago by a mother-in-law. Now no one in the family wanted the long ago gift nor two other crewel embroidered pieces, also for sale in The Nook & Cranny.

That history, combined with a comment by my spouse that real flowers would last perhaps a week, made the decision final. Our daughter would have this art forever.

The Nook & Cranny is among numerous one-of-a-kind locally-owned specialty shops in historic downtown Faribault.

The Nook & Cranny is among numerous one-of-a-kind locally-owned specialty shops in historic downtown Faribault.

So I meandered to the back room and, in an atypical move, asked the shopkeeper whether she would consider dropping the price. She did, by 10 percent. That was just enough. I knew, too, if I didn’t buy this vintage art with its wonderful history, I would regret my decision.

This crewel embroidery art, crafted by the same woman who created the floral I purchased, now hangs in the front window of the Nook & Cranny.

This 1970s vintage crewel embroidery art, crafted by the same woman who created the floral I purchased, now hangs in the front window of The Nook & Cranny. I photographed this through the window when the shop was closed, thus the glare on the glass. If you buy this art, tell them I sent you.

Truly, this art was meant to be purchased by me and gifted to my eldest. I am convinced of that. I know she will treasure it. When she saw the art for the first time, her enthusiasm was genuine.

Table setting

Besides that, when we arrived at her and her husband’s apartment for Sunday lunch, a bouquet of fresh flowers already adorned the dining room table.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Bar hopping, Minnesota blogger style March 7, 2014

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SIGNAGE VISUALLY intrigues me, specifically vintage signs or those that stand out as unique. I am drawn to photograph them in Minnesota’s small towns.

I expect our state’s metro areas may sport equally as interesting signage. But, unlike a friend who recently dissed Marshall (and I won’t repeat what she said) because she is a city, not a country, girl, I prefer rural Minnesota. I took offense at my friend’s comment. Southwestern Minnesota possesses a beauty unequal in endless skies and space that allows one to breathe and move and celebrate the land and its people.

It is a good thing we don’t all like the same places.

Given my aversion to the real and visual busyness of the metro, I seldom travel there. Rather, my journeys take me most often onto small town Main Street, you know that route too many are too hurried to consider as they rush from Point A to Point B.

In my hometown on the southwestern Minnesota prairie, the Vesta Municipal Liquor Store. I've always loved the exterior look of this building.

In my hometown on the southwestern Minnesota prairie, the Vesta Municipal Liquor Store anchors a corner of the town’s one-block business district. I’ve always loved the exterior look of this building. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Poking around in my photo files recently, I noticed that I often photograph liquor store/bar signs and buildings in small towns. Why? I’m not much of a drinker.

I suspect it’s a combination of factors. Bars often serve as gathering places. Sometimes a bar may even remain as the sole business in a rural community. And, more often than not, they display one-of-a-kind signs that have been around for awhile.

Join me on a photographic bar hop to some of Minnesota’s small towns and larger communities. Cheers.

The Frontier Bar & Lounge in Fairfax, along State Highway 19 in southwestern Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo 2013.

The Frontier Bar & Lounge in Fairfax, along State Highway 19 in southwestern Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo 2013.

How cool is this signage at Drive-In Liquors along U.S. Highway 14 in Springfield in my native southwestern Minnesota? Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

How cool is this signage at Clay’s Drive-In Liquor along U.S. Highway 14 in Springfield, also in my native southwestern Minnesota? Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo 2012.

When I was in my shooting photos off-kilter stage in 2011, I shot this image of the Preri Bach Saloon & Grill in Cambria, a small town near New Ulm, home of Schell's Brewery.

When I was in my shooting photos off-kilter stage in 2011, I shot this image of the Preri Bach Saloon & Grill in Cambria, a small town near New Ulm, home of Schell’s Brewery.

The West Concord Liquor Store, housed in a beautiful old building, once city hall. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

The West Concord Liquor Store, housed in a beautiful old building, once city hall. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

This Main Street Lounge signage in Waterville seems fitting given the city's self designation as "The Bullhead Capitol of the World." Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo 2012.

This Main Street Lounge signage in Waterville seems fitting given the city’s self designation as “The Bullhead Capitol of the World.” Minnesota Prairie Roots edited file photo 2012.

This unique corner entry at Broinks Bar & Grill in downtown Lake City drew my attention. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

This unique corner entry at Broinks Bar & Grill in downtown Lake City drew my attention. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

The setting sun spotlights vintage Faribo Liquor Store signage along Fourth Street/Minnesota Highway 60 in downtown Faribault. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009.

The setting sun spotlights vintage Faribo Liquor Store signage along Fourth Street/Minnesota Highway 60 in downtown Faribault. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2009.

Signage on the Canton pub near the Iowa border. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

Signage on the Canton pub near the Iowa border. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

In North Mankato, signage at Circle Inn. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2011.

In North Mankato, signage at Circle Inn. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2011.

In Vermillion, near Hastings, a bar advertises the ever popular happy hour. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

In Vermillion, near Hastings, a bar advertises the ever popular happy hour. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2012.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Honoring the small town feed mill March 6, 2014

The Lonsdale Feed Mill.

The Lonsdale Feed Mill.

SOME TERM THEM “Cathedrals of the Prairie.”

Feed mill, close-up top

I know them simply as “the elevator” or “the feed mill,” the grey structures which, for years, have graced our farming communities.

Feed mill, back of

 They hold memories for me of bouncing in the pick-up truck, seated beside my farmer father, to the Vesta Feed Mill.

Feed mill, truck

Deafening roar of machines grinding corn.

Feed mill, bags of feed

Dust layering surfaces. The memorable smell of ground feed, as memorable as the scent of freshly-cut alfalfa. Stacked bags awaiting pick-up or delivery.

Feed mill, front 2

Like barns, these feed mills and elevators are disappearing from rural America, replaced by more modern structures. Or simply falling apart.

I hold on to fading memories. And I promise to pay photographic reverence to these Cathedrals of the Prairie whenever I can.

Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

In the conservatory with the camera, Part II March 5, 2014

GROWING UP, I LOVED the mystery board game Clue. Determine the murderer, weapon and mansion room in which the crime was committed and you win the game.

Simple? Not necessarily. The game requires a great deal of concentration, plotting and even some deception.

While Clue includes a cast of characters with interesting names like Colonel Mustard and Mrs. Peacock, what most intrigues me are the rooms. Imagine a home with a lounge, a billiard room and a conservatory. Yes, a conservatory, smaller in scale than the one I toured Sunday afternoon at Como Park.

The Mzarjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Mzarjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, with its winding paths, nooks and extensive foliage, would present the perfect setting for a St. Paul-based mystery. In the shrouded mist of the Fern Room, I can almost imagine a shadowy figure lurking. In the Palm Dome, I can envision a chase. Inside the Sunken Garden, I can picture a stand-off on opposite ends of the garden.

Ah, yes, my imagination appears to be in overdrive. Blame winter madness. Blame the need to escape.

And so we shall…

Follow this path through the North Garden.

Follow this path through the North Garden.

Stop to enjoy the orchids, these in the Palm Dome.

Stop to enjoy the orchids, these in the Palm Dome.

Appreciate leaves as big as an elephant's ears.

Appreciate leaves as big as an elephant’s ears.

Admire the art, including this statue in a Palm Dome fountain.

Admire the art, including this statue in a Palm Dome fountain.

Or create art like this member of the Metro Sketchers working in the Sunken Garden.

Observe a member of the Metro Sketchers creating art in the Sunken Garden.

Or photograph the film crew filming the artist's work.

Photograph the cameraman filming the artist’s work.

Admire the simplistic beauty of orchids.

Admire the simplistic beauty of orchids.

Notice the contrast of a bonsai tree against a steamed window knowing only glass separate the plant from a snowy landscape.

Notice the contrast of a bonsai tree against windows, knowing only glass separates the plant from a snowy landscape.

Mention to your daughter and son-in-law how nice one of these bonsai trees would look sitting on a window ledge in their St. Paul apartment.

Mention to your daughter and son-in-law how nice one of these bonsai trees would look on a window ledge in their  apartment.

Because you are so smitten by these mini trees, consider for a moment how you might smuggle one out of the conservatory. You realize this is an impossibility given the crowd, the staffing and that you left your winter coat in the car.

Because you are so smitten by these mini trees, consider for a moment how you might smuggle one out of the conservatory. You realize this is an impossibility given the crowd, the staffing and that you left your winter coat in the car.

Imagine that you are aboard a ship in a fleet transporting exotic spices.

Pretend you are aboard a ship in a fleet transporting exotic spices.

If only you were a little taller, you'd grasp one of those oranges. Wait a minute. Where's that tall son-in-law?

Banish the temptation to pick a juicy orange. (Where’s that tall son-in-law?)

If only you could snip a few lilies to take home, to carry you through the next few months. Until spring...

If only you could snip a few blooms to take home, to carry you through the next few months. Until spring…

FYI: To read my first post from Como Park Conservatory, click here.

Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Guilty of escaping a Minnesota winter: In the conservatory with the camera… March 4, 2014

Photographing the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in the cold Sunday afternoon.

The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul on Sunday afternoon.

“SHE’S CRAZY,” the woman remarked to her companion, not realizing I overheard her as I photographed the exterior of the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

I wasn't the only one racing from vehicle to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory minus a coat.

I wasn’t the only one racing from vehicle to the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory minus a winter coat.

The outdoor air temp hovered around five degrees Fahrenheit. Add in the windchill and the “feels like” temp likely plummeted to minus 25 degrees. And I was coatless.

Was I crazy? Perhaps. But stir craziness marked precisely the reason I came here on a sunny Sunday afternoon on the second day of March with my husband, eldest daughter and son-in-law. I needed a respite from the coldest Minnesota winter in 35 years. And I might add a particularly snowy one.

Looking up at the palm trees.

Looking up at the palm trees.

For a snippet of an afternoon, I pretended I was in the tropics, in a land of lush greenery and flowing rivers and blooming flowers.

Temps were downright hot inside the Conservatory, the reason I left my coat in the car.

Temps were downright hot inside the North Garden, the reason I left my coat in the car.

Not difficult to imagine in the 80-degree warmth of the North Garden,

I tucked my Canon inside my camera bag before entering the humid/misty Fern Room.

I tucked my Canon inside my camera bag before entering the humid/misty/foggy Fern Room.

in the smothering humidity of the Fern Room

Lilies and other flowers perfumed the Sunken Garden.

Lilies and other flowers perfumed the Sunken Garden.

or in the Sunken Garden scented by the blossoms of blooming flowers.

Lines of people streamed through the Sunken Garden, by far the most crowded space.

Lines of people streamed through the Sunken Garden, by far the most crowded space.

This was exactly what I needed, as did hundreds of others. Conservatory paths were packed with people meandering through the gardens, pausing to photograph flowers and/or simply basking in the warmth and beauty.

I can't recall the name of this flower, but I paused to photograph it because I like its shape and sheen.

I can’t recall the name of this flower, but I paused to photograph it because I like its shape and sheen.

Crowded conditions were not conducive to creative photography as I had to move along lest I hold up others. But I managed.

An artist sketching in the Sunken Garden flipped his sketchbook back to reveal his favorite sketch of the day, that of a bonsai tree. His art is spectacular.

An artist sketching in the Sunken Garden flipped his sketchbook back to reveal his favorite sketch of the day, that of a bonsai tree. His art is spectacular. My apologies for failing to ask his name.

Metro Sketchers, artists who monthly gather to create art at a chosen location, recorded the scenes unfolding before them.

Thomas Winterstein of St. Paul sketches a scene in the Palm Dome.

Thomas Winterstein of St. Paul sketches a scene in the Palm Dome.

I chatted with a few,

Thomas Winterstein's sketch.

Thomas Winterstein’s sketch.

admired their art and their ability to create with paint and pencils and other mediums.

Watercolor artist Kathleen Richert paints a fountain in the Palm Dome.

Watercolor artist Kathleen Richert paints a fountain scene in the Palm Dome.

I wondered, too, if my California native son-in-law was at all impressed. After all, palm trees and other warm climate plants certainly aren’t foreign to him.

I have no idea what plant this is, but I love the leaves.

I have no idea what plant this is, but I love the leaves.

To this Minnesotan, though, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul proved impressive and mentally uplifting in this longest and coldest of Minnesota winters.

Even though you're not supposed to snap posed portraits, I managed to take a quick shot of my daughter and her husband in the Palm Dome.

I managed a quick shot of my daughter and her husband in the Palm Dome, even though portraits are banned.

FYI: Just for the record, I left my coat in the daughter’s car as I did not want to carry it around in the Conservatory while also juggling a camera. The daughter was kind enough to drop Mom and Dad off at the sidewalk leading to the Conservatory. She and her husband then circled the parking areas for an incredibly long time before squeezing into a tight parking space. I’d advise driving a small vehicle here and not attempting to park in the unplowed gravel lot where vehicles were getting stuck.

Check back for more photos.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling