Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A photographic journey through rural western Wisconsin November 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Rural, red barn, bin and field




Rural, round bales


Rural, harvested cornfield


Rural, white barn and silos

Farm buildings.

All draw my eyes to the landscape, my hand to the camera, eye to the viewfinder, finger to shutter button.


Rural, red barn and Harvestores


Flash of color: A red barn.


Rural, red barn, fields and grey sheds


Rural scenes unfold before me on this drive through western Wisconsin, from Nelson north to St. Croix Falls in early October.


Rural, red barn and lone cow


I am linked to the land by my past, daughter of a southwestern Minnesota crop and dairy farmer. Even after 40 years away from the farm, fields and farm sites hold my heart more than any grid of city blocks or cluster of homes or urban anything.

If I could, I would live in the country again, close to the scent of dried corn stalks and fertile black soil.


Rural, house by trees


I would live under a sky that overwhelms, inside a white farmhouse with a welcoming front porch. That was always my dream.

But dreams cost money. Instead, I have lived in an old house along an arterial street in a town of some 23,000 for 30 years. I am grateful to have a house, to live in a community I love among dear friends.


Rural, country church and cemetery


Still, a part of my soul yearns, aches for the land I left.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


21 Responses to “A photographic journey through rural western Wisconsin”

  1. I have watched my landscape change here with the fields being worked after harvest. I do wish I had a red barn in my landscape!!!

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    I can totally feel your pain, which is so interesting cuz I was born in the Metro but always searched out those nearby undeveloped areas of rustic country that still remained near my growing-up home. The area was the newly developing post-war East Side of St.Paul where the first homes were surrounded by the fields that were quickly being eaten by the contractor. And, then (40 years ago) we moved here…..to our small hobby farm. We just knew we were “home” from the moment we drove down the drive-way!!!! And so we continue…..our #2 son/daughter-in-law who live on the property have purchased it…….we shall remain in the “main house” until…………………

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    You long for your roots–that is understandable since it is what molded you into the reflective and observant person that you are today. I don’t have that connection with any one place but I understand how it can take hold of your heart and soul. How could it not? Lovely photos as always!

    • Excellent observation.

      I cannot imagination not being connected/rooted to a place like you. That is perhaps why you love to travel and I don’t. You grew up on the move. I was pretty much rooted to the farm with two vacations my entire childhood, one to Duluth at age four and one to the Black Hills at about age 12.

  4. All of the pictures are beautiful but the last one of the church is amazing.

  5. Dan Traun Says:

    Lovely scenery; great photos.

  6. Beautiful Captures – makes me yearn for the simpler life 🙂 Happy Hump Day!

  7. Don Singsaas Says:

    Great photos. Did you ever notice that as a general rule (at least in my area) Dairy Farms had white barns and grain farms had red barns?

  8. Jackie Says:

    Ahhh, the country and all that goes with it… loved all your photo’s, what a beautiful time of the year! I can see how this drive would cause you to yearn for your past. favorite photo…last one 🙂

  9. Don Singsaas Says:

    Not sure why but perhaps white for dairy to portray cleanliness?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.