Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Walking through snowy woods on a Sunday afternoon January 4, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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THE WEATHERMAN PROMISED mostly sunny skies Sunday in southern Minnesota. But predictions and reality don’t always match. Rather than sunshine here in Faribault, grey skies prevailed, matching my mood.

 

Nature Center, 2 Randy walking

 

I needed a walk in the woods, an escape. Time to envelope myself in nothing but nature, in the muffled quiet of traversing a snow-covered trail winding through River Bend Nature Center.

 

Nature Center, 6 trees

 

There is something about trudging through snow, about pausing to study the bark of a naked tree, about tipping your head upward toward the sky, even if it is grey, that temporarily nudges away heartache.

 

Nature Center, 5 cross country skiers

 

Nature Center, 11 single cross country skier

 

Nature Center, 25 skiing uphill

 

So I walked with my husband through the sparse landscape of black-and-white. Sparse words. Silence in between. A Robert Frost poem. Only the sporadic cross country skier interrupted our solitude.

 

Nature Center, 30 woodpecker

 

Nature Center, 8 green birdhouse

 

Nature Center, 17 walking across icy parking lot

 

Occasionally I stopped to snapshot a scene. When my fingertips ached with cold from photographing birds in 27 degrees, I wove across the patchy ice of the parking lot to our Chevy.

Nature Center, 42 license plate

 

There I photographed my final nature scene on a license plate.

 

Nature Center, 15 River Bend van

 

Then our car wound back through River Bend, past snowy woods and a frozen pond, past the razor wire fence and grounds of the Minnesota Correctional Facility, Faribault (which sits right next to the Nature Center), back to reality. Still shrouded by grey skies.

BONUS PHOTOS:

Walking the dogs.

Walking the dogs.

A tag at the base of a tree.

A tag at the base of a tree.

A sign in the woods explains an effort to rid River Bend of invasive buckthorn by utilizing goats to eat the invasive tree.

A sign in the woods explains an effort to rid River Bend of buckthorn by utilizing goats to eat the invasive tree.

Goats from Goat Dispatch will also consume these Christmas trees which area residents are invited to drop off at River Bend.

Goats from Goat Dispatch will also consume these Christmas trees and wreaths dropped off by area residents. The goats will be on-site during River Bend’s January 24 WinterFest.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling