Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Now this is the kind of Minnesota winter day I like February 29, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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SATURDAY BROUGHT A RESPITE from winter. An unbelievable respite as the temperature rocketed to new record highs throughout Minnesota. At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the high temp of 56 degrees broke the previous high of 54 degrees set 120 years ago on February 27, 1896.

Pulling into the Dairy Queen, I snapped this temperature sign Saturday afternoon, February 27.

Pulling into the Dairy Queen, I snapped this temperature and time sign on Saturday afternoon, February 27, in Faribault.

It was a glorious day. Simply glorious. Here in Faribault, where I photographed a digital temperature reading of 55 degrees at 3:22 p.m., it seemed more a spring day than the middle of winter.

Eastbound on Minnesota State Highway 60 in Faribault Saturday afternoon.

Eastbound on Minnesota State Highway 60 in Faribault Saturday afternoon.

I spotted motorcycles and convertibles, folks in shorts and shirt sleeves.

And in my backyard, the sun shone so bright right after lunch that I wanted to curl up like a cat and sleep. Outdoors. On my back steps. Just feet from snow piles.

I set my peanut buster parfait on a table in my patio to show the backyard contrast of seasons. The white background patches are snow, the green, lawn.

I set my peanut buster parfait on a table on my patio to show the backyard contrast of seasons. The white background patches are snow, the green is lawn.

Hours later, my husband and I were pulling up to the Dairy Queen for peanut buster parfaits. The DQ had just opened and was offering a special. The place was busy. But not as busy as the next door car wash. There vehicles waited a dozen deep in two lines. Randy decided to wash our van and car at home, the old-fashioned way with a hose and bucket of water.

That was Saturday.

This Dairy Queen sign equates the difference in temps from Saturday (hot for Minnesota winter standards) to Sunday (normal for winter).

This Dairy Queen sign equates the difference in temps from Saturday (hot for Minnesota winter standards) to Sunday (normal for winter).

Sunday morning brought a drastic shift in temperatures, to the normal range for this time of year. Thirty-five degrees.

Snow flakes fell fast and furious around noon on Sunday. This shows my neighbor's evergreens and flag.

Snow flakes fell fast and furious around noon on Sunday. This shows my neighbor’s evergreens and flag, photographed from my back steps.

Around noon, a burst of snow reminded me that this still is winter in Minnesota. Even if we experienced a glorious spring-like day on February 27.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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23 Responses to “Now this is the kind of Minnesota winter day I like”

  1. It sure makes it hard to go back to snow after a day like that thou

  2. Virginia Updegrove Says:

    Here in Arizona we have had an absolutely beautiful winter. It really us like spring. Snowbirds driving in their convertibles..El Niño really has thrown ya some different weather.

  3. 30fordmodela Says:

    We would like to share more of our low 70s and abundant sunshine with you in MN if you could share some rain with us (notice I didn’t say snow).

    Although I often have a short nap on the patio after lunch there these days, I would rather some rain was falling on the canvas overhead to help reduce the effects of our four year drought. We are in the process of getting rid of lawns and other plants requiring water….

  4. Having a heat wave one day and the next day winter returns. That treat looks delicious. We have been averaging about 74 here lately and loving it! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  5. Don Says:

    Nice weather enjoy it while you have it! Aren’t basketball tournaments just around the corner and do you still get blizzards that time of year like we did in the old days?

    Oh my, DQ sound great, wish we had one here!

    • Boys’ state basketball tourney is March 9 – 12. It would be interesting to research that, to see how often we’ve had blizzards then. It’s a myth we’ve perpetuated here in Minnesota. Whether backed up by truth, I don’t know.

      No DQs in Alaska?

  6. Don Says:

    No DQ’s in Fairbanks, Anchorage has some and so does Kotzebue of all places. Kotzebue is 33 miles above the Arctic Circle!

  7. Don Says:

    Sorry to say, no. BUT DQ is a special treat when we go no Anchorage! Much like the rest of the state there are many thing that cannot be bought locally but are a special treat when we do get them. You would be surprised at the cargo we fly, fresh pizza, McDonalds, Arby’s,KFC etc. 250 pounds of fresh hot Pizza Hut pizza sure makes the plane smell good!

  8. Ah, a respite brief is still a refreshing change from winter and a sure sign of things to come.

  9. Jackie Says:

    This last weekend certainly brought a mix of weather….both of which I loved! I actually opened all the windows in my house and washed some bedding. Everything was so fresh and smelled wonderful. One of our DQ’s opened as well, we haven’t made it there yet…Saturday would have been the perfect day! P.S. I love the photo of the flag against the evergreens with the time flecks of snow coming down 🙂


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