Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Observing the Minnesota harvest October 25, 2016

A farm site between Kenyon and Faribault.

A farm site between Kenyon and Faribault.

ALONG GRAVEL ROADS and across fields, farm machinery kicked up dust, shrouding rural southeastern Minnesota in pockets of hazy grey.

Somewhere southeast of rochester.

Somewhere southeast of Rochester.

Dust sometimes trailed plumes behind tractors.

All American Co-op in Stewartville Saturday afternoon.

All American Co-op in Stewartville Saturday afternoon.

The elevator in Hayfield.

Grain bins in Hayfield.

In small towns, tractors pulling grain wagons and trucks loaded with corn or soybeans waited at local elevators.

Bees wings accumulating along Main Street in Hayfield.

Bees wings (chaff from corn cobs) accumulate along Main Street in Hayfield.

And bees wings drifted, tinting Main Street and sidewalks red.

Near Root River County Park in Olmsted County.

Near Root River County Park in Olmsted County.

Near Wanamingo...

Near Wanamingo…

In township after township after township, I observed farmers gathering in the crops and working the land on Saturday. A good drying day. Sunshine and crisp temps. Perfect to finish the harvest.

A cluster of bins near Hayfield.

A cluster of bins by Hayfield.

A day trip drive this time of year requires patience as combines, trucks and tractors clog roadways, slowing traffic. But that’s OK. Sometimes we need to creep along, to simply appreciate this land and the farmers who plant, tend and gather in the crops.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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20 Responses to “Observing the Minnesota harvest”

  1. great pics… really enjoyed them… brings back memories

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    It is definitely harvest time, isn’t it? I am sure that brings many memories back for you. It is certainly a lovely time of year to be taking a casual drive.

  3. Have sure seen those “bees wings” though I’ve never heard them called that! I will miss watching harvest from our acreage. ‘Course, that’s only about 5 days out of the year!

  4. Great Captures – this reminds me of my growing up on the farm days – that dust stuck to everything including your nose and eyes. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    I remember the dangers of harvest time too. So many accidents at intersections because people (not usually the farmers) can’t slow down. I like what you said about learning to “creep along”.

  6. pkpm519 Says:

    I really enjoy your essays about the farms and farming. We travel the road from Faribault to Kenyon a lot so I have seen the same farms you have pictured here and other times. (I also travel Hwy 56 and 52, so I see lots of Dan Traun’s pictures.)
    Emily McNeill

  7. I had no idea chaff from corn cobs was called bees wings. You learn something new every…

  8. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    It is so satisfying to see the farmers bringing in the harvest; thanks for the photo tour.

  9. Jackie Says:

    I just love the sights and sounds of the harvest. I’m mesmerized by the whole thing. A few years ago I was invited to go out with a friend in his combine… I felt like I was in heaven. Love the first photo with the “grainy” effect!

  10. Bees wings – I’ve never heard them called that before. You learn something new every day


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