Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In which I see that, yes, winter really has arrived in Minnesota November 22, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:08 AM
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A scene along Minnesota State Highway 23 between Foley and St. Cloud on Sunday afternoon.

A scene along Minnesota State Highway 23 between Foley and St. Cloud on Sunday afternoon, after the sun emerged from grey skies.

THE FIRST SNOWFALL of the season always arrives with considerable hoopla here in Minnesota. As if we hadn’t seen snow that layers the ground in white.

Round hay bales create a snow fence along Highway 23.

Round hay bales create a snow fence along Highway 23.

Last week, sections of my state got plenty of snow. We’re talking two feet in Leader in north central Minnesota. Mixed with high winds, blizzard conditions prevailed in many regions. Down here in the southeastern section? Only flurries. And I’m just fine with that.

Just outside of Monticello.

Just outside of Monticello.

Under grey skies on the flat land north of Monticello, snow dusts fields.

Under grey skies on the flat land north of Monticello, snow dusts fields.

However, a Sunday day trip 2.5 hours north and west of the metro took my husband and me into a snowy central Minnesota landscape.

Along Benton County Road 3 north of Gilman.

Along Benton County Road 3 north of Gilman, snow covers the rural landscape.

And, yes, I confess, I delighted in seeing snow-covered ground for the first time this winter season. There’s something about that initial snow that is magical and pure and, well, beautiful.

I snapped this wintry scene as we pulled into a convenience store/gas station in Foley.

I snapped this wintry scene as we pulled into a convenience store/gas station in Foley on Sunday afternoon.

This truck clearly has not moved in awhile.

This truck clearly has not moved in awhile.

The heavy, wet snow is piled now along the roadside, here in Foley.

The heavy, wet snow is piled now along the roadside, here in Foley.

A rural resident cleans out the end of his driveway along Benton County Road 3.

A rural resident cleans out the end of his driveway along Benton County Road 3.

Some parking lots were treacherously icy, like this one where we turned our van around in Gilman.

Some parking lots are treacherously icy, like this one in Gilman.

As long as you don’t have to deal with the snow and ice. As long as roads are clear, which they were except for icy patches on Benton County Road 3 north of Gilman.

I especially appreciate the visual contrast of red barns, this one north of Gilman, against the white landscape.

I especially appreciate the visual contrast of red barns, this one north of Gilman, against the white landscape.

Everything always seems sharper, brighter on a white canvas.

I photographed this train by the Minnesota State Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. It's heading for Clear Lake.

I photographed this train near the Minnesota State Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. It’s heading for Clear Lake.

Today brings a predicted wintry mix of precipitation to Minnesota. Rain mixed with snow, which likely will create slick roads. That type of winter weather is always unwelcome. But this is Minnesota. I should expect this.

I'm already waiting for spring, even though winter has just started. Here the same train I photographed in St. Cloud passes through Clear Lake as we all wait.

I’m already waiting for spring, even though winter has just started. Here the same train I photographed in St. Cloud passes through Clear Lake as we all wait.

But I don’t have to like it. And I don’t. Is it May yet? The novelty and excitement of seeing the first snowfall has apparently already faded for me.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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20 Responses to “In which I see that, yes, winter really has arrived in Minnesota”

  1. I need a sweater reading this – brrrr. Stay Warm & Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy 🙂

  2. Aww, I’m sorry you are so ready for spring already! I missed the snowstorm, since I was in England. But I loved flying over Minnesota yesterday on my way home, seeing all the patches of snow scattered around, and thought that yes, I am ready for winter. I love this season of snow and lights and fireplaces and food cooking. I just returned from the grocery store and couldn’t help feeling incredibly happy to be there picking up some stuff to make fudge with my kids tomorrow evening (it’s a pre-Thanksgiving tradition at our house). Even the freezing rain falling here right now didn’t dampen my spirits!

    • I need some of your enthusiasm to rub off on me. Maybe having kids home and a fireplace, and most assuredly fudge, would help. Of those, only fudge is a possibility. Too bad I ate all of the fudge Randy purchased at a church bake sale on Saturday.

      Welcome home!

  3. Jackie Says:

    Well… You know what I think about winter. I’m extremely jealous that Rochester saw none of this snow….at all! We are seriously thinking about running up to the cabin this weekend for just a little get away, there is snow, and I wanna see it 🙂

  4. Don Says:

    Look at the bright side Audrey, we are another day closer to summer!

    Pictures of snow covered fields and farms always reminds me of Images from Currier and Ives which I always find enjoyable and relaxing. A bygone era, sigh…………………….

  5. Don Says:

    I look forward to seeing that in person!

  6. Ashley Breanna Says:

    I really love that house in Monticello. Beautiful.

  7. Hello, dear.
    Wonderful phots.
    BUT I do not not not want WINTER!
    I do not like it Sam I Am.
    I’m NEVER ready.
    I live in MN…But I’m not a MN girl!
    Also, I love sun, warmth, walking, shorts, tank tops, cats outside, neighbors grilling, & did I say SUN?
    Keep well. Smile!
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING)))!! xx

  8. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    As usual you took me back to my growing up years near Owatonna. Those rural, small town scenes put me back in the car with my family running errands at Thanksgiving and recalling the magical first snowfall of the season. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Beautiful pictures. I especially like the old house.


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