Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Spring emerges at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault April 5, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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WITH THE CALENDAR flipped to April, the greening of the grey is subtly emerging in Minnesota as the season shifts from winter to spring.



The Turtle Pond at River Bend Nature Center.


Nesting pond along the entry to River Bend Nature Center.


Wisps of buds. Greening in the pond and woods. Skies and water so incredibly blue you wonder if your winter weary eyes are fooling you.


A frog camouflaged in the Turtle Pond.



The banks of the Straight River proved a popular spot Saturday afternoon. The woman in the purple is wearing a t-shirt with this message: “Leave me alone. I’m only speaking to my dog today.”


Frogs making more noise than raucous children on a playground. Geese nesting. River flowing.


Saturday’s weather proved perfect for motorized and non-motorized bking.


I almost cried when I met this trio of walkers as I thought of my mom and wished I could guide her on a walk through the woods.


Two teens parked their bikes trailside to explore the waterfall.


Give us Minnesotans a nice day of warmth and sunshine, like that on Saturday, and we, too, emerge from our homes to celebrate this changing of the seasons.


My husband, oldest daughter and granddaughter walking through River Bend Sunday afternoon.


My husband and I were among the throngs of visitors hiking at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault during Saturday’s respite warmth. We returned Sunday with our eldest daughter and her daughter. By then conditions had changed from sunny to cloudy with a brisk wind and much lower temps. The weather required stocking caps and winter coats (for the oldsters) unlike the sweatshirts of the previous day. Few others were out and about.


If not for Randy’s sharp eye, we may have stepped on this toad (or is it a frog?) sitting on a trail Saturday afternoon.


Another immobile amphibian sitting in the parking lot Sunday afternoon.


Even the frogs, a deafening chorus on Saturday, were quiet in Sunday’s cold. The toads hunched immobile.


Blue skies reflected Saturday afternoon in the nesting pond for geese.


As a Minnesotan, I understand how weather can change, just like that. So I accept each warm and sunny day as a gift.


Rustic signs mark trails at River Bend Nature Center.


TELL ME: Are there signs of spring where you live? Please share.

Ā© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “Spring emerges at River Bend Nature Center in Faribault”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Spring is coming –that is for sure! We had torrential rains on Monday and now everything is looking even greener. My camellias are blooming like crazy, Henry and Maude my mallard couple that is everywhere I move are in the back yard getting ready to nest and the leaves are definitely popping out. Soon the church across the lake will be hidden again from my view by leaves and the air will be filled with that sweet smell of spring. The down side? The yellow pollen that is coating everything and upping the need for Flonase. šŸ™‚

  2. The frogs are hopping into Spring – ha! I remember those Spring Days and shaking off the cabin fever. Been dealing with high pollen counts and high humidity lately – Spring come in like a lion here. You make me want to escape my cube and hit the trail šŸ™‚ Happy Day – Enjoy!

  3. Sue Ready Says:

    awesome photos with your keen sense of observation0 loved the geese one and of course your family taking a stroll is precious with Randy pushing the stroller

  4. Kristen K Says:

    Lovely photos, Audrey! I may be heading to RBNC this coming weekend. I hope to see some frogs! šŸ™‚

  5. Don Says:

    We are in full breakup mode here in Fairbanks with temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s above range! Water, slush and mud everywhere! Have not seen any green yet. Love the goose picture, we are anxiously waiting for them to arrive here as we get thousands of them migrating through our area and in fact one of the radio station has an annual goose watch contest for the person that can confirm the first goose sighting in the nature preserve just on the edge of town. I look forward to putting the snowblower away and getting out the lawn mower, deck furniture bicycles, etc. After that planting flowers, but no white ones as we have just spent way too much time looking at white snow just like you have too…………………………

    • Well, at least Minnesota is closer to spring than Alaska.

      I laughed about the lack of white flowers in your yard. For the longest time I also shunned white for the same reason. Occasionally now I will throw a splash into a dark corner or as an accent.

  6. runawaywidow Says:

    Great photography on your walk. We had a spring day here in NY today, to be followed by 2 more days of nasty rain. Soon…

  7. Valerie Says:

    I walked at Nerstrand on Saturday. The falls were full but the trails were kind of muddy. Loved the warmth of the sunshine that day.

  8. Jackie Says:

    Looks like you found plenty of Nature and signs of spring in your walks. It’s nice to be able to get out isn’t it

  9. Your pictures as always are beautiful

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