Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Oh, for birds & flowers & more on a spring day at River Bend May 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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THIS PAST WEEKEND took me from the quiet of a nature center to the heart of a city to the neighborhood of a suburb. And, in each place, family surrounded me. It was a good weekend. There is nothing better than to be in the presence of those you love and those who love you. And the bonus was weather so perfect that I wished I could clasp the sunshine and warmth and blue skies to release many months from now in the deep of a Minnesota winter.

In today’s post, I take you to River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, one of my favorite local places to flee the busyness and noise of life. On this Saturday afternoon, I meandered the trails with my husband, second daughter and her husband, visiting from far eastern Wisconsin.


Wild columbines.


This was no purposeful hike to burn off calories, but rather a pausing to appreciate woods-born wildflowers,



mushrooms snugged into trees,



red-winged blackbirds trilling at the pond,



pastel pink petals dancing in the wind,



a goose gliding into pond rushes,


Along a trail we met a soon-to-be Faribault High School graduate and a photographer shooting senior portraits.


and, for Miranda, the memories of elementary school field trips here.


This fort I spied in the woods reminded me of the forts I built as a child in the grove on our family farm.


This blossom covered tree flowers next to River Bend’s interpretative center.


The gnarled branches of this tree drew my eye and interest to compose this image.


The slow pace of our hour at the nature center matched our desire to enjoy every single facet of a glorious mid May day defined by blue skies, sun beating 80-some degrees and a landscape lush with the greenery of spring.


TELL ME: What’s your favorite outdoor nature space to visit/explore in May?

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “Oh, for birds & flowers & more on a spring day at River Bend”

  1. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    As usual your photography is superb. More things I am reminded that I miss – columbines and red wing blackbirds.

  2. Beautiful photos 🙂 I love to just get outside in the fresh air and sunshine – sometimes with the sand between my toes and waves lapping at my ankles too. Happy Day – Enjoy!

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    The Nerstrand woods is always a delight…but the best thing of all is biking the Cannon Valley Trail.

  4. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Oh, beautiful place! I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite place because there are so many in Minnesota and beyond that are amazing in the month of May. I can walk to some of them – Reservoir Woods right here in Roseville offers the illusion of being far away while right in the midst of the Twin Cities, as does the Harriet Alexander Nature Center and the arboretum right across Dale Street (you must have checked these out at some point with a daughter living in Roseville!). So does the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge right next to the MSP airport. Can’t walk to that one, but it is glorious in spite of the fact that airplanes are taking off nearby. I love going to the state parks, too – William O’Brien is not that far away and they have easy walking trails that go through woods and prairie and wetlands and I love walking there. Now you’ve got me thinking about my next hike.

    • I haven’t explored any of the nature places in Roseville yet. But sometime soon. We drive by probably some of these places on our way to our daughter’s home.

      Thanks for all of the great recommendations.

  5. Don Says:

    Great Pictures, what a good way to spend an afternoon. We have a nature preserve here with many trails and birds that I take the grandkids to, they love it……….

  6. melirey96 Says:

    I just love reading your post and looking at your pictures. Such beautiful pictures. Great way to spend a day. Have a blessed day!

  7. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Beautiful pictures. I love that tree in bloom especially since I can’t smell it

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