Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Wisconsin: Quick, look before the snow melts March 5, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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An iconic Wisconsin farm site photographed from Interstate 90 on February 15.

 

OH, WHAT A DIFFERENCE a few weeks make. I’m talking snow cover here. With temps rising into the 40s, even 50s in some places in Minnesota, and sun shining bright in the afternoons, the snow pack is diminishing.

 

Photographed on February 15 while traveling along Interstate 90 in Wisconsin, this tree stand appears like an island in an ocean of snow.

 

I can now see patches of grass in my lawn, curbing along streets and indications that we are getting closer to spring. As a life-long Minnesotan, though, I recognize the potential for lots more snowfall, even into May.

But for now, we’re delighting in days that lean toward spring. Sixty degrees is forecast for this weekend. Imagine how that will facilitate snow melt. And lift spirits.

 

This hillside barn is located near Madison, in an area more urban than rural.

 

That all said, I’m finally getting around to sharing snowscape photos I took in mid-February while traveling along Interstate 90 in Wisconsin, eastbound toward Madison. Scenes along that route are becoming familiar to me now given the frequency of trips to visit our second daughter, her husband and our son in the capital city.

 

A pastoral scene along I-90 in southern Wisconsin.

 

Wisconsin, for all the jokes about beer, brats and cheese, and fan fanaticism for the Packers and Badgers, is a lot like Minnesota. Friendly folks. Diverse landscape. Mostly rural with just enough urban. Interesting. I’ve enjoyed exploring Madison from botanical gardens to art museums to a repurposed mill next to my son’s apartment building.

 

In the valley east of La Crosse, the length of this barn along I-90 impresses me.

 

A picturesque farm site sits in the valley.

 

Another long barn.

 

 

With the exception of Rochester, Minnesota, and La Crosse, Wisconsin, the four-hour drive to Madison from Faribault takes us primarily through rural regions. I especially like the area east of La Crosse where high rolling hills border farm fields and farm sites in the valley. Hills and wide sky dwarf the farms, a strong visual that always impresses upon me our smallness in this vast universe.

 

This scene, especially, emphasizes our smallness.

 

Such are my thoughts as we travel. I never tire of looking at these rural scenes, often wishing we had time to follow backroads deep into the hills. We did once, years ago while vacationing, and nearly lost our way such are the twisting paths within those hills.

 

Nearing Madison, a traditional farmhouse and barn define this farm.

 

I digress. I expect if I was to photograph these sames scenes today, they would appear much different with snow no longer defining the landscape. What a difference only a few weeks make…

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

14 Responses to “From Wisconsin: Quick, look before the snow melts”

  1. Brian Says:

    To protect the costly investment in farm machinery these days the old quonsets have been replaced by well lit heated buildings resembling airplane hangers. Certainly not the dark dirt floor shop of our grandfathers days. As a delivery driver I was able to get a glimpse into many of the changes in farming.

    And…welcome Spring, please hurry. I miss seeing all the first signs of Spring while on my rural delivery route. The first calves, robin, and song of the meadowlark.

  2. Ruth Says:

    Your snowscape Gallery is wonderful. I wish you a happy Spring as it arrives, incrementally.

  3. Beth Ann Chiles Says:

    Spring is coming!

  4. Beautiful photos and glad I can see snow from my chair and not experience the cold of it – hehe 🙂 Come On Spring – maybe the time change this weekend will help a bit too. Happy Day – Enjoy!

  5. valeriebollinger Says:

    I wonder how you capture your photos…I assume from a moving vehicle? They are nice to see.

    • Yes, these are all shot from a moving vehicle. I set a fast shutter speed (sports mode) and shoot away. There’s a lot of window cleaning and anticipation of just the right moment to click the shutter button. Sometimes I get good photos, sometimes not. It makes the trip go faster.

  6. valeriebollinger Says:

    Interesting…can’t do that with my iPhone. ha!


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