Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Oh, glorious April afternoon in southern Minnesota April 21, 2020

Windsurfing on Cannon Lake, rural Faribault, Minnesota, on Saturday afternoon, April 18. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

APRIL IS A FICKLE month in Minnesota. Sunshine and warmth one day and clouds and brisk temps the next.

 

A wind turbine and solar panels are part of the Faribault Energy Park with the power plant in the distance. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

This past Saturday marked a glorious day here with the temp near 60 under sunny skies. I needed to get out of town, yet honor and respect the Governor’s Stay at Home order. So Randy and I set off, first, for the Faribault Energy Park, where we had the entire place to ourselves. I love that about this mostly undiscovered park. No need to concern ourselves about social distancing or, on this day, loose dogs.

 

Oh, the vibrant hues of red and blue on a sunny April afternoon in the Faribault Energy Park. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

While walking the dirt paths that wind around wetland ponds, we heard birds above the steady drone of traffic from adjacent Interstate 35. It looked to be a typical busy weekend of travel for folks on the interstate.

 

Greenery is beginning to erupt in the landscape. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Everywhere, people were out and about. When you’ve been cooped up inside during the winter and under the Stay at Home order, which I fully support, there’s a real psychological need to get outdoors on a day as beautiful as Saturday.

 

I couldn’t get enough of the trees set against that amazing blue sky. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

Love the hue and texture of dogwood. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

I took my time, noticing and appreciating the signs of spring in the landscape. Brilliant red berries against blue, not grey, skies. Green burst of buds. Twigs of mahogany dogwood flagging paths. Creek running. Path muddied by puddles floating oak leaves of autumn. The reflection of the sky in ponds of blue. It was lovely. All of it.

 

Cannon Lake west of Faribault. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

After walking in the park, we headed out to the Faribault lakes area west of town for a drive in the country. Pleasure driving, near home, is allowed under the state executive order.

 

Fishing in one of the many area lakes. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

An American flag flies from a dock. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

A beautiful afternoon to be out on the pontoon. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

During our lakes tour, we observed people fishing, pleasure boating, wind surfing and riding motorcycles. At a public boat landing, we met a grandpa out for a motorcycle ride with his granddaughter. Their “wind therapy,” he called it. He sees his granddaughter daily so there was no need to social distance from her.

 

The cloud deck was building as we drove into the countryside late Saturday afternoon. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

I even got my barn fix as we turned onto a gravel road. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

A decaying corn crib. Minnesota Prairie Roots photo.

 

I felt a sense of peace as we drove along back county and gravel roads in the countryside. Past barns and past fields awaiting planting. Through rural land that, for a brief moment of time on a lovely April afternoon, provided a respite from reality.

TELL ME: How are you getting away without really getting away?

© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

14 Responses to “Oh, glorious April afternoon in southern Minnesota”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    Forrest and I took a country drive a couple of weeks ago. We hadn’t done that in a very long time, and it just felt good to get out of town for an hour or so. Mostly, we have plenty of space to roam here with the pecan orchard and leased property, and of course the days are warmer now so I am outdoors working in the yard and garden. Today will reach the low 80’s with a threat of stormy weather tonight. Time to get the tornado shelter cleaned up and ready!

  2. Almost Iowa Says:

    The lakes along the Cannon river are a great place to spend an afternoon. Somehow they always end at the Dairy Queen along I-35.

  3. Its good for the soul to get out and stretch after being couped up so long. We have taken 2 drives…it was refreshing. That wind surfer looks like he’s having fun 🙂

  4. gay Lynch Says:

    Thank you Audrey. I find peace each time I visit your blog. Take care and stay safe!

  5. Susan Ready Says:

    Enjoyed your photos logging a mental health day out and about. Everyone needs it and your acute nature observations are refreshing as you note the small things in life which can give us much pleasure and renew our sense of gratitude.

  6. Mental health days out and about are so important but especially now during this time of “lock down” . So glad you could be out and about a bit enjoying God’s beauty.


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