Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Delighting in a Sunday afternoon drive in rural Minnesota May 12, 2020

We met an occasional vehicle on our country drive southeast of Faribault, Minnesota.


I ABSOLUTELY, UNDENIABLY needed this. To drive into the countryside on a Sunday afternoon. To get away. To view the greening of the land. To forget for a half hour about the realities of life. To focus on nature. To photograph rural Minnesota.


We drove past farm sites.


Past lovely barns…


Clouds and cold weather defined Mother’s Day in southern Minnesota.


And that’s exactly what Randy and I did mid Mother’s Day afternoon, aiming southeast of Faribault to follow back country gravel roads. My sense of direction doesn’t exist. I trust Randy to steer us onto roadways that fulfill my need to go at a leisurely pace, to stop when I see something I must photograph, to appreciate the details of place.


Following gravel roads. Up and down.


Occasionally the cloud-heavy sky spit rain onto the windshield as we dipped up and down, hilltops offering sweeping vistas of a lush landscape.


We spotted corn coming up in this field along 250th Street East southeast of Faribault.


Corn popped green, curving rows into one field.


Chickens strayed from a farm site across the road to a field.


Those chickens seem so small in the vastness of farm fields.


Rogue chickens paused in another field to observe us while I swung my lens to photograph them.


An old farm site along 233rd Street East.


It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a gas barrel like this.


At one point, atop a hill, we studied a farm site below with broad barn, weathered corn crib and a red gas barrel next to an aged shed. Such building sites remind me of yesteryear, when an assortment of small structures defined a farm place.


That baby goat wanted so badly to scale that rock, without success.


Even the adult goats are cute.


And then, the road curved, leading us to the sweetest surprise of the drive—goats, fenced on both sides of the roadway. Windows rolled down, we heard their plaintive baa and watched as a baby goat struggled to climb a rock. I ooohed and aaahed over the cuteness of these goats.


Spring blooms, finally, in southeastern Minnesota.


Too soon we headed back to town. Randy needed to light the charcoal grill to smoke and cook a pork roast for supper. A Zoom call with family awaited us, too. But, in that short time, I found exactly what I needed—a joyful, therapeutic and sweet escape into the southeastern Minnesota countryside.


© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


26 Responses to “Delighting in a Sunday afternoon drive in rural Minnesota”

  1. Washe Koda Says:

    Yep that is what I remember 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I could not afford the mountains of Utah however I enjoy the hills of east Tennessee ❗️

  2. Good for you for taking that drive. Soon the landscape will be changing to more greens and loveliness and I know everyone will rejoice in that.

  3. Missy’s Crafty Mess/Missy’s Handarbeid Says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your photos! I think the chickens in the dirt were my favorite although that baby goat was precious too.

  4. Beautiful 🙂 I felt like I was there with you on your adventure. I live in the urban jungle and am very grateful for the natural beauty and park right out my front door in the neighborhood I live. There is just something about being and becoming one with nature during this time. I have been walking more and sometimes slow down to admire the fauna and flora as well as the wildlife and birdlife. Happy Day – Enjoy!

  5. Lynette Spanbauer Says:

    I love your photos of southern Minnesota farm scenes.

  6. Carol Allis Says:

    This brought me great comfort.

  7. Jackie Hemmer Says:

    There is nothing quite like a drive in the country….Good for the soul isnt it!

  8. Norma Says:

    I loved “our” drive through the countryside. I miss scenes like those. Thank you.

  9. Jennifer Woldum Says:

    Lovely photos, Audrey. I loved the one with the gas barrel…I so remember filling the riding lawn mower from one of those! And the Phillips 66 guy coming out to fill it and my dad chatting with him. It was such a cold and cloudy day, but good you made the best of it!

  10. Susan Ready Says:

    As usual your keen eyesight brings the lens in close to the landscape focusing in on a variety of subjects.many might overlook. I enjoyed the pictorial essay with your appreciation and gratitude for a lovely spring day even if chilly.

  11. Looks like a lovely day!

  12. It is amazing what a short drive can do to relieve the stress. I would suggest that a nice get away should be scheduled as soon as things are safer. Realizing that this virus will be around for a long time but we all will have to think outside our boxes to continue to live our lives and to do that as safe as possible. Hiding from the world is not healthy over such long periods of time and people who rely on travel need our business now more than ever. All of us need a “new normal” too.
    If you liked the baby goats then head over to MN Zoo baby animal site. It has been a wonderful life stress saver for me during this chaos. The story time with the babies was the best!!! Highly suggest for a good laugh for all ages!!! Remember to support the Zoo with donations as they have over 4000 that they must provide for.😊

    Be safe, Be kind, Be humble, and love always!

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