Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Faribault: A Sunday morning walk in the park July 27, 2020

Randy and I walked Sunday morning along a recreational trail in Faribault’s North Alexander Park. The path follows the Cannon River. That’s the Faribault Woolen Mill in the distance.


MID SUNDAY MORNING and I desire to get out of the house. For one reason. A mouse. After I went to bed Saturday evening, Randy spotted a mouse running across the living room. Have I told you yet that I am terrified of mice? I understand that my fear is irrational. But that does not change my feelings about rodents. I’ve had too many mouse encounters—in a bathroom in the dead of night while pregnant. Another with a mouse found floating dead in a crockpot. And a live mouse in a silverware drawer. Yes, I detest mice. I figured if we left the house, we would come home to find the elusive mouse caught in a trap. Snap. Dead. It didn’t happen.


The trail winds through a wooded part of the park. At the distant shelter, a group was setting up for a grad party.


But, hey, we had a nice time at North Alexander Park in Faribault, where we walked a recreational trail and I paused numerous times to take photos. It proved a welcome break from mouse brain. And also provided photos for this blog. Win-win.


Three growing ducklings in a row.


The watchful mama duck trails behind.


Overnight rainfall raised the water level of the Cannon River considerably, but not to flood stage.


As usual, ducks and geese populated this park and I found myself dodging droppings. For the first time ever, I also observed a couple throwing bread to the fowl. I thought to myself, please do not encourage them to wander away from the river and onto the pathways further into the park.


Typically, this playground is swarming with kids.


Randy and I saw a few other humans. Walking dogs. Setting up for a graduation party. A dad and his two kids on the playground.





And on a nearby tree, a beautiful woodpecker searching for bugs. (If only he could scout out mice.)


The empty softball diamond. Check back for some interesting signage photos.


Across the road, the softball diamonds were vacant. On a typical summer weekend, they would likely be busy with tournaments.


Looking through the fence at the Faribault Aquatic Center. No kids. No pool open this summer.


This sign made me laugh. Check the weather forecast before you head to the pool.


On this incredibly hot and humid July day, the pool remained closed due to COVID-19.


Likewise, just down the street, the Faribault Aquatic Center was also vacant, locked down due to COVID-19. I took a few photos and laughed at a sign inside the front entry that advised of no refunds in the event of lightning. It rained all night Saturday into early Sunday morning here in Faribault. Plenty of thunder and lightning.





Across the road at the Rice County Fairgrounds we found one final surprise—a horse show. Not yet underway, but in the process. I’ve always liked horses.

But mice? No. Not one bit…


17 Responses to “From Faribault: A Sunday morning walk in the park”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Mice are not nice. But your walk was lovely!

  2. Beautiful park – loving your photos 🙂 The expression on the horse’s face like you watching me eat here lady? – ha! Sorry to hear you are dealing with a mouse. We get lizards in the house here and usually do not know you are trying to help them get back outside. The noseeums and mosquitos are fierce here lately too. Happy Day – Enjoy!

    • It’s always something, right? But lizards? Yikes. I told Randy I feel like we’re living the plagues what with mice, Japanese beetles, milkweed tussock caterpillars and COVID-19. What did I forget? Perhaps flies that appear at grilling time and mosquitoes that appear in the evening when we want to relax on the patio.

    • Exactly! There is always something for sure – ha!

  3. Norma Says:

    I too enjoyed your lovely walk through the park, but your story concerning the mouse brought some memories of a mouse encounter that I will never forget. I was preparing to go to work, and two of my daughters were getting ready for school I heard this noise, and as I walked into the living room, saw our cat playing with a mouse. She was having a great time with this big mouse. She would look away from it, and when it moved, out went her paw. She would play with it again, turn away, and again put her paw on it. This went on for several minutes until she tired of the game. All of a sudden, there was a headless mouse on my living room floor, and a very happy cat. I was late for work, and the two girls were late for school, but we sure had an interesting few minutes with the cat and mouse game.

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

    Beautiful pictures! Sounds like you had a nice day. So sorry about the mouse perhaps you need a cat!

  5. valeriebollinger Says:

    I don’t like mice in the house either! We had some in the basement last fall…we have not had any more.
    Sure hope you catch the critter. Glad you went on a walk!

  6. What a lovely stroll for the two of you…. My biggest fear of mice is the cabin since it is unused in the winter, and if they could I’m sure they’d love a “warm(er)” place to inhabit. But I have kept them our for the 5 year we have owned the cabin…. I have quite the process as part of our closing to ward off mice, I guess it works 🙂

  7. Beth Ann Chiles Says:

    Love the pictures from your little walk in the park. There is nothing like the great outdoors. Hope that mouse gets caught soon.

    • I know you and Chris spend plenty of time outdoors, too. Great for the body and the soul to immerse one’s self in God’s beautiful world. No sign of the mouse. Traps are set, none sprung. Traps moved. We’ll see. I detest the thought of a rodent in our house. But we’ve seen no evidence of its presence. Randy says, “Maybe it went back outside.” One can only hope. But I’m skeptical.

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