Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The art of autumn September 23, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:48 AM
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Colorful oak leaves at Mission Park south of Crosslake. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

DAYS AGO I SWITCHED out the art in my home to autumn scenes. To reflect the changing season.

I stitched this crewel embroidery art in the 1970s from a kit gifted by an aunt and uncle. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo.

I leaned two paint-by-number autumn landscapes, acquired several years ago in Detroit Lakes, atop a vintage chest of drawers. I exchanged an old mill scene for a rendition of a river winding through flaming orange woods in an interchangeable print my parents received as a 1967 housewarming gift. I hung a crewel embroidery piece I stitched of a multi-hued treeline set against a mountain backdrop. It was a 1974 high school graduation gift from my Uncle John and Aunt Sue. And I placed, too, a mammoth print of Robert Woods “White Mountains and Aspens” purchased for a few dollars at a garage sale in Medford.

“White Mountains and Aspens” by Robert Wood. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo.

Every piece of art I own—and I have a lot, acquired mostly at garage sales, thrift stores and recycled art sales at bargain prices—means something to me. Some is personal. But others simply inspire me or give me peace or take me into nature, as does most of the art now decorating my home.

It’s as if I’m bringing the outdoors in.

Outside, autumn eases into the landscape with oranges, yellows, reds and browns painting over green leaves. I noticed that especially last week on a short get-away to the central Minnesota lakes region where Randy and I stayed for several days at a family lake cabin south of Crosslake. We hiked into the woods at Mission Park and I found myself stopping often to photograph the leaves and the abundance of wild mushrooms. I’ll showcase images from that park soon. But for today, you get this solo image.

Take time to step outdoors. To walk in the woods. To appreciate the beauty of autumn as she paints color into the landscape. I welcome these September days. The cool mornings and evenings. The sunshine that warms the day. The earthy scent of the outdoors. The changing colors that delight me visually, that make this season so beloved to me.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “The art of autumn”

  1. Autumn is also my favorite time of the year. I especially love the light. And the pumpkins are piled up outside the grocery stores. I love cooking that first cold-weather pot of stew, maybe having a fire in the backyard. I don’t change our artwork for the season, but I do love putting pumpkins, especially lumpy ones, on our front step alongside a nice big pot of mums!

  2. Almost makes me want to put on a sweater and grab a cup of hot cocoa. Until I step out where I live and it is in the mid-80’s (and in the sun feels like in the 90’s) with a tinge of humidity and dew point. We have had our fair share of rain too along with Peter, Rose and now here comes Sam. Almost sounds like a band name to a degree – ha! That crewel embroidery is GORGEOUS! Happy Autumn Thoughts – Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

    • Yes, you’ve had quite the tropical storm season in Florida.

      Thank you for appreciating my crewel embroidery art. I recall it being a lot of work and sometimes can’t believe I actually finished the piece. I hope my kids appreciate it some day and realize their mom worked hard to create it.

  3. Susan Ready Says:

    Through your lens you are able to capture the poetic beauty of the fall season.

  4. Sandra Says:

    Absolutely in awe of that crewel piece, not sure I could put it away! I have remnants of the daughters and my needlework days. My eyes went, daughters moved on to water colors. My big waving trees creative stitchery reminds of the whole Christmas vacation bronchitis it got me through. And what does one do with gifted dish towels and lovingly stitched pillow cases from aunts and godmothers?! Never quite got the hang of crocheting though. Love autumn. Lumpy pumpkins have character! Great column!

    • Thank you, Sandra, for sharing your crafting stories. I say use, and treasure, those embroidered dish towels and pillow cases. Your waving tree art sounds fun.

      Like you, I haven’t embroidered in years and expect I’d face the same eyesight issues.

  5. Valerie Says:

    Autumn is my favorite too.
    I like your crewel embroidery piece!
    We are on the north shore and there is some beautiful fall color.

  6. Lovely! Your crewel stitchery is beautiful. This is an art I never mastered. ❤

  7. Fall is my favorite, with winter right behind it. I see beauty in both seasons. Love all the displays of autumn in artwork. I hope to walk around with my camera this week, as we make a trip up to the cabin.

  8. Minnesota Autumn is one of my favorite times and places to experience. I have been very blessed to once again this year to experience it here in our beautiful lakes a rivers. The colors in Central and Northern Minnesota right now are wonderful.


    Hi! Just stumbled on your blog because I’ve been looking for that exact crewel embroidery pattern. Do you happen to remember the brand of it? My aunt has the same one and I’d love to recreate it.

    • McKenzie, I wish I could help you. But I received this kit in 1974, which is way too long ago for me to remember anything about the brand or source. My Aunt Sue, who purchased the kit for me as a high school graduation gift, passed away in May 2020. And I bet she would have remembered where she got it. Good luck in your search. Treasure your aunt’s art. Thank you for reaching out to me.

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