Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In Minnesota: Neither rain nor snow or… March 12, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:06 PM
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…shall stop my husband from grilling in our Faribault backyard.

Grilling conditions: 19 degrees Fahrenheit and heavy snow falling around 6 p.m. Sunday

On the menu: Chicken breasts, baby red potatoes and asparagus.

Bonus for the husband’s work lunches: brats

TELL ME: Would you grill in these conditions or worse? Let’s hear.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Ice cream season, or not March 8, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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peanut-buster-parfait

 

SPRING HAS UNOFFICIALLY arrived in Faribault. The walk-up/drive-through Dairy Queen along Lyndale Avenue is open.

Sunday afternoon I clipped a $1.99 Peanut Buster Parfait coupon from the Faribault Daily News to celebrate. DQ is a rare treat for Randy and me, afforded only when money-saving coupons are available. Opening weekend at the DQ always brings deals. Perfect.

I envisioned sitting on the DQ patio under sunny blue skies in predicted 60-degree temps. Perfect.

But forecasts do not always equal reality. I suggested Plan B—going to a park. In hindsight, I wonder what I was thinking. After an attempt to eat our parfaits on a park bench, I caved and headed back to the warmth of the van. There we sat, savoring ice cream, peanuts and fudge while grey skies hung and the temp locked at 48 degrees in a still slightly snowy landscape.

Monday brought much warmer temps, like those promised on Sunday, along with intense wind followed by storms. Remaining snow melted.  And two tornadoes touched down, causing damage near Zimmerman and Clarks Grove. These are the earliest tornadoes of the season ever in Minnesota, breaking a record set in 1968. Here in Faribault, we experienced heavy rain and even small hail for a brief time Monday evening. A light dusting of snow fell overnight. The Dairy Queen may be hinting at spring. But winter seems determined to cling to March in Minnesota.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Moody March in Minnesota March 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:44 AM
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An abandoned farmhouse along Minnesota State Highway 19 east of Vesta on the southwestern Minnesota prairie.

WINTER IN MINNESOTA this time of year and in November often seems stripped of color, a drab world of black-and-white mimicking the melancholy mood of those who wish only for spring.

So it takes some effort to appreciate this month of March which can’t quite decide whether to pursue spring or linger awhile yet in winter.

One day she’s dark and brooding, the next bright and cheery. Understanding her mood swings can be a challenge.

Sometimes you just have to accept who she is and realize that even in her colorless world, a certain sense of beauty prevails.

An aging windmill and a cluster of old buildings define this picturesque farm site along Minnesota State Highway 60 just west of Waterville in southeastern Minnesota.

The sweeping curves in the field drew my eye to photograph this scene west of Waterville along State Highway 60.

A lone tree along Minnesota State Highway 60 between Faribault and Waterville on a brooding March morning.

Farm sites mark the landscape along a back county road between New Ulm and Morgan.

All of these images were taken last Saturday morning from a moving vehicle while traveling through southern Minnesota. Each has been edited to create a more artsy, earthy feel.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling