Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A crop dusting photo essay August 27, 2013

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I’M NOT NECESSARILY a fan of the end result of crop dusting—some chemical sprayed upon a field with the residue sifting into the air and upon the earth.

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But watching a crop dusting plane at work does fascinate me.

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On a recent Saturday afternoon, while traveling Minnesota Highway 28 en route to Morris, I was entertained by a crop duster spraying a cornfield near Westport.

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Just ahead of the van in which my husband, son and I were traveling, the plane skimmed across the highway before completing a sharp turn to pass back over the roadway and across acres of corn.

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Frame 7: How low do you think this plane is flying?

I am no aviation expert, but it seems to me that special skills and a dose of daredevil courage are required to fly a crop duster.

Frame 8: Just the tip of the plane visible above the cornfield.

Frame 8: Just the tail and wings of the plane visible above the cornfield.

Thoughts?

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

Land of the FREE July 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:28 AM
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Bridge graffiti along Minnesota Highway 28.

DO YOU EVER WONDER—because I do—how, when and why graffiti is spray painted onto bridges, buildings, boxcars and elsewhere?

Do these artists/vandals/rebels/criminals (choose the noun that fits) plot and then sneak, in the cover of darkness, to scrawl their messages and art upon these very public canvases?

Why?

Who are these defiers of rules?

Did they scribble with crayons on walls while growing up? Did they doodle in notebooks when they should have been doing homework? Are they reckless and wild or the girl/boy next door accepting a dare?

I’ve never known a graffiti artist, although I’d like to meet the one who block-letter-printed “FREE” on this train overpass along Minnesota State Highway 28 between Morris and Sauke Centre.

I’d ask him/her, “Why did you choose that word, ‘FREE?’”

Have you freed yourself from something? Have you set someone free? Or do you simply appreciate what it means to live in the land of the free?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling