Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Another beautiful day dawns in Minnesota March 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:18 AM
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I raked leaves from flower beds on Friday.

SATURDAY MORNING, 7:15, and already the day holds the promise of record temperatures and of sunshine interlaced with rain showers.

I can smell spring in the undeniable, distinct scent of cold earth turned to the sun, of leaves air drying.

The morning air snaps with a briskness sweeping through the open kitchen door to curl around my bare feet.

I can hear the incessant, piercing whistle of a cardinal calling for a mate too early on a weekend.

My neighbors’ windows are still shuttered to the day, their eyes closed in sleep to this beautiful morning that unfolds.

But I’ve been awake for several hours as seems my habit these days. As I ponder the hours that stretch before me, I glance out the window, see the flashing lights of an ambulance, the golden globe of the sun, a red pick-up pulling a boat.

Turning back to my computer, I wonder what my day will hold. Yesterday drew me outdoors to rake deep layers of leaf mulch from flower beds, to clip back hydrangea. I worry that I may be pushing the season, exposing the new growth of perennials to the frost that is certain to come. Yet, I could not leave these plants buried, struggling to push through the leaves, emerging weak-stemmed and yellow.

The leaves are bagged now and shoved into garbage cans lining the limestone path my husband laid years ago from the backyard patio to the side yard gate.

Last evening we dined on the patio, at a card table topped with a vintage floral tablecloth. My husband carried out the homemade pizza and the mugs of beer, our usual Friday night fare.

As we savored the chicken barbecue ranch pizza, I considered that this must be a first for us—dining on our patio in mid March. In Minnesota.

Friday night alfresco dining in Minnesota, in March.

Around 5 p.m. Friday, I photographed the sun slipping behind the wooded hillside that abuts my backyard. I positioned myself to shoot the sun through a gap in branches on a single tree.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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