Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Hope unfurls May 4, 2013

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LAST WEEKEND, MY DAFFODILS bloomed, bright and brilliant in the first blush of spring.

Photographed Saturday afternoon, the seven inches of snow have mostly melted off my daffodils.

My daffodils, photographed Saturday afternoon, emerging from seven inches of disappearing snow.

Today they lie in a pathetic heap, heads bowed, even buried, in a veil of snow.

A tulip bud, bent to the snow.

A tulip bud, bent to the snow.

Nearby, tulip buds droop, leaves splayed, vulnerable to the frigid air and the rough crystals of melting snow in this endless winter.

Determined day lilies.

Determined day lilies.

In my backyard, determined day lilies soldier up through the snow.

Bendy raspberry branches in bud.

Bendy raspberry branches in bud.

A stone’s throw away, wild raspberries defy the weather, arcing branches, buds unfurling into the promise of spring.

A raspberry bud unfurling.

A raspberry bud unfurling.

Hope. I saw hope today that this longest of all winters may finally exit Minnesota.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Tossing the Christmas tree and welcoming spring May 6, 2011

The remains of our dried up Christmas tree, now properly disposed of at the local composting pile.

ON WEDNESDAY EVENING we tossed the Christmas tree which has been buried under snow for, oh, about six months. Well, not quite, but winter seemed to linger into half a year.

I’m serious. As recently as this morning, we had temps in the 30s and several days ago wisps of snowflakes whirled in the sky.

But enough of that. With the official disposal of the Christmas tree at the finally-opened Faribault Compost Site, I can declare that spring has finally arrived here in southeastern Minnesota.

You don’t have to simply take my word for it. Join me on this photographic tour of my yard, where spring has clearly, finally (I hope) ousted winter.

Hostas push through the soil, unfurling bright green leaves. Why does green always seem brighter in the spring?

Most of my tulips are clasped shut yet, waiting for more sun and more warmth.

A plump red tulip about to burst into bloom.

A yellow tulip edges ever closer to full blossom in the spring sunshine.

Unfurling wild raspberry leaves hold the promise of summer.

Dainty violets, so easy to overlook in the splendor of spring.

Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling