Sunday, December 30, 2012

The End - Or Maybe The Beginning?

Wow!  I just spent two hours writing my final blog, uploading pictures, posted it, and then it deleted!   Good karma no more.  Let me see if I can do this again.

It's been a year now since I started this blog.  A year of growth for me.  I've enjoyed my journey.  I have more confidence in myself.  I have met new people along the way, and have spent quality time with old friends and family.    I found time to sit and reflect, to catch my breath, to find peace.  The beauty I have witnessed as brought me joy.   And all of this has happened while walking around this lovely little lake that I've known my entire life. 

I'm going to post some of my very favorite pictures from the past year, and mention a few of my favorite posts.  They're not necessarily great pieces of writing, sometimes they were a favorite just because the day was so beautiful. 
January - one of my first pictures.

January - RIP Jake.

February - ice fishing by moon light.  One of my favorites.

March - near Minnehaha Falls.  Not the lake,  but it still counts!

March - My favorite willows.

March sunset.

April - reminds me of a lady curtsying.

May - Minnehaha Creek just before Lake Nokomis.

June - Great Blue Heron.

June - a calm, peaceful Sunday morning.

July - after the rain.

August - runaway boat.

September - fall sailing.


November sunset.

November - pretty willows no matter what the season.

December - my lucky day!

December - I put this on my Facebook page previously, but not here.  First big snow of the season.

I think that the two posts that are my favorites were 'Sleep Walking' and 'Thank You".  But I think my favorite days of walking the lake were 'Walking on Water':  I think this was the first time that I actually enjoyed a very cold winter walk, 'You Say Potato - I say Crick':  this was an overcast, dreary Sunday morning, but the fresh spring green colors along the creek took my breath away,  and 'Reflections":  - another early Sunday morning - perfect day, calm water, comfortable temperature, not a cloud in the sky.  I spent a lot of time just hanging out, enjoying it.

This is not the end.  I think I will keep on taking pictures and blogging, though not just about this lake.  It's time to spread my wings and see what else I've been missing. 

I have very much appreciated all the support and comments from my friends and family.  I hope you have enjoyed seeing the lake through my eyes as much as I've enjoyed sharing it with you.   Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Good Karma

Around 10:00 this morning I decided I should take a walk, so I started getting ready.  Decided to start a load of laundry.   After that,  I sat down at the computer to check my e-mail.  Looked at the clock and it was 11:00, so thought I should get moving.  But first I switched the laundry around.  Then did a few other things around the house.  Pretty soon it was 11:45.   Finally got my jacket and camera and kicked myself out of the house.   When I got to the lake I paused,  trying to decide which direction to go.  I usually go left, so I get the bridge out of the way first.  I thought of going right for a change, but then went the usual way, in case I wanted to go up for a coffee when I got over to the Little Beach. That way I'd have a bigger part of my walk done by the time I got to the coffee shop.  Good decision!

Some pretty patterns in the ice.
While walking across the bridge, I noticed something or someone in the water near Big Beach.  I thought maybe a kayaker, or a crazy fisherman?   I got over there and saw this fellow with his metal detector.
There are still about eight ducks hanging out near the creek outlet.  They'll probably be there until the lake completely freezes.  They're obviously in no hurry to leave.   There were also about 30 crows gathering in a tree across the street.  Loud, noisy, fascinating creatures.   Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good picture of them, but they were fun to watch.  Definitely a "murder" of crows.   As I was coming up to the Little Beach, I decided not to go up for coffee, but to keep walking.  I could make a latte when I got home.   Another good move on my part!   Just past Little Beach was a huge gaggle of geese.  I counted about 80.
 I saw some kids trying to sled on the little bit of snow we have.   More leaves on the hill than snow.

Santa's helper?

I was a little bit past the point and stopped to take a couple pictures of the skyline, and the bridge.  A man coming towards me asked me to look up and behind me.  I turned and there he was............... I've been looking for him all year!

If I would have left at 10:00 instead of 11:45, I would have been too early.  If I had gone right instead of left, I probably would have still been too early.  If I would have gone for coffee, I would have been too late.   If I had taken a few more pictures of the dog statue in the Christmas hat, I wouldn't have been in the right place when I met the man who told me to look up.   Timing is everything!  Good Karma.   But it gets better.  

While I was snapping away, I was talking with a couple who had also stopped to watch this magnificant bird.  The woman said, "I wonder where it's mate is?"  Just then a second eagle swooped in and landed on the other side of the tree.  This one started chattering at it.   I tried to move around to get a picture of the second one, but it only stayed for about 30 seconds, and then took off.  I only got this shot as it flew off.

This is my favorite - he's looking right at me.  He flew off shortly after.

I felt like the Cheshire Cat after that. I'm pretty sure I was grinning ear to ear.   I've been looking all year for the eagles.  I've seen them on occasion, but they've always been flying and have been too far away to take pictures off.   And now, just a couple of weeks before my "project" is over, I got my chance.   Hours later, and I'm still grinning like a fool.   I may have done a little happy dance too, but only my cats witnessed it.  

Just before my turn off, I saw this lovely little nest in a tiny little tree along the shoreline.  It's only about 6 or 7 inches tall.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ice, Murder & Ear Warmers

I thought I should walk the lake today after work.  I walked the Mother of All Malls yesterday afternoon with Jody, but thought some fresh air was in order.  By the time I got home I was telling myself it was too cold.  Then I reminded myself that I had walked last winter when it was -15, so I had no excuses.  I put on my Cuddle Duds (girly Long Johns), some nice wool hand-knit socks (Lake Nokomis), and then I went for my ear-warmers.   I was pretty sure I saw them when I cleaned out and painted the front hall closet this summer, but they weren't in "my" basket of scarves, gloves and hats.  Then I checked all the pockets of my

coats.  No luck.  Went out and checked the glove box of my car - still nothing.  Then I started blaming the boy-child.  He had amazingly "found" his pair a week or two ago - they had gone missing last year.  Of course I figured he had claimed mine as his own.  So, I called him accusingly, and he denied that he had mine.  I pouted  for a few minutes and decided not to walk.  And then, I checked out my underwear drawer!  And there they were - why wouldn't they be there?  Doesn't everyone put their ear warmers in their underwear drawer for safekeeping?   I did call the boy-child back to apologize.    

I found ice on the lake.  I think this is more ice than we had most of last winter.  I'm not ready for this, even though it's almost December.   The geese are finally gone, but there are still plenty of ducks around, and lots of fat squirrels.

I stopped for awhile on the north shore to listen to the ice.  There was a really cool crackling sound, something between broken glass and wind chimes. 

I only saw a few ducks left on the lake until I got around to little beach.  They were flying in from all directions, they were floating in the water and waddling around the walking paths.   I walked through a group of about 30, and they didn't seem to mind at all.

Another pretty sunset.
Now I have a burning question about crows.  I've wondered about it every time I see a few of them together on my walks, which is pretty much all the time.  How many crows need to be together to be considered a murder?  I googled the question but only got one answer with an actual number - it was four.  Today I saw three crows that were obviously together, a family unit,  but there was a fourth crow.  It was definitely not part of the group.  It was harassing the other three.   Was it still a murder of crows, even though number four wasn't part of the main group?  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Catching Up

SURPRISE!  Miss me?  I've missed you!  I have lots of pictures and things to write about, but I won't do it all in one sitting.  I admit that I haven't been walking as much as I should, but I haven't been just sitting around either.  We've been busy with the house - fall clean up time.  Raking, putting the gardens to bed, and putting all the hoses and garden tools away.  You all know the drill.   

And of course Halloween came and went.

Yes, it's me.  And the lovely redhead is Kathy.  Kathy was my 6th grade teacher.  I know, it's really hard to believe.  When I told people I was going to have coffee with my 6th grade teacher, they asked if I was going to a nursing home to see her.  Obviously not the case.   We were Kathy's first class.  She was fresh out of college and thrown in with a bunch know-it-all, hormonally charged, 12 year olds, and she survived!  She was a great teacher, and I was lucky to have been in her class.  Thanks Kathy!  I really enjoyed our visit, and hope we can do it again.
When I left the coffee shop I drove toward the lake and ran smack dab into this..........

Fortunately, I had my camera with!

It was so mild out today that I cancelled an after work appointment so I could take a walk around the lake.  The Park Board people have been busy getting everything ready for winter.   The docks have all been pulled or  anchored  off shore where they'll spend the winter.

The red life saving boards have been put out, along with the ice not safe signs.
No ice yet - it was 60 degrees today.
But they're ready.  Got your skates sharpened?
I didn't see any robins, they've finally left town, but there are plenty of ducks and geese still hanging around. 
My favorite willows.  They're always beautiful.

What I Meant To Write About This Summer - Part 2
Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

I probably won't be back until after Thanksgiving - cooking and cleaning to do.  Do you think four pies will be enough for eight people?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!