Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Growth

It's a bit cooler today, but lovely nonetheless.   Many people out and about, enjoying the incredible weather.   There was the smell of charcoal near the Big Beach where a lot of picnics were going on.   The ball fields across the street had quite a few players getting in some very early practice.   I don't remember ever picking up my glove this early.  It was nice to hear the ping of the bats. 

I finally caught that elusive robin!  

I saw a pair of Common Merganser, though I only caught one of them.  I wasn't sure what they were until I heard a woman tell her friend.  I don't know that I've noticed them around here before.  I looked them up in my bird book to make sure she was right, and she was.   I saw a pair of Wood Ducks the other day on one of the holding ponds, but couldn't get a clear shot.  I'm keeping an eye out for loons.  I have seen them passing through here in past years.   I also saw several Mallard couples nesting around the shoreline, and a pair of geese on the holding pond.  It's pretty amazing what's going on in my own backyard. 


There were several people, and a dog, out on the water today.  I saw a couple of canoes and a kayaker, and there were quite a few people dipping their lines in.  I don't think I've ever seen  the lake this clear before.    

It's amazing the amount of new growth on this tree which has obviously seen better days.  It just goes to show, no matter how old you are,  and no matter what Mother Nature has thrown your way, you can still grow.   I feel myself growing everyday, and I rather like it.   I decided awhile ago that I was not going to age gracefully, not that I'm not a graceful person.  But, I will not shrink into the background!  I am going to grow and change and learn and enjoy.  I am going to be more engaged with my surroundings.  I am going to try new things - like this blog.  This is my spring, my new growth on an old tree.   I am ready. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

It seems like weeks and weeks since I last walked the lake.  I've driven by it frequently, but no time to stop.  I was keeping an eye on the ice situation though.   MY official ice out date was Sunday, the 18th of March.   That is sooooooooooo early!

We've had rain this week and everything is turning green.  It seems more like the end of April.  My rhubarb, daylilies and iris are all making an appearance, and leaves are coming out on a lot of trees and shrubs.   The grass is greening up too.   I'm thinking I should check the garden centers this weekend to see if there are any seedling tomato plants out yet.   Should I go against the odds and plant a couple right now?  If I can find some, I think I will.  Can you imagine the crop I could harvest!  We usually don't put tomatoes in until early to mid May around here.  I'd only be out a couple of bucks if they die a cold death,  and I'd still have time to replant at the proper time.  Maybe I can find some cukes to put in too!

 This is Catboy - he's a multitasker - smokes and does flips on the rings all while plugged in to the I-Pod.  It was nice to have him walk with me today.

Magnolia trees are in bloom.  Lilacs won't be far behind.

It's so nice to see some color again. 

These willows were gorgeous in January, but now they're even more so, from the inside and  the outside.

I don't think people in warmer climates can really understand how much we appreciate spring in Minnesota.  Even with the very mild winter we've had, we still had snow and cold and brown and gray.   I know I change along with the seasons, and I feel lighter now.  The heaviness of winter has been thrown off.  Not just the heavy coats and sweaters we wear to keep warm, but the grayness that seems to press down on us, or on me anyway.   I  know why blues and greens are my favorite colors.  My yarn stash definitely reflects this.  I won't tell you how many skeins of blue and green yarn I already have, but I'm pretty sure it's not enough. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What are you, 17?

Why yes, yes I am.  Today was the first day I opened my sunroof on my drive home from work.  That's always a red letter day for me.   I have a ritual that I've been doing for the last 10 years, ever since I got my PT Cruiser.  I don't know why I started it, but I did.   I open the sunroof on the first really nice day and plug in Deep Purple - Machine Head and crank up Highway Star with plenty of bass.   So yes, I am 17, at least for this afternoon.  Oh, and tomorrow afternoon too, if it's nice. On the second day I pop in Edgar Winter - They Only Come Out at Night.   Gotta listen to Free Ride and Frankenstein.   After that it's whatever I'm in the mood for - could be jazz with Diana Krall, bluesy Phoebe Snow, Adele, Tony Bennett, Beatles, Gershwin, Van Cliburn or Alice Cooper (I love Alice!).    As I was coming down the alley, I saw my son waiting for me.  His car isn't running right now so he's using mine to get to work.  He heard my bass thumping and just shook his head.   I can't help myself!  Spring makes me giddy. 

This is Brandon, who is a very personable young man.  I saw him playing his guitar, and as I got near I could hear him singing too.  I stood and listened for awhile.  He sounds like James Taylor and I told him so.   He said he grew up listening to James Taylor and that it was a high compliment to be compared to him.

The ice is really getting black.  It's open all around the edges, and open off the point.  With the 70's predicted for most of the week, I'm betting on ice out this weekend? 

The trees are really budding out. 

The warm weather has brought out another regular down at the lake.  Yes, Speedo-Man and his two white dogs.   He hangs out between the point and the little beach.   I don't think he ever walks around the lake, just hangs in that general area.  Today he was doing stretching exercises - yeah right.  I'm pretty sure I won't  be taking any pictures of him, though I'd bet he'd like me to. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I had a lovely day today.  Princess Kitty treated me to a massage and a hair cut at the salon she's managing.  Lovely place.   Had a chakra clearing massage.  I'm not sure if my chakras have been cleared or not, but I did enjoy it.   

It was so warm out today that of course I had to head down for a walk and some pictures. 
There were people and dogs everywhere.  I  really like seeing everyone out enjoying this beautiful place, and yet, I'm not sure I'm going to like sharing my walks with so many as the nice weather comes.  Last Saturday there were very few of us out here.  Today there were crowds.  I'm feeling a little possessive, I think. 

Yesterday, there was a windsurfer out on the ice.  Today there's open water.  With the warm weather predicted for the coming week, I don't think it will be long until ice out.

Headless ducks!

I heard him before I saw him.

Love this hallow log.  Was a little leery of getting down there and looking in - never know what could be hiding there.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Duck Butt Tuesday

Not only do you get lake pictures, but I stopped on my way home from work to take some pictures of Minnehaha Creek.  The locals will know this area - Minnehaha Parkway and 39th Avenue, across from where the Longfellow Library used to sit. 

This is looking toward Minnehaha Falls.  You can see the danger buoy.
Lots of ducks and three geese were enjoying the open water.I'll have to check out the falls one day this week.

Isn't he beautiful? 

This one's for Bonnie & Linda - Look Guys - DUCK BUTTS!!!
(no, I'm not going to explain)


 No ducks at the lake, but there's lots of standing water.

I saw my first robin today but it flew off before I could get close
enough to take pictures.   

 I really thought with the warm temps that I wouldn't seen anyone on the lake today, but there he is........

As I was walking across the bridge today I passed a man teaching his son how to ride a bike - dad was running behind holding the back of the bike up.  By the time I passed them again near the little beach, the boy was riding by himself and was about half a block ahead of his dad.   Dad was grinning ear to ear!

Did I mention it got up to 59 degrees today!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Signs of Spring

Minnehaha Creek looking toward the Hiawatha Golf Course.  This is where the dam used to be.
Spring is in the air.  It doesn't necessarily look or feel like like it, but it's coming.  How do I know?  Well, it's March and that means lots of events that tell the coming of spring.  What are these events you ask? 

1.  Minnesota High School sports tournaments.   We've had gymnastics, wrestling, girls hockey, boy's swimming & diving.  Boy's hockey is this weekend.   Boys & girls basketball isn't far behind.  
2.  The Home and Garden Show was this past weekend.
3.  Girl Scout cookies are everywhere.
4.  Minnehaha Creek is open near the old Longfellow Library. 
5.  The days are getting longer.  It's not pitch black out when my co-worker and I go across the street for coffee at 6:30 each morning, although that will change for a bit next week when.....
6.  Daylight savings time starts next Sunday and we turn the clocks ahead an hour.
7.  I have box elder bugs in my office.  Every year as soon as the sun starts warming up the building a bit, out they come.  
8.  They're advertising for the various boating, camping, and travel shows that make the rounds this time of year.
9.  The calendar says so.
10.  Baseball!!   Twins are 2 - 1 so far in spring training.  Sure hope we have a better year than last!

I met a young man named Nate today.  I saw him taking pictures of my favorite trees, so I had to talk to him about it.  He's a poet.    I told him I call them 'Twisted Sister(s)'.   He liked that.


I hadn't seen Jake the Turkey for awhile and it's been confirmed that he played "chicken" with the cars on Cedar Avenue one too many times.   RIP Jake.