Monday, September 24, 2012

What I Meant To Write About This Summer - Part I

It dawned on me today, as I realized autumn is really here, that I didn't  take pictures of and  write about all the things I had planned to this summer.  I had grand plans.  I didn't make it to the Monarch Festival.  I didn't get down for any of the many (way to many if you ask the people who live next to the lake) running, biking, swimming, streets closed again, hundreds of cars parked everywhere, lots and lots of people cheering, type of events.  The last one I'm not so worried about - there's sure to be several more before the snow flies.

What was I going to write about?  I was going to write about the summers of my youth.  How it used to be.
WOW!  I just read that last bit and I thought "Holy crap Lisa, do you ever sound old!  Might as well tell everyone that you had a pet dinosaur when you were a kid."   But, since most of my readers appear to be old classmates, and a teacher or two, well, you're all old too and I bet you  tell similar stories to anyone who will listen.  So here comes a memory............This is one of my earliest memories of independent exploration down here.  Sure Mom and Dad brought us down swimming when we were little,  but I was about 8 or 9 when I started coming down here without an adult. Not by myself of course, but with a couple of neighbor girls.  You may remember when I talked about My Two Linda's?  Well there was a third Linda.   She lived across the street from Linda #1 and I.  I'll call her Linda #3.  She was about 3 years older than we were, but let us hang around with her all the time.  I got to see puppies being born at her house - I'll never forget that.  This particular summer Linda #1 and I were allowed to go with her to the lake.  We discovered a neat little hideaway, a great place to play make believe. Remember when kids did that?  

This is the little creek bed that comes off the lagoon.  Pretty dry right now.  I'm taking this picture from the bridge that crosses it.   Back then, the bridge was a little closer to that teeny little puddle in the center of the picture, though I'm not exactly sure where - it was a long time ago after all.  But, that summer there was water, and there was a little dirt  island that we could get to by climbing through the slats of the bridge.  We probably could have jumped from the bank to the island, but we were kids, we didn't know how deep it was, or in this case wasn't.  There weren't many people walking around the lake back then, so we rarely saw anyone all day.  We'd pack lunch and and head out.  We'd spend a good part of the day there.  We  named our island.  Antler Island.  I think we found a branch that looked like an antler.  We built a barricade around our island with branches, and made it a fortress.  Of course we made up all kinds of stories about our island.  We had a grand time.  Boys weren't the only ones that had adventures with pirates or other villains.   One day when we went down to play we found that our island had been invaded.  Someone had taken our barricade down.  Someone "found" our secret spot.   Antler Island lost it's appeal.  It wasn't ours anymore.  I don't think we went back after that.   It just wasn't the same. 

This one didn't capsize like the first two, it actually went down.

Met Jim the Fisherman.  I took his picture, and then I asked if I could take his picture.  I'm sneaky that way!
He put on his trusty fishing hat and then let me take a couple more shots.  He's a photographer.  I hate to hear that, since I'm not.  But, I took a couple more pictures and promised that I'd e-mail them to him, and I will.  Hope he's not too disappointed.

I prefer the first picture - when he wasn't aware, and with his tackle box and  the dock in the shot.
We had a nice visit.  He told me he'd been in the neighborhood for 45 years.  I didn't care to admit that I had him beat by 10!

I didn't ask permission.  They never even knew I  was there.

The water has cleared up again with the cooler weather.  The clarity I've seen most of this year amazes me.  I remember the water always looking like pea soup.  We swam in it anyway.  It's just the way it was.

This GTO brought back a lot of old memories too.  And, it was something else I had wanted to write about this summer.  Muscle cars.  Cruising the lake.  And, I will write about those memories too, but not today. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seasons Change And So Do I

A few weeks ago I was griping about summer winding down, about how blue I get when I notice the days are starting to get shorter, when the leaves on the trees start looking old and tired, knowing that in a few short months we will have winter.   But, fortunately, those feelings are short lived.  Even thought tomorrow is the last day of summer, I am enjoying the changing weather.  It's good sleeping weather.  Boy, do I sound more and more like my Mom!   But it is.  Cool enough at night that you need to pull a blanket up to your chin, but warm enough during that day that you can still wear short sleeves.   Transition days.  You need a jacket in the morning on your way to work, but, it's so nice in the afternoon when it's time to go home that you forget it there and then come morning, no jacket.  I've done that three days this week so far. 
I did pull some old friends out of the back of my closet yesterday.  I'm a jeans kind of gal.  I love wearing jeans.  But, since I can't wear them to work, except on rare occasions, I wear cords a lot during the cooler weather.   I wore a pair yesterday, and it was like finding an old friend.  I was so happy and comfortable.  I know it sounds silly, but I think just about everyone has something in their wardrobe that they love to wear more than anything.  Even more than my jeans, I love my corduroys.  And, I love sweaters.  Sweaters and cords go together so well.  My sweaters are ready and waiting, but it will have to get pretty cold before I pull them out.  I do have a fall-ish vest on my needles that should be done soon, and I can wear it during this transition time.  I also have a nice cardigan that I finished this past spring, but haven't worn yet.  It will be perfect with cords, or dress pants.   I'm ready for the change.  Change is good.

I was able to walk with Jody today after work.  It's been weeks.  She was busy, then I was busy, then she was, and well, we finally connected.   Hopefully we can get back to walking together more regularly again.

OOPS #2.  What's with the capsized boats?

The leaves are starting to turn.

There was a flock of geese at the Big Beach today that fascinated us.  They were all doing somersaults.  Really.  Somersaults!  Neither of us had ever seen this before.  We assumed that they were cleaning themselves, rubbing their backs on the sandy bottom when they flipped over.

I don't think anyone else really even noticed.  No one stopped to watch like we did.  They all just kept walking by.

Lots of fluffy clouds and bright blue sky.  Beautiful day for a walk.

There's been some work going on along the creek over the past week or two. A new dam has been built to keep the creek from flowing into the lake.  A few years ago they put an inflatable "bladder"  here to keep the creek water out.  They did it to clean up the water quality of the lake.  Now they've built this dam.  Looks like there will be a gate, probably to let water out of the lake if it gets too high,  not to let the creek in.

Minnehaha Creek is just about bone dry.  Did they close the dam at Lake Minnetonka so they could do the dam building, or is it dry due to the lack of rain?  

Always something interesting to see around here when your eyes are open. 

Enjoy the last day of summer tomorrow!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm Back!

Have you missed me, Lake Nokomis?  I've missed you.  Even though I drive by you frequently, it's been a long time since I've actually been down to visit you.  But summer is over, and it's time to get back into a routine. 
It was a perfect afternoon to get back to the walking/photo taking/blogging routine.   The horrible hot, humid weather is, I hope, behind us, and I'm looking forward to a long, lovely fall.  I added the lagoon to my walk today.  It's so peaceful back there.  The whole walk was quiet.  I'm not talking about the traffic and the planes - they were still there.  It was something else.  Kids are back in school, vacations are over.  All the "extra" people were gone.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad people use the city lakes and parks.  We're so very lucky to have one of the best park systems in the country.  And this is a beautiful place to spend a summer day.  But, I'm a bit selfish.    I'm glad to have "my lake" back.

No one on the playground.  There was one lone swimmer.  No one out sailing or paddling.  Only these two fishing under the bridge, no one on the fishing docks.  I wasn't forced off the sidewalk by people walking three abreast.  There were people, yet a sense of solitude.  It was peaceful.

I did see a lot of familiar faces today.  The regulars were out in full force.  Another nice thing.  We recognize each other.  We smile, nod, say hi, or at least most of us do. I saw Brandon, the guitar player.  Haven't seen him for quite awhile now.   He was walking his dog Willow, and of course had his guitar on his back.  He told me he's planning to move to California soon.  I'll miss seeing him and wish him well. 

The black walnuts were falling  - almost got hit by a couple. It was not an area to linger. 


Interesting plants - I have no idea what they are.  I would call them "bottle brushes", because that's what they look like.  Anyone?

That's all I have for today.