Hello Friends and Family,

1975 - Minnesota, Part 1

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Well, I was back from Hawai‘i — and the late summer weather in Minnesota was beautiful. Of course, the mosquitoes were offering an unwelcome "welcoming committee" but that's life in the land of 10,000 lakes.

North Oaks was still offering picturesque views along quiet lakefronts. They demanded to be photographed — sorry, but in my mind they are not quite as impressive of the scenic vistas that Kaua‘i and Maui have to offer.

Well, here's a lovely shot of a stand of cattails — an aquatic plant found growing in shallow areas of lakes, ponds, slow streams, and quiet water up to 4 feet deep. They are important to the ecology here because they help stabilize marshy borders of lakes and ponds; protect shorelines from wave erosion. Northern pike may spawn along the shore behind the cattail fringe and the plants provide cover and nesting sites for waterfowl and marsh birds such as the red-winged blackbird. The stalks and roots are eaten by muskrats and beavers; the starchy roots, young flowering spikes, and pollen can be eaten by humans, too.

Here we see a lovely stand of phlox. Garden Phlox is not considered native to Minnesota, though it is native farther to the south and east. It is very popular in the nursery trade, widely cultivated, it does escape into the wild as these plants have done. In natural areas, it is far taller than any of the native Phlox species, with a bushier panicle of flowers and wider range of flower colors. Pretty though.

There are so many spots in North Oaks where you can find beautiful lakeshore with a only glimpse of the hand of humans (such as this dock).

With the arched bridge and the mown grass, this view tells you that you are not in the wilderness. It is still quite attractive, nonetheless.

South of North Oaks in Saint Paul, one encounters Como Park, with a wonderful conservatory displaying a wide variety of plants for guests to enjoy year-round. They have bonsai, a butterfly garden, a fern room, a Japanese garden, and here, the sunken garden.

And since I had just returned from seeing tropical flowers in Hawai‘i, my heart was warmed all over again to see what looked like tropical flowers in Minnesota, albeit indoors.

Como Lake offers a pleasant beach for swimming and sun bathing as well as a 1.67-mile path around the lake, a fishing pier, a lakeside pavilion (with restaurant and live music), rentals of paddleboats, canoes, paddleboards, and family bikes.

However, the waves are definitely miniature when compared to those at the beaches I left behind on Maui.

I don't know what this stunning flowering plant is called. But who needs a name to enjoy such beauty?

This tree-lined gravel road really grabbed me when I re-processed it for this week's LAHP. It reminds me so much of the gravel road to my sister and brother-in-law's house in northern Georgia. It's a small world after all.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com