Featuring personal photos of the Lake Minnetonka Area and things of interest to the author.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Channel 5 Eyewitness News Comes to Donkey Park
Insiders know it as ‘Donkey Park’ from the Donkey rides that were give to children when Cottagewood was a family tourist haven in the 1890s (the famous yellow steamboats let people off at the end of the block). Now it is just a picnic area for the neighbors.
One of our neighbors won a contest to have Famous Dave’s cater an evening barbeque to be featured on the 5 and 6 o’clock news. The winners were our neighbors Tim, Sarah and their son Mike - a fledgling meteorogist. He was interviewed and gave a brief talk about his home weather station, and his desire to someday be a professional meteorologist. He is shooting to exceed our present day 50% standards for weather prediction.
The regular evening weatherman “Dave Wally Dahl” was unable to attend, so we were entertained by his backup Rob Koch. Mr. Dahl escaped being subjected to my story of how his bad forecast almost cost me a major portion of my newly sodded lawn. The story goes like this: I was staining a deck but I was concerned that if it rained it would wash down over the new lawn and kill the grass. “No rain in sight for days” predicts Dave. Within an hour of staining the deck there was a prolonged and heavy downpour, washing deck sealer down onto the new area of the lawn - and doing just what I feared.
Next year the grass came back.
Monday, July 25, 2005
The 2 of us - July
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Mike Tice, Wild Boar and I
Mike Tice and wild boar - a marriage made in heaven. I sat with my friends in a sun bathed, humid, simmering one-room bistro. Still, good taste abounded. The restaurant was packed tightly with Lake Minnetonka glitteratti. Mike Tice ( the coach of the Minnesota Vikings football team) was seated in a window seat with a very attentive dinner party of four. He seemed relaxed, congenial, and generally unnoticed. My only observation was that Mr. Tice and his party put our fair party to shame for upscale attire. - Read: We were dressed a bit too casually.
Shelly and I were accompanied by Ann & Paul, Warren& Mary, whose knowledge of fine cuisine is extensive (and yet forgiving for simple faults). Paul ordered, like I, the wild boar (this explains the post title). Shelly ordered the tagliotti with spring peas and prosciutto, and Warren ordered roast chicken with vegetables. Ann ordered the gnocci.I admit I do not know what Mary ordered, but it involved a parmesan cream sauce and cauliflower. Shelly and I split the spring green salad with blue cheese, walnuts and apples. Excellent.
I must say that, during an extremely busy night, the staff was very attentive and I believe they were a a bit overwhelmed by the demands of a packed house. The air conditioning was pushed to the limits. They did very well in a crunch - I love the place for it’s personality.
Here is my brief cullinary assesment.
1. The scallops are divine. My friend Mary told me what the pungeantly marinated bed of greens that the scallops sat upon were, but whatevever I ate the garnish.
2. My wild boar was fatty. Perhaps my lack of knowledge comes into play, but it was fatty.
3. Splitting a salad is the way to go. Ceasar once said" Split a Salad and you will conquer the world". Well at least they will name one after you.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Biella's restaurant , my review - coming to this blog.
Gee, I can finally use some pent up adjectives. They say adjectives have been lost to American language. Expletives- no, adjectives yes.
Saturday a small troup of us will dine at Beilla's in Excelsior. With 6 persons ordering we will surely get a fair sampling of their fare on what forecasters say will be a lovely evening. I will document the evning for your review. ....I will avoid describing the entrees as 'really good or tasty".
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Tuesday evening. Sunset on a birdfeeder.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
A Minnetonka History Mystery
Minnetonka Mills is the first "European"community settled by Lake Minnetonka in 1852. A Saw Mill and a dam. It is difficult to call it a "European" settlement, since many of the settlers were French Canadian lumbermen of considerable New World lineage-(Perhaps I should just say it was the first white settlement).
That said, it is written in many Minnesota Historical Society documents, web pages, and the MHS is often cited stating that the Lake was discovered by French trappers in 1760, and then re-discovered by Will Snelling in 1822. OK, I'll go along with that for now.
Then they say that it was 're-discovered' again in 1851 and the "Traverse de Sioux and Mendota Treaties" were signed opening the area up for the first time to white settlers in 1851.
My question is this: When I explored the Oak Hill Cemetary/Excelsior I saw and photographed Tombstones with death dates noted as 1852, 1853. Some stones that appeared much older were unreadable. How could the lake just have been re-discovered in 1851? Exceslsior was establihed as the attached photo notes in 1852. The time line is just too short. I would not get too concerned, but the oft quoted Minnesota Historical Society documents make a big deal of how the Lake was "lost" to white man until it was rediscovered in 1851.
One thing that was lost by white men was the sacred "spirit rock' of the Lakota and Dakota - but that is a whole different and sordid story.
One really can see the Lakes main artery in action while watching boats navigate the long narrows into Lafayette Bay from Carmen Bay. The photo is just one brief shot, I didn't stay long, the Temperature was 95 degrees, humid and sunny.
Finally a group of friends and I plan an excursion next Saturday to Biella's in Excelsior (Piedmont Region cuisine, I believe). Perhaps I can feature some of our culinary delights on this blog. The photo shown was taken while it was closed on Sunday morning.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Saturday, July 09, 2005
After viewing many boat monikers it has become apparent that many boaters want to be percieved as being 'naughty'. The pun abounds on Minnetonka boat names, to the point that after today, I have put it on a temporary ban. Names spotted today include: "Nauti- but nice", Nauti-by nature", "Nauti-dancer"(old), "Nauti-ven working". Yes, I am banning the "nauti" prefixes from my blog (unless I run into one that is really funny).
FYI: I would like to know more about the story behind the name "Mama Tried" - and probably less about " My Vida Loca". As far as the "Irish Bunny" - I think prefer leprechauns.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
An Old Fashioned Fourth at the General Store
Cottagewood is a section of Deephaven, which is a township on the southeastern side of Lake Minnetonka. My wife and I live in one of the little cottages that were the neighborhoods namesake. These cottages are a dying breed, methodically being replaced by expansive multi-million dollar homes. The new homes are just an outward signs of a safe, desireable neighborhood and an affluent market. (Note: In the past Cottagewood could be divided into 2 groups of residents: The ones who lived "on the lake", and the ones that did not).
Beyond that, the neighborhood has still retained a real sense of self and history. One of our "Lakeside" neighbors, Harry Allen, has worked very hard to insure the continued success of the little General Store on Cottagewood Avenue, a centerpiece of Cottagewood. Many other neighbors contribute financially and with their labors of love.
The store is 115 years old has had many owners. It is a central hangout for kids, neighbors, & bicylists.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Saturday, July 02, 2005
A high tech fisherman, Bill showed me his palm pilot with a photo of his recent Large Mouth Bass catches. I was fascintaed with his high tech custom pontoon boat. It has radar, sonar, and I think he was pod casting as well as spin casting.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Final milfoil note
1987 - Eurasian Water Milfoil is first identified in Lake Minnetonka.
1989 - Eurasian Water Milfoil forms a dense canopy up to 15 feet thick in parts of the lake. The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District dedicates the Hattie Mae, the first of four $70,000 milfoil harvesters for the lake.
Today we have a lot less milfoil, but still a teunous cover for swimmers and boater. Lousy Eurasians with their lousy weeds. At least the native Waterlillies and Purple loose strife are pretty.