Featuring personal photos of the Lake Minnetonka Area and things of interest to the author.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
A short tribute to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Lake Minnetonka, Excelsior and Minnesota owe a debt to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of America's greatest poets. His writings often embodied the sprit of early Minnsota in both geography and spirit.
The “Song of Hiawatha” sent tens of thousands of travelers and tourists to Lake Minnetonka in the second half of the 19th century.
A friendly poster to this blog once wrote to me asking me if I knew when Longfellow came to Minnesota, and who he had visited. He had heard a friend tell of his grandfather dining with Henry W. near Gray’s Bay. Sadly, my research has led me to conlude that Longfelllow never came to Minnesota.
I present one of Longfellow’s most well known pieces for the apple lovers of "Excelsior!"
The Arrow and the Song:
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
Notes from the Poetry Exchange:
Longfellow wrote: "October 16, 1845. Before church, wrote The Arrow and the Song, which came into my mind as I stood with my back to the fire, and glanced on to the paper with arrow's speed. Literally an improvisation."
Longfellow knew personal sadness and hardship tragically losing 2 wives. He often wrote metaphorically of the trials of a young nation. His words carry weight today.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
The autumn weather was warm, the peak fall colors spectacular. I ventured across the Lake to Mound, then taking a few wrong turns ( who uses a map anyway?) I followed 110 West to Minnetrista and the Gale Woods Farm. Wandering up and down a dry and dusty road to the fields I found the herding dogs competing. The Border Collies were a cunning and athletic lot, covering a quarter mile of hillside in a blink of an eye. It was remarkable to watch the dogs shoot accross the rolling fields, circling and prodding the sheep into narrow corrals and through the broad white gates.
Unfortunately I had the timing on my camera set incorrectly and my shots were somewhat dissapointing.
So - Just Imagine the darting dogs and the sharp whistling commands of the trainers.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Mystery Pink Pig sightings propound
Along the south east side of Lake Minnetonka I have seen Pink Pigs. No explanation is given for this preponderance of pork, except that, as I have said; "This is the year of the Pig". Chocolate covered bacon. Bacon flavored vodka. Chunky Bacon on a stick. This may simply be the extension of a cultural phenomenon.
I have stopped into "Petunias" in Excelsior and spoke with Petunia herself. I have called the Lake Salon. They love their Pigs, but have no explanation for them except to say they showed up one day on their doorstep as orphans. The pigs have been seen moving around the Lake area without atribution.
Where's Petunia?Can you find the Mystery Pig?
Friday, October 10, 2008
Have you herd about the stock dog trials? Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
I have never visited the Gale Woods Farm, but the opportunity to see working dogs perform may persuade me to venture over to the other side of the lake. I would love to see herding dogs in action. Our Shelty "Toonie" would be sorely out of place in a group of active working dogs.
The event takes place Oct. 11-12 from 10 am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday. The Gale Woods Farm is part of the Three Rivers Parks District. 3 miles west of Mound on Highway 110.
I will be taking photos and probably getting lost in the "Hay Maze".
Notes from the AKC on Herding Dogs:
"Herding dogs were originally bred to herd sheep, cattle etc. These dogs are intelligent, active and athletic. Most of these dogs love to work and are eager to please. Some of them like Border Collies have amazing intelligence coupled with controlled aggression and perform near miracles. They can be good watchdogs and can make good house pets with the proper environment and obedience training. This group is a relatively new classification and includes 18 breeds and 2 varieties as recognised by AKC. Some herding dogs are the Border Collie, the Old English Sheepdog, the Shetland Sheepdog, the Welsh Corgi and the German Shepherd."
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Weight loss program. A low carb success story!
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
The Garden Patch 2008
She told me not to pick the 25lb pumpkin up by the stem. She told me. - So I reached down and firmly grabbed the stem and lifted.... then I remembered what I had just been told.- I bought that pumpkin and a few others as well as a shock of dried corn stalks.
The Garden Patch is a small garden stand on Smithtown Road in Excelsior/Shorewood. Every year the owners set out a spooky, fun and informative display about Halloween. The display is complete with skeletons, goblins, witches and warning signs. They also have the occasional Spiderman and Humpty Dumpty for diversity.
The display is pared down this year. The owner told me that the effort is considerable, and now they must start gearing up chop, chop, for the Christmas Season. Each year, she said, the Christmas and Holiday season sales begin earlier and they MUST be ready by November 10 or earlier. So severed heads will roll, and the Halloween stiff is coming down and - being sold off.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Honey Mushrooms - gold in your own backyard
I walked back into our woods to see why the dogs were barking up a storm. It could mean that they‘ve treed a squirrel, were confronting a deer, - or more likely they were poking their noses into a bunch of burrs, trying to roust a chipmunk.
I found them rustling and poking for no apparent reason in the brush. Then I was surprised to see the old rotting oak stump encircled with a yellow wreath of mushrooms. I had never seen these before and it set me aback. How long has this been going on?
A little research shows them to be the ubiquitous “Honey mushrooms”. Common and varied in appearance they are marked by their honey yellow appearance. Some mushroom-o-philes find them to be desirable and edible. Some. Others yak them up.
Still, they appeared quite unexpectedly and disappeared as quickly....within a few days... dissolving into the earth and woods.