Friday, July 16, 2010

Visiting the Familiar: Lake of the Isles

Blogging about London (and especially Manfred's comment) got me thinking again, how would we see our own town if we were visitors instead of residents?
Photographing or sketching an overly familiar place makes you see it anew. So I took my camera to the Lake of the Isles yesterday, for another Twin Cities photo outing. I live about a mile from the lake (it's inner city) and have walked or biked around it a thousand times, at least.

First, I went to the Uptown YWCA, for body pump class.
Then I got on my bike...

ABOVE: This is a tidy-minded part of the country, and the bike path around the lake comes with instructions. Fellow citizens will chide you if you don't obey them. (I was shocked and delighted when I first went to Italy and saw people happily going every which way on park paths.)

ABOVE: Topographical copper map mounted (in 1936?) on a granite boulder, with maple helicopter seed.

ABOVE: Bridge over channel from Cedar Lake, one of the chain of lakes of which Lake of the Isles is part.

ABOVE: Paddles stored in a canoe, upside-down on a canoe-storage rack.

ABOVE: Near the canoe rack, this Sheltie was crying for his tennis ball, floating about 10 feet out in the water. His owner, sitting on the dock, told me the dog was afraid to swim. So I took off my jeans and waded into the hip-high water to retrieve it. (I don't know why the woman didn't go get it herself, but she was happy I did.)

ABOVE: Maybe she was afraid of running into a Northern pike. They have teeth, you know.

Since I was already damp, I waded into the mucky-bottomed, algae-thick part of the lake, where water lilies grow. I'd never have been willing, if I hadn't been on a blog mission.

ABOVE: Afterward, I stopped at Isles Bun and Co., for a San Pellegrino aranciata (bitter orange pop).

It was 2:47 p.m., CST.


ArtSparker said...

Kind of wish I had been there with you, you sound like a wonderful guide, algae and all. And then the stop afterwards, like sudden Europe, I've never heard of bitter orange pop.

Clowncar said...

minimum size is 40"? for a fish?

those must be some really big fish.

I like the copper on granite map.

Fresca said...

SPARKER: You'd have been welcome!
Aranciata is sort of like Orangina, but bitterer. Schwepps makes (or used to make) a bitter orange--also bitter lemon. I like bitter as a flavor (but not an emotion).

CLOWN: They are scary big!
I'd never looked very closely at that copper map until yesterday when I stopped to photograph it.

Lill said...

Beautiful pics. You gave me such a pang of nostalgia for walks around Lake of the Isles! And for a place where citizens will speak up for safety.

The shot from the bridge over the channel was the on that made me tear up. Only if one had paused there who knows how many times, alone or with friends or lovers, would a pic of lightly rippled water and reddish concrete have such meaning--happiness, sadness, a wave of knowing exactly how the air smelled.


deanna said...

Blogging missions are important. Good for your good deed with the Lassie doggy. :o)

poodletail said...

Good you weren't there when they were pulling the body out of L.O.T.I. this morning.

bink said...

The biggest fish ever caught in MN (unless the record has recently been updated) came from the a city lake: Lake Harriet. The fish was over 60 inches long!

Have you noticed they've moved the sea monster (aka an artist's version of the Loch Ness monster) over to Harriet? Maybe that's to scare the fishies!

The lily pix is an award winning nature shot. (Send it to me and maybe I can use it for A.)

Anonymous said...

After a mega-stressful day, (wedding rehearsal and dinner and you-know- what-all, all's i can say is molto grazi or however you would say this in Italian, oh Fresca the wise, the wonderful, the brave capitana who wades into scummy urban waters I'm too neurotic to stick my pinky-nail into. Unless of course, to save certain people who are near and dear to me, and quite a few others if I really had to. This was necessary therapy for me before zzz-in' out. I was thankful for more pix and few words.

Love and Keep all this goin' on!


femminismo said...

Pictures are terrific! I'd go on a trip with you for sure, but maybe not into the water. And you are right: You do things on a blog mission you wouldn't ordinarily try. I'm sure you made that Sheltie happy. The bitter orange pop sounds deelightfull.

Fresca said...

LiLL: Nostalgia is a great compliment.

DEANNA: I have found blog missions spur me to do things I wouldn't otherwise.

POODLE: A dead body? Maybe that's why the woman wouldn't go in the lake.

BINK: Let's go see the sea monster! (I just e-mailed the lily to you.)

STEF: Sometimes pix trump words.

FISMO: Yep, the Sheltie really was visibly happy to have his ball back.

Jennifer said...

I agree with Bink very much about the lotus image...the reflection peeping through the leaves is breathtaking. I've saved it as wallpaper. You have such a gift for seeing things freshly...

The Crow said...

Was dog grateful you brought him his ball?

Fresca said...


CROW: He really was. The happiness of a dog that has gotten his toy back makes biking on in wet undies well worth it.