Minneapolis’ Lake Creature

Scotland has the  Loch Ness Monster. Minneapolis has Minne.

*** You can click on a picture to view it larger and then scroll through the other grouped pictures.***

“Minne” is the Dakota Indian word for water. This sculpture by Cameron Gainer, based on the 1934 infamous photo of the Loch Ness Monster,  started appearing in various Minneapolis lakes back in 2009. For the first couple of years the statue was moved to a different Minneapolis lake every couple of weeks. Then in 2012, public voting determines which one lake* gets to be Minne’s home for the summer**.

This summer Minne’s  home is  Lake Calhoun, the largest of Minneapolis’ 17 lakes. Although I drive around the SE portion of that lake twice most every work day, Minne is located near the NW corner and I hadn’t yet seen her this year.

Jimmy took me out kayaking on Lake Calhoun today. It was a very rare sunny, not too hot day in Minneapolis. We rented a 2 person kayak which made it possible for Jimmy to do most of the paddling and for me to take pictures. I’d never been in a kayak before today. I wish I could enjoy it more. Even covered with sunscreen and protected by sunglasses and hat, the feeling of the sun on my skin sends out warning signals to seek shelter now! I had too many painful sunburns at a young age to be able to relax in the sun.


It’s also very difficult to take a focused picture from a kayak using an old cell phone. (I wasn’t going to take anything I’d miss if I dropped it into the lake out with me.)

The picture on the left is Lake of the Isles which was connected to Lake Calhoun by a canal in 1911.

The canal that linked Lake Calhoun to Lake of the Isles was opened July 4, 1911. Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Many more historic photos and stories online  at Minneapolis Park History and in print in City of Parks: The Story of Minneapolis Parks, both  by David C. Smith.

*Out of the 17 lakes in Minneapolis, only 9 lakes (Brownie, Calhoun, Cedar, Harriet, Hiawatha, Isles, Nokomis, Powderhorn and Wirth) meet the requirements to be Minne’s home base.

** The change was made because of new Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board regulations regarding invasive species that require a two-week holding period when moving Minne between lakes.


Bench at Thomas Beach

I read about Jude’s Bench Series (May: Benches at the Beach) in a post at Anabel’s Travel Blog and decided to add a photo from Minneapolis.

For the third straight year, Minneapolis received the top score (84) in the Trust for Public Land’s annual ranking of big city parks  in the United States.  This year the number of cities considered was expanded from the largest 60 cities to the largest 75 cities and that city across the Mississippi River, (St. Paul #66 in size), became eligible and also received a score of 84. After 2 years alone at the top, Minneapolis now shares 1st place. If your wondering, Washington DC came in 3rd with 81 points and to see rankings for all 75 cities click here.

In order to get from my home in Minneapolis to my place of work in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis (without going miles out of the way), I have to drive alongside part of at least one Minneapolis park. Linden Hills is the neighborhood south of Lake Calhoun and West of Lake Harriet.


SSW Portion of Minneapolis Parks Map

I stopped on the way home yesterday afternoon to take a picture. You can’t tell from this picture, but there were quite a few people enjoying the sun and wonderful weather.

I spent about 10 minutes wandering back and forth taking some pictures of two other benches that lacked a great view. Finally the guys playing hackysac around the spot I shot this from moved to play volleyball. Then I waited about 5 minutes watching  the stream of bicyclists, joggers, dog walkers, etc. go by until I was able to get clear shot of this bench near Thomas Beach at Lake Calhoun (part of Minneapolis’ Lake Calhoun Park).

A wonderful break between work and home!