Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day 6 - Lake Elmo Park Reserve

It was a chilly morning - can you see the ice forming on the pond behind my parents' house?
I went out for a little investigating.

The water in their fountain was a little thick, too!

There's my Dad, waving from the warmth of the kitchen.

They have gorgeous trees in the backyard.

I asked my Dad if we could hike somewhere close by sometime while we were in Minnesota, and he suggested the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, which is a 10-15 minute drive from my parents' house and beautiful!  I went there to swim (in a swimming area that has lifeguards and stuff) in the summer when I was a teenager, but I didn't hike then, so I didn't even know there were hiking paths!

So we got all suited up.

I wore this:

Mom was a little under the weather, so she relaxed at home by the lovely fire until we got back.
Pretty lady!

My dear friend, Elaine, Juildeen's Grandma, bought me this hat, some tech-friendly gloves (I can work my phone and iPod with them on because they have cool little sticky pads on the fingers and thumbs!) and two scarves for my birthday.

She made a special effort to get them to me before our trip because she knew I would need them - and I did!
hat (I LOVE IT!) and pink scarf

scarf #2 (thin white fluffy one with sequins!)

Close-up of the pretty pattern in the yarn:

We put our warmest stuff on . . . but we're wimpy and it was still chilly.
I loved it! (Greg has less body fat than I do and he got pretty cold, but he was a man about it).

My Dad forged ahead!

He showed us wild fennel.

I climbed up onto a fallen tree.

My handsome Dad:

The trees are like lace.

Trees rustling:

This is "Creeping Charlie".
I think it's an adorable plant and a cute name, but my Dad and Mom said it's an invasive weed.

So many lovely leaves!

Crunching leaves:

And a deer hoof print:

And some Sumac!

Here's Eagle Point Lake 
(my elementary school was named Eagle Point!)

Greg & my Dad, bravely conquering the world:

These are houses for bluebirds.
They have little tubes of mesh going up into them so the raccoons can't reach in and steal the eggs.

We found a bone!

And a beautiful red leaf.

My Dad found a split tree trunk and said someone has been gnawing.

With some weatherproofing, it might make a nice winter home!

Dad by the lake:

Me by the lake!

Beautiful cat-tails.

Eagle Point Lake:

Leaf on a lichen-covered rock.

Lacey tree branches against the blue sky and lake.

Happy Christie!

Some leaves were left on this tree, and they were sparkling in the sunshine.

The grass was sparkling, too.

And we found a helicopter!
To those of you who aren't from places where Maple trees grow, these little seed pods spin around like helicopter blades if you throw them in the air.  I tried with this dried out one and it still worked!

And my vigilant Dad spotted this wasp nest!

I have never seen one in person in the wild, and they're much bigger than I expected.

This one had a decreased guard still there, keeping tabs on things . . . 

Can you see him?

We found a spiky hanging vine.

The way back was much windier, and I had to tie my little dangle braids in a knot under my chin.

I'm thankful Greg had an ear band because his ears are sensitive (and he doesn't have long hair to use as a sheild!)

My best friend and me:

When we got home, I warmed up by the fire

and made krinkle cookies!

BONUS pictures:

Happy Mom and daughter:

And we have the same bag!

The story is that I bought one because I loved it, but I wanted to get my Mom one for her birthday, too.  I went to 3 different Ross stores to try to find another one, but couldn't, so I bought it from eBay (brand new, with the tags still attached!)  And she likes it.  Yay! 

And my Dad's rhubarb wine, getting ready . . . 

it smelled delicious and tasted really good already, even though it's not finished yet (the yeast is still doing its job!)

I love having creative and interesting parents!

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