Photographed along Lake of the Isles on a beautiful autumn day.
Free Spirited Children at Play
Cool View for a Hot Day
July 20, 2011
I recently returned from a trip to Chicago. I’ve always loved Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. It’s one of the largest fountains in the world. It’s another heat wave in the Midwest. Enjoy this visual/virtual relief.
A short video of this beautiful fountain:
Buckingham Fountain-Behind the Scenes
ooh! aah! ooh!
It’s the 4th of July weekend.
Here’s a guide to fireworks across the Twin Cities
this weekend and throughout the summer.
Photo of the Day
March 29, 2011
The Berger Fountain in Minneapolis is also known as the “dandelion” fountain. It is located in Loring Park. I have always loved this fountain due to its uniqueness and its sense of playful fun. It’s equally beautiful at night, if not more so. Seeing it closer is a treat as well. The fountain was the subject of some controversy when it was gifted to the city in 1969 and remained controversial until it was built in 1975. It’s now in need of repair and the Park Board does not currently have the money to complete the repairs. They are working on finding funding. The neighborhood group Citizens for a Loring Park Community has started raising funds to help pay for repairs.
Read more about the history of this fountain and how you can help fund the needed repairs.
Citizens for a Loring Park Community board member Diane Woelm has started raising funds to help pay for repairs. For more information call Diane at 612-377-7752 or Citizens for a Loring Park Community at 612-874-9002.
Photo of the Day
March 21, 2011
The Prospect Park Water Tower was designed by Frederick William Cappelen and constructed of concrete in 1913 at Tower Hill Park. It was given the nickname “Witch’s Hat” due to its green tile conical roof. It’s easily visible from I-94 since it soars up above the tree tops and has that uniquely shaped roof. For years I wondered exactly where it was located. I now know it’s at 55 Malcolm Avenue SE.
Directly below the roof is an octagonal Romanesque-arched belvedere with panoramic views of the city. The interior of the tower is open to the public just one day a year on the first Friday in June. I haven’t had the pleasure of going inside yet. Maybe this year.
The tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Photos of the Day
February 20, 2011
I ventured off the beaten path and found an unexpectedly peaceful place.
The ice crunched underneath my feet and tires,
adding sound to the otherwise silent landscape.
Here were three trees, standing tall and majestic.
I walked across a field of hard snow to this red bench and thought to myself –
‘I’m walking on water’.
Being in the quiet and beauty of nature always makes me
feel connected to things greater than myself.
When did you last veer off the beaten path? What did you discover?
Crossing Minnehaha Creek in Minnetonka
The Civic Center Park is located north of Minnetonka’s City Hall. This park has 147 acres of land and features a soccer field, play equipment, trails, an outdoor amphitheater, and a canoe launch.
Garden Find: The Louisiane Bench
Summer is nearly over here in Minnesota. People will soon be preparing their gardens for the colder weather. Does your garden have space for this French-made, red Louisiane bench? What a beautiful contrast it will make against the golden foliage of fall, the white snow of winter, the chartreuse greens of spring, and then the deeper greens of summer.
Go ahead: Imagine this curvy, poppy red bench in your garden. It has a lacquered steel base with galvanized slats and is covered in a glossy paint. The base receives the Cataphorese process, meaning it is dipped 17 times in an anti-corrosive bath, then powder-coated and baked. It can remain outdoors permanently. Wonderful lines, wonderful color. As the French say, “ooh la la”!
It was featured in the New York Times Home Section in January 2010 and it’s easy to see why. I’d love to see some of these in our city parks here in the Twin Cities. They would further enhance our beautiful public park spaces.
Available in a virtual sea of colors through American Country Wicker.
59″ or 79″ lengths
Photographed at Jidana Park in Minnetonka, Minnesota
Jidana Park is sixty acres of a community preserve that provide passive recreational opportunities—hiking, picnicking or bird watching. The trail system includes a 635-foot boardwalk that was installed during the 2005–06 winter season, and allows visitors to experience the expansive wetland surrounding Minnehaha Creek by passing right through the wetland vegetation. An interesting note: On the west side of the boardwalk, the straight segment of trail is built on a private landing strip from the 1950s.
More information on Jidana Park in Minnetonka, Minnesota
~ Keep Cool Today Amidst the 90 Degree Temps ~
The Phelps fountain, also known as the “turtle” fountain,
at Lyndale Park by Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This fountain was moved from its former downtown Gateway site in 1962-63 when the perennial garden that surrounds it was built. It is located on the east side of the garden. The Heffelfinger fountain lies to the west of the Phelps fountain. Further west lies the Rose Gardens, the second oldest rose garden in the United States. Other places to see at Lyndale Park are the Peace Garden and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary. The picturesque setting of these gardens is frequently used for wedding ceremonies and photography shoots.
H E A V E N ~ O N ~ E A R T H
Today I came across a blog with a writer’s workshop. Instructions:
Post a picture and a description that fits into this quote for you:
“How far to heaven? Just open your eyes and look. You are in heaven” -Shankar
I find heavenly people, places and more all around me each day. Still, one place came to mind for me when I read about this workshop exercise. Oahu. More specifically, The Byodi-In Temple at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. The photo above shows the temple, set amidst the trees and hills to the side and the mountain to the back. Water flows in front of the temple. This is an ideal setting in Feng Shui. The mountain at the back and the hills to the sides represent protection. The water in front brings prosperity and abundance. I felt an incredible peace here.
The Magnificent Byodo-In Temple translates to “Temple of Equality — not to discriminate” and is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world.
This Buddha is thought to be the largest figure carved since ancient times. It towers more than 18 feet and is an original work of art carved by the famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui.
The Bell House, above, contains a five-foot high, three-ton brass bell called bon-sho (sacred bell). It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. The tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace and is said to cleanse the mind of evil and temptation. The resonant sound of the bell travels for some distance so one hears it while walking through the temple and along the grounds. The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha. I made a short video of the bell being rung when I visited and I listen to it with regularity.
The Byodo-In was built entirely without nails and is a scale replica of a temple at Uji Japan that was constructed over 900 years ago. It is built to represent the mystical phoenix with its wings upheld by pillars of stone. Folklore tells of the phoenix arising from the ashes to reflect promises of hope and renewal. Isn’t that a heavenly thought?
A view from the meditation area.
This, then, was one experience I had of heaven on earth.
It was all too short a visit. I’d return in a heartbeat.
More on the Writer’s Workshop: