10 Snapshots from the Land of Lakes

Minnesota is called the Land of 10,000 Lakes; it has more like 11,842. Minneapolis alone has 13 lakes. I grew up there, between Lake Nokomis and Lake Harriet. Minneapolis and St. Paul (the Twin Cities) are the largest and most populated towns. They are near the eastern border with Wisconsin and 175 mi (217K) from the border with Iowa to the south.

Any area with more lakes than people above the Twin Cities, is captured in the phrase, “Up North.” It’s the whole upper half of the state. “Going Up North” is synonymous with spending time in nature; hiking, biking, paddling, swimming, fishing and innertubing. Saying we’re “Going to the lake” and “Going to the North Woods are similar, even though there is so much water and are so many trees statewide! Why so many lakes? The glacier that receded 12,000 years ago left many gifts; bodies of water to enjoy sporty activities.

According to the Minnesota CBS affiliate, as of 2016 there are 135,000 cabins in the “Star of the North” State. That’s one cabin for every 39 people. Many Minnesotans who live “Up North” do away with the cabin and buy a home directly on a lake. When I grew up, we had no cabin, but my uncle who had one near Duluth found my mom a lovely piece of property to purchase in the North Woods on a lake. The 1/3 that isn’t swamp is wonderful.

We were lucky enough to spend the past weekend there. Perfect timing to enjoy our good news. Here are my recent photos of the land I love.

1. Clouds and pine trees reflected on the mirror of the lake.

The Lake Last Weekend   Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Many weekends spring to fall all during my childhood, we camped in an enormous canvas tent and cooked out over a fire or a cookstove. Throughout the days, we’d paddle our canoe on the lake with Mom or Dad, looking for beaver lodges or loons. My sister and I would gather firewood, help build a fire, swim, pick wild blueberries, and walk in the woods. We loved the wind in the aspen trees, the sunsets, and the amazingly bright stars at night.

2. Roads that lead you into nature. Take me home, country roads…
Leaf-strewn dirt road with muddy tire tracks bordered by trees. Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

3. Startling red sumac leaves dotting the edges of the road.

Bright red, eye-shaped autumn sumac leaves.   Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

4. Pines that are older than anyone you know. This pine is the one we look for when we paddle back from our adventure on the water. It’s the tallest on the east side of the lake. I can’t fit my arms around the trunk!

Large pine tree and oak trees border the lake   Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

5. Canoes moving quietly to observe animals. The loon pair that nests near the pine in the distance has already flown south for the winter. We frequently see and hear large fish jump and see the ripples they leave on the water.

Paddlers head south in the distance; pine reflection shimmers in the water in foreground   Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

6. Beaver lodges where the best non-human engineers reside.

Piles of sticks and dirt that form the outside of the beaver’s home.  Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

7. Fungus that looks like ears. Not on your list of must-sees?

A rotten log stands vertically, two tan fungal “ears” stick out from the right side. Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

8. Maple leaves in crimson and orange-green-yellow glory.

9. Five pine cones and an acorn on our picnic table by the shore.

One acorn, two open pine cones and three closed cones waiting for squirrels to nibble on them.  Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

10. I had a great vacation Up North with my parents and family! Here I’m swinging on a chair Dad built to fit between the pines.

Rebecca in a brown hat, fuschia jacket, jeans and red lace up boots on a wooden swing    Photo: John Cuningham

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! ¡Ole! –Rebecca

Rebecca Cuningham

13 thoughts on “10 Snapshots from the Land of Lakes

  1. Apparently I didn’t “give you Permission” to use pictures of the cabin in Fake Flamenco. Thanks for asking but it is quite all right with me for you to use them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I didn’t want to assume or take advantage of the fact that we’re related ; ) I have more photos, including ones of the cabin and would love to make a second post about the weekend. Hugs, R


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