Paddling the Phalen Lake Chain

This summer we’re trying to see the land o’ lakes from the lake’s perspective, rather than just the land’s. On our maiden voyage in the Coleman Ram-X we paddled the Phalen Lake chain, in Maplewood, MN.

Captains log: Discovered strange lily pad formations and met bald eagle with glowing eye on Kohlman Lake. Caught in heavy downpour, tornado sirens sounding, no shelter in sight, on Gervais – youngest of crew nearly lost at sea. Soaked to britches, waited out storm under tunnel between Gervais and Spoon. Authorized children to pee their own pants – mutiny averted. Ordered crew to swab deck.

Bald eagle on Kohlman lake

Rain on Spoon Lake

Rain on Spoon Lake

Haliaeetus leucocephalus

bald eagle at dusk

H. leucocephalus fun facts: biggest bird, next to the condor, and that monstrous eagle on Rescuers Down Under; nearly extirpated by DDT, which was ingested by fish, which were ingested by the eagle; mates for life, monogamously, so they say; not really bald.

Staredown with a Bald Eagle

hiking with the kidsToday we hiked around Keller Lake (Maplewood, MN), through swamp and snow, in search of a bald eagle. Growing up in the central valley of California, where sightings are rare, the national bird is a legendary mythical creature, like a unicorn. Seeing one would be an omen of prosperity, or it would give you raptor powers – we weren’t sure. Turns out they’re common to the Twin Cities area, and they don’t give you special powers, though I did nearly wet myself when they made eye contact with me.

bald eagle        bald eagle close up

bald eagle in nest        bald eagle in nest