Westwood Hills Nature Center (St. Louis Park, MN) 20-Aug-2022

If you give it a chance, Life will offer you some unexpected connections. Shortly after we moved to Minnesota, a commenter on one of our posts suggested we check out the Minnesota Rovers, the local outdoor club. Turns out this commenter had been a member of the Rovers for years but had just moved from Minneapolis to Southern Oregon! We visualized our paths crossing (metaphorically) as we went east and they went west across the country. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So we joined the Rovers but didn’t soon follow-up by doing any activities with them. Seems we were busy questing the state parks, drilling holes in our house, visiting long-time friends, and contemplating the inner mysteries of sewer pipes. Oh, and let’s not forget all those wondrous trips to various home fix-it and supply stores. And thus time passed…

But, finally, a light at the end of the tunnel (or pipe) appeared – signaling, for the moment, a cessation in home repairs. So, when the Rovers offered a short hike around a nearby lake, we signed-up for it. Seven others showed up and we had time to chat with them as we did a partial circle of Westwood Lake, along with detours to the Maple Basswood Forest and the Prairie Overlook (for 2.5 miles / 4.0 km total).

We gather at the Nature Center
And head out on a mix of dirt trail and boardwalk
Spotted Touch-me-not
A polypore macrofungus
Going out to T Dock
Cattails and Clouds
Westwood Lake from T Dock
Continuing on…
Westwood Lake
Westwood Lake from the canoe dock
Westwood Lake
Up into the Maple Basswood Forest
Culver’s Root
Cardinal Flower
On through the forest
Mycena leaiana
Out to see the prairie
And back to the Water Garden at the Upper Pavilion
The constructed stream at the Water Garden
American White Waterlily
And back to the parking lot…

The weather went through a bunch of mood swings while we walked but stayed dry and even offered up the occasional sunbreak or two. ๐Ÿ˜Ž While enjoying this nature center, we were again amazed by the number of little gems of the Natural World that are tucked away throughout the greater Minneapolis area. ๐Ÿ˜Š Overall, we had a good time, met some nice people, and didn’t tax our limited social skills. We’ll certainly have to do any trip with the Rovers in the future! ๐Ÿ˜

Our route around Westwood Lake
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