A Short Hike at R. T. Anderson (Eden Prairie, MN) 29-April-2023

We had Winter. Then a few days of fake (but enjoyable 😎) summer. Then more rain and snow. Then another warm, sunny spell. Then more rain and snow. And now a touch more snow may be on it’s way. πŸ₯Ί The local forecasters have intimated (they never promise) that Spring will (may) appear next week. Maybe. πŸ€”

Apparently, the ancient expression “Spring is just around the corner” is now a meme. How wonderfully modern! Maybe Spring even has its own app now? Wonderful. But where, exactly is the actual Spring? Where’s that corner and exactly how far is Spring from it? How far are we from it? Eh? Inquiring minds want to know.

Yes, sadly, we seem to have grown a touch cynical waiting for sunshine and warmth and wildflowers to finally make more than a cameo appearance. As that’s not a good place to be – and it upsets our cat – we packed our rain jackets and went for a short hike at the Richard T. Anderson Conservation Area while the weather was just threatening to do something bad.

Our previous visit to R. T. Anderson had been last year at the start of meteorological Winter. The first snows of a very snowy winter had just happened and it was 10℉ (-12.2℃) but sunny! Quite beautiful. Today it was considerably warmer (50℉/10℃) but any sunshine was moderated by an ever changing variety of clouds. Still, not a bad day for a walk.

We did the same loop as before, going counter-clockwise past the eastern overlook, along the northern boundary, and back over the western overlook – just in time for the sun to break through the clouds. 😊

Going east along Flying Cloud Drive under an overcast sky
Last year’s oak leaf
Climbing to the eastern overlook
Shakopee and a flooded Rice Lake from the eastern overlook

The Minnesota River is now 13 feet (3.9 m) higher than when we were at Nine Mile Creek on April 7th. From what we could see, it is now (temporarily) high enough to fill the flood plain, becoming one with Rice Lake and Grass Lake and probably every other marsh and lake in its path.

Along the northern boundary
A “hanging” marsh – sitting on the edge of the bluff
The LovedOne gazes upon Shakopee
A swollen Rice Lake from the unofficial overlook
Down to Bluff Creek
A bedraggled Turkey Tail fungus
Up along Bluff Creek through a still barren forest

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensisis) was the one flowering wildflower we saw today. 🌼 The Minnesota Wildflowers website calls it “…one of the harbingers of spring, sometimes emerging while snow is still on the ground, and is a welcome sight after a long Minnesota winter.” Yes, a very welcome sight! 😊

Climbing to the western overlook

We also saw some Trillium almost ready to flower but, without a bloom, it was hard to tell which of the four species in Minnesota we were seeing. Judging from where the flower will appear, we’re guessing it’s a Large-flowered Trillium.

Large-flowered Trillium (?)
Blue sky and sunshine! 😎
Arriving at the western overlook
Looking toward Shakopee
A much enlarged Rice Lake
Heading down
And back to the trailhead…

The western overlook is our favorite feature on this good short (2.2 miles/3.5 km) walk. We’ve now seen this area covered with snow and without any leaves – we owe it a return visit when more leaves and wildflowers are out. 😁

This short loop left us plenty of time for lunch at Peoples Organic followed by the incredible excitement of shopping for next week’s groceries! πŸ™„ We should note that any such irrational exuberance was dampened considerably by the now inflated cost of said groceries. πŸ€‘ Ramen anyone? πŸ˜‹


6 thoughts on “A Short Hike at R. T. Anderson (Eden Prairie, MN) 29-April-2023

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  1. I’m going to (cautiously) say that we may have (finally) turned that proverbial corner into Spring. Our flooded rivers are falling, our temperatures are rising, and the word “snow” will not to be uttered again for some months. We’re making the most of this “golden moment” when it’s clear, sunny, and warm – and the bugs haven’t gotten organized yet. πŸ¦ŸπŸ˜‰

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  2. Winter seems to be the β€œgift” that keeps on giving. But good for you for still hitting the trails. And at least you saw some bloodroot, which at least is a good sign for spring.


  3. We had relatively good weather for this morning hike and were home before the weather threat turned to action. 😏 One day Spring will arrive for real…one day. 😊


  4. Hurry up Spring! The weather did a bit more than threaten us – we were caught in a small hail storm while at Franconian Sculpture Gardens yesterday afternoon. So we didn’t see as much as we hoped.


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