Battle Lake, June 5, 2017
Just a little three night trip to West Central Minnesota. Many people are familiar with one of Minnesota’s slogans; “Land of 10,000 Lakes”. Technically there are 11,842 lakes here with each lake counted having a size of at least ten acres. We are at Xanadu Island B and B/resort on Elbow Lake in Ottertail County. Ottertail County, with its county seat at Fergus Falls, has over 1,000 lakes, so we see lakes around every bend in the road. Ottertail County has more lakes than any other county in the United States; quite a change from the dry lands of Texas, Kansas, etc that we drove through just weeks ago. Elbow Lake is a spring fed lake and the water is quite clear with a depth of about 55 feet at its deepest point. The vast, vast majority of lakes in Minnesota are natural from glacial action, not man-made by damming up rivers.
Xanadu Island was built in the 1920s by an attorney from St. Louis who built a summer fishing retreat for his family. His wife came from the J.P. Morgan family (the major financial house of the early 1900s). Over time it has been expanded and modified; now it has five rooms in the B and B portion and three cabins (originally servant quarters and the garage) on the property. Construction is heavily of stone and wood, it comes across very well.
Our plan is to visit four state parks between today and Thursday. The day started with a drive to Buffalo River State Park just 15 miles east of Moorhead MN-which is at the Minnesota-North Dakota border. Buffalo River has a sandy bottom swimming pond, hiking trails and a regional science center. The state park also butts up to the Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural area. Our hike went through the park and a portion of the SNA. We focused on the prairie portion, not the woods.
Evidently a number of birders have come to Buffalo River State Park recently. There was a reported sighting of a Western Wood Peewee; a bird not normally found this far east. We saw birds but none of the ones we saw distinctly appeared to be the bird of the hour.
After driving here and having a barbecue (Texas style) dinner in Battle Lake, we are relaxing, listening to the birds and feeling the slight breezes off the lake through the numerous windows in the main building. Ah, summer in Minnesota Lake Country.
Ed and Chris Monday June 5, 2017