April 18, 2021

Vaccine Spring


Vaccine Spring
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 18, 2021

Every week, I'm finding out more and more of our friends are becoming fully vaccinated and people are starting to plan get togethers again.  Coupled with the nicer weather, it's really feeling like a special time with new beginnings, new possibilities, and new desires to try different things.  This week we decided to go to Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota to see their Japanese Garden.

 It's a very peaceful space right outside Normandale's campus.  It has a waterfall, several bridges, and a nice walking path.  The Cherry Trees found here were genetically modified to be able to survive Minnesota's harsh winters.  The garden actually patented them so they make a small royalty on each one that is sold which I found to be pretty cool.

I was really impressed with the Japanese Garden.  It even made me think I should take a class or two at Normandale so I could hang out here between lectures.  That would be fun.

   We thought this sculpture was neat except for the phrase at the bottom that says "My Heart is Open".  Sometimes it's more fun to interpret the art rather than having it spelled out for us.

Blue was not a fan of the Japanese Garden mainly because he wasn't allowed in to visit.  We kept singing the song from Snoopy Come Home.  No Dogs Allowed!  He would have probably just peed on the cherry tree anyways.

Here's a couple TikTok videos I shot while we were there:


Japanese Garden at Normandale College ##normandale ##waterfall ##japanesegarden ##minnesota ##hikes

♬ Japanese Garden (Guqin) - Chinese Yang Qin Relaxation Man

Normandale College Waterfall ##normandale ##waterfall ##japanesegarden ##minnesota ##hikes

♬ Waterfalls - TLC

Nearby Normandale is this long walking path that goes over some prairie land so we thought we'd check it out.  It was well worth the trip.

We saw these people canoeing on the pond and thought it would fun to join them.  Sadly we forgot our canoe so maybe next time.

We like spying on turtles from above.  It's a bit of a guilty pleasure of ours.  We're turtle voyeurs.

Technically, we saw this softshell turtle on one of our other walks through our neighborhood earlier this week.  Since it fit into our obsession with turtles theme, I thought it would be placed well here. 

This mama goose was nesting and so well hidden we missed her on our first walk by.  Miss Sheri spotted her on our way back.  She did not take her eyes off of us so I'm guessing there's some eggs underneath that belly of hers.

We had the opportunity to hang out with our good friends, Tom & Kellie Wolf, this week.  We're usually able to solve the world's problems in our couple of hours of being together so that's nice.

We also were able to spend some time with our buddies, Jen & Dan Walters, at a campfire at their house.  They make it a lot of fun to burn stuff!

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