by Hallie O’Falvey
I was walking around Lake Phalen, recently. It is the second largest and deepest lake in St. Paul proper. It is also a three-mile hike. I have kayaked Lake Phalen and its neighbor Round Lake many times for scenic pleasure. This lake is a high traffic area, with many who walk the perimeter regularly, birdwatching and fishing the lakeshore.
Lake Phalen drains into the Mississippi River. But it is connected to Round Lake, Keller Lake, Lake Gervais, and Kohlman Lake.
You can see a bald eagle nesting on trees from Hwy 36 going east just before Hwy 61.
But this time of year, however, late November, migration brings dramatic layovers of migrants. There is a lot of activity that only the regular walkers/bikers/runners notice. Goldeneyes were hanging out with Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and mallards on a steely November night. The intensity of the butt bobs was fantastic. Swans and ducks dip headfirst into the lake to feed. Heavy head-dunks show off big butts. During migration, spring or fall, Lake Phalen is a place to take a walk.
Check it out!!!! Where to find humidity in winter. Try Como Conservatory. The floral shows are spectacular. Check out Sunset Senior Strolls on some Tuesdays, from 4 – 5:30 p.m. It is a leisurely stroll with entertainment and activities each night — comozooconservatory.org.
This is a good time to feed birds as their food sources diminish.