Monday, February 28, 2011

Frozen Falls

One of the big tourist attractions here in the Twin Cities is Minnehaha Falls. The falls was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, the love story of Hiawatha and Minnehaha, however Longfellow never visited the falls themselves.
Longfellow wrote the Song of Hiawatha loosely based on Ojibwe and other Native American legends. Longfellow incorrectly translated his heroine's name, Minnehaha, to mean laughing waters. He took this translation from an earlier book called Dacotah by Mary Eastman. The correct translation, from the Dakota language, would be water (mni) waterfall (haha).
The source of the falls is the Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi River which runs from Lake Minnetonka in the west to the Mississippi River 22 miles away. The creek meanders its way through several Twin Cities suburbs as well as south Minneapolis before if plunges 53 feet, shortly before it joins with the Mississippi. Much of the land around the falls was purchased by the state of Minnesota. It was originally intended to be a state park but the state decided to give it to the city of Minneapolis to form a city park instead. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the park was kind of a spectacle with a carnival, zoo and even horse racing. Now the park is mostly grass fields or open wild area where people can walk, hike, run, bike, swim, bird and enjoy the view. At this time of year the creek and falls are mostly frozen but they still have a magical property to them.

8 comments:

Sylvia K said...

That is awesome!! I've seen the falls in Great Falls, MT frozen and it is a sight no one who sees will ever forget! Terrific captures as always! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Eve said...

Gorgeous waterfalls... even when frozen! :D

Arija said...

A splendidly balanced post of information and beautiful pictures. To see gushing water turned into a solid structure by the magic of nature and as easily liquified again is quite a miracle.

lotusleaf said...

I hve read that poem in school and wondered. The frozen falls is very beautiful. Thanks for the wealth of interesting information.

Susan said...

"By the shore of Gitchie Gumee
By the shining big sea water"...loved the poem, and think how lucky you are to be beside such an ancient waterway. Think how it's changed over the centuries -from poetic inspiration, to passive city park..and who knows what 500 years from now...great post!

Joyful said...

This is an interesting post. I've never seen the falls but of course have heard of Longfellow and The Song of Hiawatha.

ladyfi said...

Wow - amazing shots of those frozen falls! Must be cold.

bracomfotografie said...

awesome winter series, very nice photos