“When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator”. –  Mahatma Gandhi

There is nothing more spectacular than a Minnesota summer. After a long, snowy and cold winter when the sun sets before five summer arrives and the world comes to life again. The birds sing, the air smells of flowering trees, and the sunsets that grace our 10,000 lakes are out of this world.

I am fortunate to live in a large city that is filled with culture, fantastic restaurants and tons to do but is also blessed with nature. Minneapolis is nicknamed the “city of lakes” and right outside my door is one of four urban lakes that flows through the heart of the city. I spend time here almost every single day, year round, running, biking and walking. They even plow the snow off the running and biking trail in the winter.

I’ve seen bald eagles, loons, muskrats, red foxes, turtles, blue herons, white egrets and even wild turkeys, all along my most favorite urban Lake Harriet. It never ceases to amaze me that in the heart of a city you can see so much nature.

My most favorite time to enjoy the lake is in the summer when the sun doesn’t set until almost ten o’clock and it is warm, humid and inviting. Last night, I took a walk before bed to catch a glimpse of the dramatic sunset. It had been hot, humid and stormy yesterday so I know I’d get a purely sensational sunset and I was right. Here is pure Minnesota in all its glory. It is not fly-over land like some east and west coasters like to call it. It is beautiful and I sometimes have to pinch myself how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place.

sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves”. – Buddha

sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue”. –  Buddha

sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

And I saved the best for last. This photo of my daughter was taken the night before at the same location, the South Beach of Lake Harriet. I just love this photo of her. To me, it shows the beauty and innocence of a child marveling at our amazing world.

sunset on Lake Harriet, Minneapolis MN

I have been spending a little more time on Instagram these days which has inspired me to get out there more and catch the sunset. To see what I’ve been up to check me out. I am @thirdeyemom on Instagram.

This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure. 




  1. It really is great to have nature so close to you in the city; I am missing that right now in my dense urban environment. The photo of the fisherman is particularly wonderful.

    1. Yes the older I get the more I need nature. I used to live in Lincoln Park before moving to Minneapolis. I do love Chicago but it was pretty urban living. Here there is so much nature with all our lakes that I can find peace and escape yet not feel too isolated. It is really nice.

  2. These are wonderful pictures of sunset and twilight. Which lake is this? These days, even I am hooked to taking sunrise pictures around several lakes in MN.

    BTW, I like the title of your post. From Explore MN to ‘Pure Minnesota’s. Very creative 🙂

      1. Fantastic. I have been to Harriet several time before sunrise this year. It’s a beautiful place with bandshell in the background. What a cool place to stay! I feel so jealous of you now 🙂

  3. Absolutely spectacular Nicole. You have the most beautiful blog, your photos never fail to inspire me, as do your quotes and words. Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. xo

  4. All spectacular and stunning but the photo with your daughter is an absolute winner to be treasured, as I know it will. Happy Father’s Day to her dad 🙂

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