Star Tribune photo by Jeff Wheeler

"Minnie," Minneapolis' own Loch Ness monster, is due back in town Friday (June 3) when her pals at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation expect a sighting in some watery "off-the-beaten-path" area.

This will be the third season the friendly aquatic creature has camped out in Minnesota. In past summers she's been spied in Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriet, where she briefly acquired the nickname "Harrietta" before she settled on her official handle, "Minnie." 

Minnie's early history is vague. Her very best friend, artist Cameron Gainer, claims to have met her originally in his studio in Brooklyn, New York. But that was way back in another life.

She seems to have followed Gainer to the Twin Cities a few years ago and to have taken up residence in local ponds during warm weather only. No one knows where she spends winters, though rumors about Sanibel Island abound. Also, given the absence of little monsters, there's speculation that "she" may not really be a female after all. Gainer isn't commenting beyond noting that no other lake monsters of any sex have been spied around town.