"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
When this summer began, I never expected our activities would bring us closer to the world of dog training. It also brought me a new friend, Kate Bucci. She is the owner of the KC-K9 Academy. She specializes in training, nutrition and more. One of her top programs is her Board and Train. It’s immersion training for your dog to learn discipline in a matter of days. Contact her on her website or call 608-206-6396.
Let’s start at the beginning, with the Madison Mallards Baseball games. We went to the opening season game on May 28. Kate brought both of her Border Collies, Colt, and his younger one-year-old brother. Kovu. They are three litters apart. Colt is four years old. It was our first time seeing Kovu at the game. We didn’t see him last year but he actually did his first bat retrieve at only 7 months old!
We are seated in Section 101 in the front row with a perfect view of the dugout and home plate, just beyond the net. Here is Kovu waiting for the signal to retrieve the bat.
Colt was just as excited, he did a little flip when getting the bat.
We were at three games where at least one of the dogs retrieved the bat. See the video here of their work!
This is from the summer of 2018.
They made the games extra special, and the bat boy didn’t mind sharing the duty with a couple of cute pups!
Midsummer brought us to the Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona for Sunday Funday. This event was a fundraiser for the Capital K9s of Madison to get protective goggles for all of the police dogs.
Kate could not make it but Al and I could. It was a lot of fun to see so many dogs out on the patio.
The best part was the K9 demo, showcasing their skills.
There were not quite enough funds to get the Rex Specs. Kate then teamed up with Focused Dog Training and covered the remaining cost. The dogs were presented with their protective goggles on Sept 4th. Good job!
Photo by Madison Police
Pier Pups Dock Jumping
The Mallard games being over, we went to to see Kovu do his favorite sport, dock jumping into a pool. The company running this event is Pier Pups, and it was held in the parking lot of Petlicious Dog Bakery and Pet Spa. It was our first time going to one of these competitions and it was really fun!
Kovu won a 3rd place ribbon for his efforts. Such a good boy!
Photo by Kate Bucci
See the video of his 5 jumps at this event.
During the “Grab It” competition, Kovu must catch a toy in mid-air during the jump. Here is a shot I got of that.
Kovu did achieve winning his Dock Diving Title by September 15. Way to go!
Photo by Kate Bucci
We are so proud of Kovu’s achievement. I shared my video footage with her and she produced a video showcasing all of his jumps leading up to the title.
Kovu is not the only one with talent. See Colt do the Git Up Dance by Woody from Toy Story 4. So cute!
And this concludes our 2019 adventures with Colt and Kovu. We look forward to next summer!
We are always looking for a new way to celebrate our country’s birthday. This year, we went to The Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums to celebrate! This place has been on our bucket list for several years so we took this opportunity to go!
We arrived just before the museum opened. We did the mine tour first before it got more crowded. Join us on the tour, led by a young man named Garrison. It was sure fun! It was also much cooler inside the mine than outside and it felt good!
After the tour, we rode the mine train, join us!
There was just as much excitement going on inside of the museum building. The Music and Schoolroom had many working music machines of the late 19th and early 20th Century.
We heard a Regina music box, cylinder music boxes, mini-organs and such. Even a player piano. Hear and see them below!
Farm tours are available Tues-Fridays, 11 am & 3 pm, Saturdays, 11 am 1 pm, & 3 pm. You can book your venue here as well. Call 608-477-4023.
Summer is here and so is the lavender! It wasn’t blooming yet on June 8, so we came back July 3rd when it was! The New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm in Baraboo is a peaceful refuge from the Wisconsin Dells and a chance to enjoy creating memories with your family. When the plants mature, you are invited to buy one to bring home.
Inside the store, you can buy many products made with the lavender, including bakery items and ice cream. See offerings here. You can also buy essential oils, soap, lotion, and many other items, even fudge!
Next to the farm store is an outbuilding with a beautiful lavender barn quilt on the side. It was painted by artist Vicki Baumgarten. She also manages Narrows Creek Winery as well.
You can also take a tour behind a tractor to see all of the fields and get a running commentary as well. It lasts for one hour.
There are many great opportunities to take a portrait of you and your family here. There is a selfie station to put your phone on under the canopy.
This is an example of what this photo would look like.
You can also bring a tripod to take one in other spots. We also at among the lavender and got this great shot. This one is our favorite.
Plan your visit now to the New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm in Baraboo before summer is over!
The last time we were in Columbus for July 4th was in 2012 so we decided to go back. The parade started at noon and it was wonderful! It lasted nearly two hours. The Parade Marshalls. (click to enlarge)
Watch it here.
After the parade we headed to Fireman’s Park where all of the festivities were taking place. There was a carnival also, Mr. Ed’s Magical Midways.
The main attraction that drew us here was the First Brigade Band from Watertown. They were in the parade. They are a Civil War-era band, complete with instruments that were played in the 1860’s. We knew about them but never saw them perform before. See them below.
At this point, rain was threatening. The next show was Ballet Folkloriko Mexico. They were also really good, but it began to rain half-way through their performance and they had to cut it short. They had someone also getting video, but they had to stop because of the rain. I held my hat over my camera to keep it dry! You can see my video below.
And that was the conclusion of our July 4th celebration in Columbus. We had a wonderful time here today! Let freedom ring!
In 2017, Chicago came to the Dells in the form of a great new restaurant called River Dawgs, just off Broadway on River Road. We went for the first time on 7-7-18 and had a great meal! We saw their gyro special posted outside the door and couldn’t pass it up.
We went in and it smelled so delicious! Inside is small but not a problem in the summer. Owner Ken Nelson’s only goal is that you leave happy with a great meal that will make you want to come back for more, and we will!
Our lunch was ready in about 10 minutes, yum! The fresh-cut fries were great too.
On another visit, I enjoyed Polish Sausage and Al had a lobster roll, both delicious!
Ken is from Chicago originally. He knew the Dells needed a restaurant with great Chicago tastes, and he filled that niche very nicely, as well as many hungry tummies! View the rest of the menu, we can’t wait to try the many other offerings on future visits!
Today was a special day in the Village of Oregon. Oregon is a big believer in preserving their heritage and history. They proved that again by not tearing down their historic “Tin Man” water tower. Instead, they chose to restore it and light it up! Tonight is the inaugural lighting of this Oregon landmark. The Pump House below the tower was previously restored and now the tower is too! It was also open that evening.
Before that, it was time to enjoy a concert by the Oregon Community Band. It takes place at Waterman Triangle Park downtown. They have entertained Oregon since 1981. Jim Baxter is the current Conductor.
Enjoy the concert too! At the end of the show, the Tin Man Water Tower’s lights were turned on for the first time!
A beautiful evening in Oregon, Wisconsin. This community preserves their history in a way that all can enjoy.
It happened! Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Corpse Flower has finally bloomed today. The last time this plant bloomed was in 2009, I didn’t see it then. They have 4 plants altogether. The University of Wisconsin has its own Corpse Flower, affectionately named “Big Bucky”. That one last bloomed in 2012. It was named “Mori” by fans of Olbrich.
It’s housed inside of the Bolz Conservatory. At 4:15 PM it wasn’t too crowded so I picked a good time. Here are some facts about the flower.
The flower is located near the Conservatory entrance, there is a sign showing its life cycle. Picture courtesy of the University of Wisconsin.
I may have missed the peak smelliest time of the flower, I could only smell it up close. Inside the spathe the color is a deep red, setting off the green.
Now the whole plant.
It was fun meeting Mori, the world’s largest flower in person.