"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 :)
For the lack of new posts in a while. Been suffering a bit of a writer’s block, as well as being winter-weary! My computer also had crashed in February and had to get a new hard drive. We hope to have some new posts soon. Meanwhile, there are plenty in the archives for you to enjoy, just put a word in the search bar.
It’s the time of year Columbus has been waiting for, Redbud Days. This annual celebration celebrates the Redbud tree, prominently displayed all over the city. Read more about the history here. Many of the redbuds are descended from one especially hardy tree that lived over 60 years, it was on 537 West James street. It lived from the 1940’s until it had to be cut down in 2001. It’s unique genetic makeup was preserved and the tree’s “children” are all over Columbus, 48 on city property alone.
We began the day by visiting some of the great garage sales around town. Found some great buys and had fun! Many people had redbuds in their yard, some quite large.
Back downtown for all the fun! Every year, a new Redbud Prince and Princess are chosen in a competition by children entering the contest. The ceremony was at the Columbus Senior Center.
Each child is interviewed and a panel of Judges choose the winners. See the ceremony here.
The kids were wonderful and all are fine representatives of Columbus. They will all go far.
It may be winter outside but inside it’s spring at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The turnout was high at this popular event. There even was musical accompaniment by the Collage saxophone Quartet. You can hire them to play at your venue!
The Conservatory was inviting with 80ºF temps inside.
Let’s go into the exhibition room, so beautiful!
Large display, so many varieties!
After enjoying these orchids, there was another room with vendors selling them too.
Not only orchids were for sale, also orchid themed mementos. Pictures by Charlotte Fung Miller, Chinese Brush Art.
After our delicious breakfast we went to the sugaring camp a short distance away. Over 1000 people came to this event and about 700 had breakfast too.
The weather was rather interesting, it alternated between white out and sunshine, sometime both at the same time!
Set up in the camp was a large portable Ho-Chunk Indian home called a Ciporoke, it was put to the test today with the high winds and it didn’t budge. It was constructed in January so it has stood most of the winter.
We went inside and learned more about it and saw some animal pelts and tools used by the Ho-Chunk. A docent inside answered the questions from the many visitors, very interesting! Let’s listen in.
The views inside, tools and pelts on display.
Nearby were three large iron kettles boiling sap as they did in the late 19th century. Another volunteer was showing the various products that can be made from sap. Also a demo of carrying two buckets of sap using a yoke.
This part of the festival was real fun, eating ice cream topped with maple syrup made by an antique steam engine! Let’s see it in action!
Great ice cream too, cold and snow doesn’t stop Wisconsinites from enjoying that any time!
After our treat we visited the Maple Syrup finishing House, where larger quantities of sap were boiled than in the iron kettles. It was a wood-burning unit and it warmed the room nicely! On our first visit in 2012 was when we saw it cold.
We also learned pickles and syrup go well together, never know that!
This was a real fun festival and we are so glad we were able to go this year!
We had some warm weather recently that begun to make some flowers begin to come up outside. Inside though were flowers one would see from May to August, all at one time! Here is a guide to the many flowers present that you could look at while you were there.
The event was in the same room where the Holiday Express was, now outfitted for spring.
The theme of the show this year paired specialty artisan-designed furniture surrounded by the many flowers featured. These were the manufacturers represented.
Let’s see how creative these two mediums could be blended together. Here is a beautiful pond display. Here is a close up of the light fixture.
Here is a gardener constructed of chicken wire in his potting shed potting some plants, very creative!
This view is looking towards to gardens outside.
A pretty table with tall mirrors and translucent cabinet back-lit by the sun.
Creative use for a large wine bottle, make a table out of it 🙂
A simple desk with a great view.
Next to the room entrance is an array of potted plants and oval mirror with a small lamp on the table below.
Next to the desk near the entrance is an attractive array of potted plants and an oval mirror.
We finish our visit by venturing outside, rumor has it snowdrops and crocus have been spotted here as early as Feb 29 (Facebook post). It was true! Such brave flowers to grow even though it could snow again at any time.
Quite and beautiful flower show, including outdoors. Stop by Olbrich during these hours. The gift shop is amazing too! Members receive a 10% discount.
Incorporated as a village in 1931, Maple Bluff is a community with beautiful homes and where the home of our state Governor is located. Learn more about Maple Bluff’s early history here. Also about activities in the village in their newsletter. It is also a certified Tree AND Bird City too!