Tag Archive | Spring

Columbus Redbud Days – Welcome Spring!


5-13-17

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.

Redbud Royal Court 2017

Plenty going on outside also.  The Badger Antique Auto Club had a Car Show, sponsored by Carol Valley C.P.A.  S.C.P.

Behind the car show Columbus businesses displayed their wares.

Cooley Prop and Weld, LLC

Mid-State Equipment

I smell something good!   It must be the Kiwanis Brat Fry, time for lunch!

, kids were participating in the Chalk Walk outside. Pretty good drawings!

Welcome spring at Columbus Redbud Days!

Olbrich Botanical Garden’s Orchid Quest


2-5-17

Olbrich Gardens sign

Orchid Quest crowd at Olbrich

orchid-quest program side 1

orchid-quest program side 2

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!

Collage Saxaphone Quartet card

collage-saxaphone-quartet-at-olbrich

The Conservatory was inviting with 80ºF temps inside.

Boltz Conservatory at Olbrich in winter

Olbrich Conservatory inside

Let’s go into the exhibition room, so beautiful!

Orchid Displays at Olbrich

Orchid Displays 2 at Olbrich

Large display, so many varieties!

Large oorchid display

Medium Orchid display at Olbrich

After enjoying these orchids, there was another room with vendors selling them too.

vendors-sign-a-orchid-quest

Orchid Vendor Room at Olbrich

Not only orchids were for sale, also orchid themed mementos. Pictures by Charlotte Fung Miller, Chinese Brush Art.

Charlotte Fung Miller Art at Olbrich

Orchids by Hausermann

Orchids by Hausermann INC

Some of the many varieties for sale.

orchids-at-olbrich

We had a lot of fun at this event, think spring!

 

Janesville Rotary Gardens in Spring


5-13-16

Janesville sign

rotary-gardens-front-wm

rotary-garden-building-wm

rotary-garden-plaque-wm

Now that spring was here, it was time to view Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens in Spring.  We last saw it during their Holiday Light Show in December 2015. View that below.

Spring is just as pretty here, the redbud trees were in bloom and the smell of all the flowers was wonderful! Tulips were also looking pretty, they grow many varieties.

redbud-and-bridge-wm-img_7560

Another view in this garden.

rotary-garden-japanest-garden-wm

Tulips in front of the main building.

tulips-at-rotary-gardens-wm

Also bleeding hearts across the pond on the other side.

bleeding-hearts-wm

Our stay was cut short by approaching rain.

Get your ducks in a row and visit Rotary Botanical Gardens any time of the year!

ducks-in-a-row-at-rotary-gardens

 

MacKenzie Environmental Center Maple Syrup Festival


4-2-16

Mackenzie Center sign

Spring is here and we returned to MacKenzie to celebrate! It had been almost 4 years since our last visit and this event sounded like a lot of fun! Here is the itinerary of the day.

Maple Syrup Festival Events

We arrived at 9:30 and began with breakfast at the Lodge, the pancakes and ham were so delicious!  The real maple syrup really made it great!

Mackenzie Center Lodge

Mackenzie Lodge inside

During breakfast we got serenaded with some sugarin’ music by the Dark of the Moon Contra-Band.  Let’s listen in!

Dark of the Moon Contra-Band

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!

MacKenzie Sugaring Camp

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.

Ciporoke sign at MacKenzie

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.

Ciporoke inside at Mackenzie

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.

Iron Kettles Boiling Sap at Mackenzie

Carrying sap buckets

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!

Vanilla Ice Cream and Syrup at Mackenzie

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.

Syrup Finishing House at Mackenzie

Syrup Finishing House at Mackenzie

Wallen Sugar House display at Mackenzie

Sap Tank at Mackenzie

Sap Tank at Mackenzie

We also learned pickles and syrup go well together, never know that!

Pickles and syrup

This was a real fun festival and we are so glad we were able to go this year!

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Spring Flower Show


3-9-16

Olbrich Flower Show programSpring Flower Show sign

Spring has sprung at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, it was time to see what was going on in the plant world!

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.

Spring Flower Show 1

Spring Flower Show 2

The event was in the same room where the Holiday Express was, now outfitted for spring.

 

Flower Show room

The theme of the show this year paired specialty artisan-designed furniture surrounded by the many flowers featured. These were the manufacturers represented.

Flower Show Artisan Furniture

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.

Flower Show Pond display

Decorative Light at Flower Show

Here is a gardener constructed of chicken wire in his potting shed potting some plants, very creative!

Gardner in Shed at Flower Show

This view is looking towards to gardens outside.

View toward garden at Flower Show

A pretty table with tall mirrors and translucent cabinet back-lit by the sun.

Side table display at flower show

Creative use for a large wine bottle, make a table out of it  🙂

Wine bottle table at flower show

A simple desk with a great view.

Desk and bookcase at flower show

Next to the room entrance is an array of potted plants and oval mirror with a small lamp on the table below.

Mirror and potted plants at flower show

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.

Olbrich Spring Flower Show Collage

 

Leafless grove at Olbrich

Quite and beautiful flower show, including outdoors.  Stop by Olbrich during these hours. The gift shop is amazing too! Members receive a 10% discount.

Olbrich Gardens Gift Shop in Spring

Olbrich Hours

Maple Bluff-A Village Within the City of Madison


6-12-15 and other visits

Maple Bluff Signtree city usaBird City Wisconsin sign

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!

Governor's Mansion in Maple Bluff

In Maple Bluff is also the historic home of Robert M. LaFollette, still occupied today by a private citizen.  You can see more about his life at the State Historical Museum in downtown Madison.

Bob LaFollette house in Maple Bluff

For the golfers, the Maple Bluff Country Club. They also have an on-site restaurant.

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There are many beautiful parks too in this village. here are a few of them.

 John A. Johnson Memorial Park has a gazebo and disc golf course, and a water fountain.

John A. Johnson Memorial Park Plaque

 

John A. Johnson Memorial park in Maple Bluff

Neal H. Stoddard Park

Neal H. Stoddard Park in Maple Bluff

Beach Park

Beach Park in Maple Bluff

Also Maple Bluff Marina for boats and other water craft.

Maple Bluff Marina

Maple Bluff Marina

The houses here are pretty too, I especially like this pink stucco. A few more.

Maple Bluff pink house

Maple Bluff Houses

One of my favorite reasons for coming here is the beauty of the changing seasons. This is how it earned the designation of Tree City. Here are the trees in spring.

Spring in Maple Bluff

And autumn, my favorite!

Fall in Maple Bluff

Take a break in Maple Bluff,  fun in any season!

Water Sports off Maple Bluff Marina

 

 

Mineral Point – Clay in May


5-3-14

Mineral Point signMineral Point Water tower

It has been almost a year since our last trip to Mineral Point, and it was time to go back!  On our last visit we took a tour of historic Pendarvis and Shake Rag Alley, very exciting! This time,  we returned downtown to see what we missed.

This weekend was their first festival of the season, their big “Clay in May” event.  This festival focuses on the many pottery artists in town, it was the 5th year.  The artists give visitors a tour of their studios, behind the showroom we see in the front of the store.  Four businesses took part in this event:

1. Brewery Pottery

2. The Mulberry Pottery

3. Windy Ridge Pottery

4. Howdle Studio – Bruce Howdle

Roland Sardeson – Pottery and mason, Shake Rag Alley artist.

Howdle Studios

We took the tour of Howdle studio, what beautiful work!  Bruce Howdle was happy to show us his latest creations, including works in progress.  Private customers can even commission from him custom pieces of art.

Howdle Studio insideBruce Howdle and us

In the back room of his studio his artist friend Roland Sardeson was making beautiful works of art on his potter’s wheel as we watched. On a couple of tables he had small pieces for sale too,  I got a tea-cup.  His artist skills cover a wide scope of categories.  He has even built this Free Little Library, beautiful!

Roland Sardeson pottery

Roland Sardeson

Roland Sardeson Little Library

We had lunch at the Red Rooster Cafe again, we loved it the first time we went last June.   This time we saved room for their famous Figgy-Hobbin dessert,  brought by the Cornwall miners a long time ago.  Yum!

Red Rooster Collage

Our visit included seeing other historic buildings we missed the last time.

The Walker House

The Walker House

The Mineral Point Railroad Depot Museum  Photography of exhibits are prohibited,  admission is charged.

Mineral Point Railroad Museum

Historic Jail Alley buildings.

Parley Eaton House

Jail Alley House

Jail Alley house row

 

As always, we enjoyed our visit to Mineral Point. Each visit is different and special!

Mineral Point Dog