Tag Archive | Spring

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.

IMG_1841

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