Tag Archive | Tree

Don’t Go Half-Way to Brodhead

Brodhead sign


Brodhead is a picturesque community in Green County with much to see.  The Sugar River Trail is here also, the southern trailhead. It’s 22 miles long, going all the way to New Glarus. We began our explorations downtown, the town has a square with gazebo and picnic tables. Its called, “Tinker’s Garden.” Here is where many festivals take place, Brodhead downtown Tinker's Garden in BrodheadTinkers Garden plaque Gazebo in Brodhead, WI Across the street in a building is a mural paying homage to the railroad and depot in Brodhead. Brodhead mural We could see the restored depot from here. Inside is the museum and an engine and caboose you could go in. Unfortunately, it was closed for the season. Maybe we can get back here in the spring when it re-opens.  The Brodhead Historical Society does good work here.Brodhead Depot


adjacent to the depot is the Veterans Memorial Park, in the center is a tall Civil War Monument.

Brodhead Civil War Memorial

After exploring downtown for a while, we headed to points just outside. Stopped by Decatur Dairy for a grilled cheese sandwich and some cheese curds. We were too late for a tour but we will go back.

Decatur Dairy in Brodhead

They even had a “cheese tree” totem pole outside, cool!

Cheese TreeAl and Laurie at Decatur Dairy in Brodhead

Speaking of tree, Brodhead also has a historic living tree called the Half-Way Tree. Indian runners used it as a marker because it was half-way between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan.

Half-Way Tree sign

Half-Way Tree Burr Oak

It’s harvest time, and that includes APPLES!  Our next stop was nearby Ten Eyck Orchard for some locally grown apples and cider. The historic round barn with the apple barn quilt are this farm’s most distinctive features. We bought some Empire apples, delicious!

Ten Eyck Orchard Round Barn

Ten Eyck Barn Quilt


Al and Laurie at Ten Eyck Orchard

It was time to head back north towards Madison. On the way, we walked a bit on the Sugar River trail to see the famous Clarence covered bridge replica, completed in 1984.

Clarence covered Bridge in Brodhead

Come all the way to Brodhead, it’s well worth the visit!

Nature in Crystal Lake – Illinois


Every once in awhile, we make a sojourn to our neighboring state of Illinois.  Our destination was Crystal Lake, since we had other business in town that day. Went to the Chamber of Commerce first for information. We went to the McHenry County Conservation  Center-Prairieview. Believe it or not, the Chicagoland area is not all concrete jungle. We found this center dedicated to preserving an area to resemble the prairies that used to cover much of Illinois.

Crystal Lake, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

McHenry County-Prairieview

The grounds are beautiful, and we could hear the laughter of children enjoying summer activities there.  As you see, were were the only other visitors at that time.

McHenry County Ill. Prairieview

We went inside the main building and picked up a map to the trail through the prairie. It was a hot day, and you could hear the buzz of insects in the tall grasses.

Illinois Prairie

Towering above the grass were some large trees, possibly here when all of Crystal Lake area was unsettled.

Prairie tree

Also flowers.

Prairie flowers

We had an enjoyable visit, but it was time to get back to Madison.

My Favorite Tree on Atwood Ave. in Madison

Do you have a favorite tree?  I do. It’s in the Atwood neighborhood in Madison, behind Monty’s Blue Plate Diner.  What drew my attention to it was its brilliant fall colors. I then observed it the remaining 3 seasons. It’s stately and beautiful year round,  and I now have this tree in all 4 seasons.

Fav Tree Winter 1-21-13IMG_23726-1-139-28-11 fall

The fall picture was taken two years ago on Sept. 28, not last year but in 2011.  Last summer’s drought damaged it and it wasn’t pretty last fall.  This is what is looked like on Sept. 26 last year.

9-26-12 final