Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Midway Prairie Garden

Next time you're on the Great River State Trail check out the prairie garden at Midway. Located at the corners of OT and ZN you'll find a little oasis next to the parking lot. Established in 2013, the plants are now mature enough to really enjoy.

As a project for the Volunteer Master Naturalist program, I created signage for the 21 different native plants on display. Signage displays the common name used for the plants. To find out more information I also created a blog site with listings dedicated to each plant. It describes the attributes and benefits of each plant and why you'd love to add them to your garden.

Along with the proper botanical name and other links to learn more, I've also been adding photos of each plant. The photos document their winter and fall interest, along with identifying the plant as it emerges in early spring. Plus of course the plant in all it's glory blooming during the summer time.

Hope you enjoy!

Next time you add a plant to your garden be sure to Go Native!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Heralds of Spring

Pasque Flower (Anemone pulsatilla) have shown their lavender blooms at Perrot State Park just in time to mark spring. As the first heralds of spring, Pasque Flowers, also known as Easter Flower, are right on target this year.

They've been spotted on Perrot Ridge Trail. Rising just 6 to 8 inches off the ground their light lavender blooms open up on sunny days.

Don't fret the recent snow won't spoil these early risers as the silky hairs help insulate them. Just be sure to get out again on the next sunny day because this latest storm is sure to melt by next week.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

SunDay FunDay Part 4

My Blue Wave Inspiration
A weekend of fun amazing things with my sister.

Before the nice weather returns and my efforts go back to gardening and work we packed in a weekend of activities in the Milwaukee area.

Here are some must do's for you too-

Hot Glass Shop in Racine, WI for a workshop on hot glass. We could create a blown ornament or glass paperweight. We each got to create our own, pick out the colors and potential design, owner Doug showed us how to do it then guided us to make our own. Very cool/hot to see this technique.

Doug demonstrating hot glass techniques.

My sisters inspiration, matching her counter tops.

While in Racine we took a tour of the SC Johnson Buildings designed by my favorite architect (from Wisconsin) Frank Lloyd Wright. We saw the World Headquarter and Administration Building great room with the dendriform columns and the innovative Research Tower built on the cantilever principles.

Research Tower

It's amazes me when I'm in his buildings how different the space feels. Put this one on your list of things to do, it's even free. No photos were allowed once inside.

Sculpture on Grounds honoring Winnebago

We accepted the challenge to be put in handcuffs and disarm a bomb in 60 minutes at Escape MKE in Milwaukee, WI. Happily our group succeeded in escaping the "James Bomb" room with 10 minutes to spare.

Very different kind of challenge, really get's the adrenaline going.

I hear there's two escape room businesses now open in the downtown La Crosse area. Great fun for a whole family or work team.



Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring Thing

You don't have to travel to Englands' Stonehenge to experience the Vernal Equinox this Sunday. Only a few miles north of Perrot State Park in the little town of Fountain City you'll find the Megalithic Gardens of Kinstone Circle.

Stone Features


The humongous endeavors by Kristine Beck, on her family's farmland, have been evolving over the past 6 years. From stone circles and astronomical alignments to permaculture and natural building workshops, her efforts are worth investigating.

One of many circles at Kinstone

At  you'll get all the details and more. Definitely worth a visit or maybe even take a class on cordwood construction or learn how to make an outdoor oven.


Chapel under cordwood construction-2013

Sunday's events at Kinstone include a Sunrise Gathering and a Sunset Drum Circle, celebrating the end of winter and arrival of spring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Greentime vs Screentime

My rainy day retreat.
It's a cold rainy March day in Wisconsin, a good day for catching up on emails, reading a book and blogging.

I just finished "Your Brain on Nature" by Eva M. Selhub, M.D. It brings to light for me the true meaning of "Cabin Fever", referring to how ill we've become with nature deprivation.

One of the ideas behind the book is how our modern world takes us farther away from how our ancestors lived, who needed to connect with nature to survive. Now with modern conveniences we need nature even more for our mental and physical health.

In order to realign our brains from too much urban stress and technology, a walk in nature resets the ancient parts of our brains and improves cognition and mental health.

Our society has tried to compensate with recreational engineers and ecotherapies but really all you have to do is take a walk in the woods and be mindful of what you experience. The medicinal effects are rather inexpensive and immediate.

Here are a few of my personal antidotes-

Garden room, with skylights and blooming tropical plants.

Screen time needs to be about connecting with friends and sharing positive experiences. Thanks to facebook friends for continuing "7 days of Nature" photos. They are inspiring and lovely to look at.

New FITBIT thanks to my sister, reminding me to get out and walk. Maybe not today since it's raining. Good thing I have stairs in my house.

Got my 2016 WI State Park sticker and planning a season of camping opportunities. I heard some businesses are offering stickers to their employees. Word has it Organic Valley does this for it's staff. A big shout out to really taking green all the way.

So be sure to get out and get some "Vitamin G".