Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Canoeing Obstical Training Ground...

Sunday was a beautiful day for BOATING!! So that's what we did. We loaded up the canoe and the bicycle and headed over to Rocky Run Creek. I got to do the bike shuttle this time.

Since of course it isn't the brightest idea to take your brand new camera on a water adventure (and yes there was an incident once that involved my mom's camera a canoe and some water) so I drew you pictures. The first image is of an obviously to scale and extremely accurate depiction of Rocky Run Creek (in blue) and the shuttle route (in black). The green 'x' marks the spot where we began and the red 'x' is where we landed. It took me approx. 20 min to bike from the red x to the green to begin our adventure extreme. (I've included a "real" map even though you cant see all the tipped over trees and I beleive my map may actually be slightly more accurate. I was there and paddled it myself)

The next image depicts a scene just 20 yards down stream...yep we could see it but we did it anyway. My first 'canoe over partially submerged log through a bunch of Alder branches' experience. It was sweet, I sat in front and was in charge of being the 'eyes' of the boat to make sure we were in deep enough water and to avoid obstacles. After being attacked by the Alder we made it over, phew! Almost as fun as white water! As we dawdled along the extremely curvy steam (see first image "map") I spied a large roundish brown object entering the stream, immediate thoughts-beaver YES!! I love spotting wildlife!

As we rounded a curve we were surprised by the one and only bridge/tree combo (third image)! We couldn't plow our way over this one so we cleverly hopped out and chucked the boat over the blockage. Ta daa!! So on our way out to the Wisconsin River there were several hundred other tree in the way diversions, we had to get out of the boat 2 more times and carry it across some marshy land before we made our way out of the delta. ( I apologize for the partial swatches pallet in the last depiction, it was in no way along on the trip in the sky, its presence is inaccurate) After our wonderful river challange we ended up at Hooker's for a bite to eat and to listen to some billigerant drunks. The food was great, (cod sandwitch and walleye) the people were obnoxiosly loud and foul mouthed, and the beer tasted swell, a perfect end to a sunny Sunday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I drank tree sap

Yup, it's true, I did it. Drank tree sap. I liked it too! A beautiful thought crossed our minds; the tree sap we were enjoying was a beautiful life force. The tall Sugar Maples had collected this water from the earth and sky and had begun to transfer it to its tallest branches to begin its yearly wakening. I drank the tree's life juice, it tasted strong and cold, with a barely sweet after taste. Humans being humans then boil it into a gooey sugary delightful treat! This one is for my Grandpa Steve, who always was telling us stories about his maple syrup adventures. And yes, I hauled 5 gallon buckets of Sugar Maple tree juice up an abnormally rocky and mossy hillside and I only spilled a little. On my pants and down my sleeve. (no worries, wasn't sticky!) Oh and the sunset! It was a "slam on the breaks and snap" kind of moment high on the bluffs near Happy Hill Dr. Baraboo, WI.

Devil's Lake State Park!

After some dawdling at Farm and Fleet in Baraboo to purchase the wrong flea and tick topical treatment for my dog, which we only found out about AFTER we returned home...we passed the turnoff for Devil's Lake State Park and feeling a bit forlorn, I shouted, "We're here, we're GOING!" As if my friend were opposed!? March 21 was a wonderful day, not only was the weather perfect for a spring hike, but Jack got to come too! I was amazed. The West Coast and all of its mountains and coastline sometimes seem so attractive, but when I entered Devil's Lake I was surprised for some reason. You kind of expect this type of raw beauty from places like Oregon, California or Colorado, but Wisconsin? No way, we just have cows and farm fields separated by kettle moraines and drumlins, and an occasional river. Not glorious boulders deposited on the edge of an ancient riverbed a million billion years ago! (get the real story on how the lake was formed, here) So ha! You states with your snow capped mountains and salty ocean breezes, we had the Wisconsin Glacier, which was humongous, really really old and had gargantuan bolders frozen in it!

Aldo Leopold's Cabin!

Down a Wisconsin Rustic Road (# 49 to be exact) is Aldo Leopold's Cabin. Don't know him? Check him out here and here. Basically he was a Naturalist and wanted people to realize that the land and the wilderness and whatever exists in it is all part of our community. He wrote the A Sand County Almanac, in which he discussed the Land Ethic. Smart guy, and a sweet spot! His backyard consists of sandy patches, golden grasses and beautiful River Birch trees, and a Osprey circling above. How could you not love nature in Wisconsin?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Birding Adventure!

The weather was so unbelievable today! With no sub job and the day to myself I decided to hit the trails and bag me some bird! (first I did laundry though...) My favorites were the Sandhill Cranes! Expertly camouflaged in the second picture, you can tell they are young because they still retain their rusty colored feathers. They were so noisy, along with their marsh neighbors the Canadian Geese who by the way weren't keen on me photographing them. As I was cruising along I spotted some Wild Turkey gobbling there way along the field, the one in side profile has a nice little beard! The Red Winged Blackbird cooed its little tune as we drove past. Lets not forget the silly Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar! All in all not a bad birding day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weather Wonders

I was in awe the day after the rain/hail/snow storm, out cross country skiing just after daybreak. Simply put unbelievable, so astonishingly beautiful. Then as I headed in toward the house nature bore yet another gift, fog. Gorgeous icicle branches snow and fog.

As a photographer I've always loved the unusual things nature has to offer, the mystery it can deliver with fog and the stillness and strange light of an oncoming storm. Nature and weather can be very curious!

The poor trees suffered for the beauty, yesterday I visited a beautiful tree farm. A long row of White Pines stood tall, but their branches littered the ground near their trunks. You can see the strain of the weight of the snow and ice on the trees, though one distinctly reminds me of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". It definately belongs in Whoville.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Beachy bags!

So I must have spring fever! This bags are totally for the beach, the slippery liner is perfect for being able to easily remove sand. And the colors, so beautiful and beachtastic. Or I guess you could maaaybe use them for groceries or a whatever you need to carry bag. Keep it in your car or close at hand, you never know when you need groceries or to take your clothes to be laundered!

$12 your choice! The ones pictured are the only that exist. Email me if your interested!

Machine Wash, line or lay flat to dry, I don't recommend ironing!

And then there were 2!

A bit belated but hey, it was cold so I was wearing them! I did it my first pair of mittens with thumbs! Though each one is unique the pattern was a touch vague... my thumb placement is off in one and the top on the other is a little wonky. They are my silly mittens and I love their quirks!

Monday, March 2, 2009


As some of you may know I have been most pleasantly unemployed (pleasant because I had time to do sewing and loiter at the library) for the last 3 weeks and today I worked a legitimate job and loved it! I was nervous about being called into my first day at a new school as a substitute aide. Basically because I had no idea about all the hairy little details, like how long would it take me to get there, what would I be doing, are the kids going to hate me because I'm not the teacher who is supposed to be there. That said I LOVED IT. The kids were so much fun, I was so glad not to be at home. It really reaffirmed in me that I love working with children and put that combination with teaching them about the outdoors and I think I found my spot!

Going online??

Get it? Going, on line?? Clever, huh? (holy butterscotch Batman its the Riddler!(ridiculous overuse of the question mark. and a poor joke to go along with it.)) I have been urged by a few people now (MOM! and my lovely friend Sally. (visit her blog here)) to get my sewing projects online to hopefully make a mint? Well, here are a few that are going to be traveling to Eau Claire for a "green" event. These simple bags are reusable grocery totes, or "whatever fits in here when I need it " totes. To make a short story shorter, I love bags and I love the Earth and this is what happened. To date I beleive to have made 34 of these bags some with lovely little liners.. wow 34! That even surprises me! That said I have been selling the unlined bags for $10 each and the lined will go for $12. (there are only 2 in the pictured group, the pretty pink ones in the middle!) Keep watch for some more of my creations!

Wildlife Update

I wandered my way back to the sight of the 'raccooning' and much to my amazement it had vanished! It was somewhat bittersweet. I was pleased that I didn't have to be rushed to the nearest clinic for emergency rabies vaccinations due to a facial rearrangement by a crazed raccoon. Though part of me thought it would have been fun to poke it with a stick. At least all signs lead to a living breathing raccoon, unless it was just some huge freaky barn cat.