Tag Archive | fun

Kayaking Door County, Wisconsin

Last 4th of July, we went camping in Door County, Wisconsin for the second time. I can’t explain the magnetic pull this area has on me, just like Jens Jensen. I totally get why he chose to be here. It’s very strange, as I can’t see myself as a full-time resident here. Winters can keep you pretty isolated, along with down-right frigid temperatures… Not my idea of fun.

Although Wisconsin has a lower housing market than my Chicago suburbs area, Door County has it’s “Cape Cod of the Midwest” reputation and adds a higher percentage to that market percentage. Add on waterfront to the description and tack on 100% to the price.

I’m not in the high enough tax-bracket to achieve a two property household, so I’ll just dare to dream for now…

This post got lost in the drafts folder, as I was looking to add some video from my sport camera… Trying to load it onto YouTube as I write… Got that spinning wheel of death right now. My upload speed is probably at -2% right now. .. I’ll keep you hanging right now as to if this succeeds or not, by posting it at the end… If I can 😉

There are a total of three locations we kayaked in this post.

FIRST: Kangaroo Lake

It is a 1,156 acres (467.8166 hectares) lake that’s only 12 feet (3.7M) in the deep end. Kangaroo Lake received its name from its shape which resembles a Kangaroo with its head (North end), pouch or hands (mid-east side), and feet (south end). The best part about the lake is the fact it is shallow and big boats can’t be on it. The Lake Association has banned them to preserve the easily disturbed, silt bottom. This makes for a kayaker / canoers dream paddle location.

My hubby used to come here and fish when he was a wee lad. You can catch Panfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike and Walleye. The water is very clear and it’s pretty easy to see the fish below. It ain’t so easy to catch one, though. 😉

There is even a small island in the center that I’m pretty sure is privately owned. There is a beautiful house with wonderful landscaping with boat houses, et all. We did see a young gentleman arrive at the dock from the mainland and waved to him. He tipped his hat back. Clearly, there is activity happening here, I just didn’t put a lot of time researching it. Anyone know???

Mama duck escorted her kiddos across the lake. I hope boaters pay attention to wildlife =-)

Early in the morning, the water is pretty calm.

Next we visited Mud Lake:

While driving around the area, we saw a pull-off area and felt the need to investigate. Turns out there was a launch into Reinboldt Creek, which takes you to Mud Lake. This is from the DNR website:

Mud Lake Wildlife Area is a 2,290-acre property located in northeastern Door County near Moonlight Bay. The property consists of a 155-acre shallow (maximum depth 5 feet) drainage lake surrounded by an extensive shrub and timber swamp. Immediately surrounding the open water is a narrow zone of shrubby northern sedge meadow dominated by sedges, willows, dogwoods and sweet gale. The wetlands and lake provide habitat for the federally-endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) among many other wildlife and plant species. The open zone grades into second-growth wet-mesic forest of white cedar, white spruce, balsam fir and black ash. This is an example of boreal forest habitat which a rare community type to be found in Wisconsin. As a result records of boreal forest species such as Common Goldeneye have been documented to nest on the property which is rare in Wisconsin.

I wish I could tell you that the two below videos were from my sports camera. Nope. Still working out the kinks. The hard part is that the screen will ‘time-out’ and there’s no light or anything that lets you know it’s recording. I think ti’s not recording, hit the button again and then turn it off. Gaaaa! I’m getting better and I do have some longer ones that I’ve uploaded to YouTube. I’ll connect to those when I’ve edited out all the swear words 😉

I wonder why the rocks are so red. Very cool, tho!!

Now we’re at Gills Rock.

This boat launch had plenty of parking and an easy in/out for small boats. There’s a Fleetwing shipwreck to go check out. The water is clear enough to see the cargo, 25 feet below.

The area was originally full of alder (Alnus), willow (Salix) and cedar (Juniperus) which has given way to forests dominated by spruce (Picea) and, then later, pine (Pinus). Mixed forests of eastern hemlock (Tsuga) and hardwoods such as beech (Fagus) and elm (Ulmus) became standard by about 7,500 years ago and have persisted. I saw many birch (Betula) and Eastern red cedar (Juniperus), like the ones in this photo.

There are many animals that rely on the cliffs for shelter and food. The gulls in the photos below soared just above the water looking for fish.

We are starting to get a bit more elaborate with our rock stacks. We’ve been adding levers to the mix. Clearly, mine is the one with the flowers 😉

A recent rock slide.

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day.

The seagulls were swooping up to see if we were offering treats.

Hieroglyphs of people canoeing.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Second Chances for Single Socks

cute-dog-socksIt’s hopefully coming to the end of ‘sock season’ soon and the need to wear socks will be over. I hate wearing socks. I do buy cute ones tho, usually with dogs or other cute animals or patterns on them. My husband, on the other hand, buys the same, white brand so they actually ALL match. Whenever he gets a hole in one, it’s not like the pair is trash, just the one with the hole. Easy-peasy! There’s never a single sock in his drawer.

I actually don’t seem to loose many of these cute pairs. It’s the plain Jane colored ones that go MIA. I had a pretty large pile of loners and was about to throw them out when I looked at Oreo sitting next to me. Ah Ha! I tied them all together and a new pull toy was created! Fun!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

Simple Amusements – Nail Polish Edition 

When I was knee high to a grasshopper, I was a Tom-Boy. Any dolls I may have been given soon became buried in the bottom of the toy box, unused. I was happier playing with a hammer and pail of nails my Father would give to me.

It wasn’t too long after seventh grade that I discovered boys and the need to pretty myself for them. I became somewhat of a ‘lipstick dyke’, a pretty Tom-Boy, that still knew how to over-haul an engine, however wore a skirt while doing it.

After I passed 40, I stopped wearing make-up and ditched many of my skirts for jeans. I used to be ‘little in the middle, but I had much back’, which made wearing jeans very difficult. Now that I have a middle, my jeans don’t fall down when I walk 😉

Only two of my girly traits have stuck with me all these years. My love for doing braids (etc) in my hair and my love for nail art. I had some color change nail polish years ago, but it didn’t work too well and was only two colors. Ah modern technology has many more options now! This is a no-chip type of polish and it changes to three colors!! Find it here on Amazon. There are many color options. Here, I clearly have two different color polishes, however they both work quite quickly with the temperature change. They are so much fun!

John, this video is for you, my buddy from down under, who always seems to notice my nails in the shot!

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

A great visit to Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah

A few weeks before our trip to Savannah, Georgia, I was looking through the things to do and came across the Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Sadly, when I went to their website, I learned that hurricane Mathew had been very mean to them. Many habitats were damaged. Thankfully, these were the animals day areas, and their nighttime digs were safe, as were all the animals.

Lucky for us, they opened the day after Christmas, with only the wolf exhibit being off limits. So, off we went!

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Many of these animals cannot be returned to the wild, for one reason or another.

Many of the birds cannot fly. On the cages, they have signs that inform you that birds that cannot fly like the security of the small space.

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It was almost low tide here, the water was slowly getting lower, exposing the oysters.

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Hey look! It’s BOB!

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Bob-Cat!

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Hello, hello, hello. Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there any one at home?

The red fox was supposed to be in here. Maybe in the little house.

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WHO!

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Thee were two bald eagles in here. There was a long tree trunk that went from the ground to this high roost.

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Bison bison.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Real Snow

Breck loves snowballs!!

Although we had our first little frosting last November 19, we had some real snow yesterday! It was still snowing while I was writing this! I hope you’re enjoying these photos, Scifihammy!!

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It was fun watching the birds land on this and spin… Not so ‘Wheee’.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

The Local Watering Hole

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Whiskey Old Fashion & A Moscow Mule W/Apple Cider… very awesome winter twist on a summer fav!
The usual drinks, just local this time and enjoying Blackhawks hockey.
We’re done camping for the season. However, we have decided to cruise down to Savannah, Georgia for Christmas! We’ve picked a great Campground right outside of town.
Have any of you been there before? I’d love to hear of any ‘non miss-able events’ if you have any.
We did buy the audio version of ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil’ for our ride down there.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Over The Vines – Season Over Party

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We’re out camping in Milton, Wisconsin and enjoying this awesome day Mother Nature dealt up for us! We were out looking for wineries, as usual, and happened upon ‘Over the Vines‘, which turns out is really not a tasting winery, but an event location for weddings and corporate parties.
As we looked at our phones, wondering if we should be here or not, we heard, “Hey, are you here to party?!?” We said, “Sure!”
They were having their ‘Drink it or it Gets Dumped’ last party of the year.
We just happened to come at the right time. They invited us in like family!
We loved this place. The owners told us how they made their wine and how their biz came to be. We had such a great time having fun with all the other guests!
We would certainly consider this place a great place to plan an event.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Plant Kaleidoscope ~ Take III

This is our third trip to the Nicholas Conservancy & Gardens, where we always seek out the plant kaleidoscope! See past visits here and here =-)

I’m so making one of these!! With all the craziness that’s going on in my brain including menopause, mental illness, needing to change careers… I can’t forget about my hubby’s needs also. He has been without a studio to do his artwork in for years. He tends to do large sculpture projects and needs space. We have the room, just need to remove all the crap from the room. Once that is done this winter, I hope to be able to use it to build one of these for my yard. Mine will be ‘junk art’ and will utilize things I can find at the junkyard/antique shops. I sometimes don’t understand how something so simple can give me such entertainment!!

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Rainbow Lorikeets ~ Trichoglossus haematodus

We recently visited the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Rockford, and there was a Lorikeet Exhibit going on. They love sparkly objects and are so playful! I have always wanted a bird, however they are a lot harder to care for than dogs. We were each offered a cup of nectar to entice them out of the trees. Due to bad timing on our part, we entered the exhibit right after a large group of unruly children. These birds are very intelligent…. Would you land on a person that is waving their arms, yelling at you to, “Come here bird, come HERE!!!”?? Of course not. Hubby and I hunkered down in a corner, away from the chitlins and all the birds came to us quite quickly… Sadly, so did the chitlins. After one child nearly knocked me over, dumping her nectar all over my jacket. I told her loudly to say excuse me when you bump into people. Are manners even being taught now-a-days? Mom didn’t do a thing. Huff!!!

These parrots are from Australia. They are commonly found in the eastern shoreline stretching from Queensland to South Australia and northwest Tasmania. They are also found in eastern Indonesia (Maluku and Western New Guinea), Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Rainbow Lorikeets usually live in rainforests, coastal bushes and woodland forests.

The rainbow lorikeet is a medium-sized parrot, with the length ranging from 10-12 inches (25-30 cm).

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Unlike other parrots, Lorikeets in the wild eat mainly nectar and flower pollen. Lorikeet’s tongues have uniquely adapted “brushes” on the tips to help them harvest these foods from the plants in their environment.

Like all parrots, Rainbow Lorikeets love to play and need to be provided with plenty of toys to keep their minds and beaks busy (or you’ll be sorry!!)! They are avid chewers, so many Lorikeet owners suggest stocking up on “destructible” toys made of safe woods.

Rainbow Lorikeets are very intelligent birds, and can be easily “potty trained” if an owner so chooses.

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Rainbow lorikeets are monogamous and pair for life. It’s possible to tell the sexes apart from their actions and, in general, the males have a larger orange patch.

Many fruit orchard owners consider them a pest, as they often fly in groups and strip trees containing fresh fruit. In urban areas, the birds create nuisance noise and foul outdoor areas and vehicles with droppings.

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This guy noticed the bling on my phone and I though he was going to attack it!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl