Tag Archive | Wisconsin

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

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

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-10-2016

I have seen a flower blooming in beauty in a secluded vale, and, ere I had a chance to look again, a chilly breath of air had scattered its petals and left it a ruin. ~ Charles Lanman, “Musings,” 1840

You don’t have to search a secluded vale to what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Echinacea ~ Coneflower (look familiar? See above!)

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Campsis radicans ~ Trumpet Vine   ||   Hemerocallis fulva ~ Ditch lilies or Tiger lilies

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Maclura pomifera ~ Osage orange

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Silphium perfoliatum ~ Cup plant   ||   Liatris spicata ‘Floristan White’ & ‘Floristan Violet’

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ZINNIAS!!!!

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Lobelia cardinalis ~ Cardinal flowers   ||   Nepeta

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Hibiscus syriacus ~ Rose of Sharon, althea or hardy hibiscus.

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We had a bit of rain recently. We rarely see our ditch filled, so of course I had to photograph it!


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-8-2016

Today is my hubby’s birthday!! Happy Birthday Honey!!pig roast

Ah, another fine year to celebrate. We’ll be having the pig roast party Saturday. Mmmmm. Bacon bread! What’s bacon bread, you ask? Well, we cook the pig above ground on a spit, opposed to the Hawaiian method of burying it in the ground with coals on top.  After the skin gets a bit crispy (thus ‘safe’ to eat) we take crusty bread and pat the pig with it. The bacon fat, mixed with the copious amounts of garlic and salt my hubby prepared the pig with flavors the bread like bacon. Oh my, I totally look like Homer over there!! You’re all invited! Email me for the address =-)

“Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.”  ― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine

Face  what I found blooming in 201320142015

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When you have flowers in your yard, you’re always ready to deliver a bouquet to a neighbor.

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Hosta   ||   Asclepias incarnata ~ Milkweed

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Look! Two bumble bees!!   ||   Hypericum perforatum ~ St. John’s Wort

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Potentilla fruticosa ~ Shrubby Cinquefoil   ||  Hmmm.

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Not sure    ||   Rudbeckia triloba  ~ Brown-eyed Susan

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Asparagus!!!! All grown-up

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Phemeranthus rugospermus ~ Rough-seeded Fameflower

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-3-2016

The laws of science do not distinguish between the past and the future.  Steven W. Hawking

Although the past reveals what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Lilium lancifolium ~ Tiger Lily    ||    Cichorium intybus ~ Common chicory. It’s a coffee substitute, if left trapped in the wild without a Starbucks…

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Ipomoea purpurea ~ Morning glory   ||    Lythrum salicaria ~ Purple loosestrife. Both of these plants don’t play nice in Illinois =-(

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Monarda didyma  Native, wild beebalm   ||   Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Common Boneset

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A Rudbeckia, but which one…..    ||   Prunella vulgaris ~ Self heal

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I’m not sure who this butterfly is, but I’m sure a post will follow in the cold, lean post months of the winter!

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Liatris aspera ~ Rough blazing star    ||   Breck and a Leadplant

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I’m not sure    ||    Saponaria officinalis ~ bouncingbet

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Calamintha nepeta ssp. glandulosa ‘White Cloud’ ~ Catmint


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 8-1-2016

So, after mucho research, I finally decided on which new convertible laptop I was going to purchase and pulled the trigger last night. It was a tough decision, as we’re talking a jump in 2 operating systems, stupid things like MIA keypads, touchscreen capability and many more upgrades. I’m not a techno-phobe, I’m a geek, however I don’t want to be a guinea pig. I rarely buy new technology. I am not in line for the newest Galaxy when it comes out. Let them get a few system fixes under their belts, then I’m on. Example, Windows 8 or 8.1 we’re the first that integrated the new touchscreen capability. Not an operating system I’d want to buy. Like it or not, Windows 10  has got to be better, as it got all the input from the guinea pigs that used W8. Hence why they were giving W10 away! I hope so, that is, as I’m going to have to find out. No, I’m not a MAC, ipad or iphone fan, please don’t suggest.

I love my old W7 Acer laptop even tho:

  • The battery hasn’t worked in 2 years.
  • The keyboard has gaps that collect crap & when I shoot it with air, the letters fly off.
  • Now the T, E, O keys have to pressed extra hard for them to register. his causes many typs 😉
  • The thermostat doesn’t work well, and doesn’t turn the fan on until the unit gets fairly warm. Nice in winter, tho.

I think I’m a pretty easy customer, but then again, I still had my needs in a laptop. I wanted:

  • A large one, 15.6″ screen, at least. I’ve got a 10″ tab already, I want to be able to see the screen without readers 😎
  • A high quality screen. Back to the lack of vision dealio. Also for my landscape design program, better to see things with!
  • A keypad! The Lenovo Yoga @ 15.6″ didn’t have one! I fly through Excel spreadsheets by keying in with my left hand and mousing with my right. That was the deal-breaker on the Yoga for me =-( Many other laptops have ditched it also.
  • I wanted a convertible, which I know I’m taking a chance on this design, but I’ll be careful!  I promise.
  • Every other thing in a laptop was not a deal-breaker for me. Price limit was $900, however looking to save.

Without further adieu, I decided on an HP ENVY x360 with an i7 processor, 15.6″ screen, keypad, convertible laptop for $850. It should arrive later this week. I’ll let you know how it goes… Wish me luck 😉

What kind of ‘puter do you drive?

Time in its aging course teaches all things.  Aeschylus

Learn what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Astilbe

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Yarrow and echinacea

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Achillea ‘Moon Dust’ ~ Yarrow   ||   Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ ~ Windflower

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Gaillardia ‘Gallo Fire’ ~ Blanketflower   ||  Veronicastrum ‘Lavender Towers’ ~ Culver’s root or Black root

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Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Sentimental Blue’ ~ Balloon flower   ||   Achillea ‘Moonshine’ ~ Yarrow

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Acanthus mollis ~ bear’s breeches, sea dock, bearsfoot or oyster plant – I so want one!!!   ||     Amorpha canescens ~ Leadplant

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A thistle. One of these days I’ll get around to learning them… Along with asters!    ||   An elderberry bush planted itself in my yard!!! Mmmm!


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-27-2016

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. Theophrastus (372 BC – 287 BC)

Hop on the wayback machine to see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Vernonia altissima ~ Ironweed    ||   Vicia villosa ~ Hairy vetch

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Silphium laciniatum ~ Compass Plant   ||    Verbena stricta

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Amorpha canescens ~ Leadplant

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These can’t be leucanthemum x superbum… The petals are small. A Helenium perhaps??

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Eryngium yuccifolium ~ Rattlesnake Master   ||  Filipendula rubra ~ Queen-of-the-prairie

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Gypsophila paniculata ~ Baby’s Breath

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Ageratina altissima ~ White Snakeroot   ||       Asclepias tuberosa ~ Yellow milkweed

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Dalea candida ~ White Prairie Clover

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Queen of the Prairie – all grown up.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 7-26-2016

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.  Franklin P. Jones (I resemble this quote!)

I don’t normally do blog awards anymore, as they are a lot of work and I generally don’t want to share too many personal things about me. However, Paintdigi got me interested in doing the “Three Day Quote” Challenge as, well, it was easy 😉 I basically do a time related quote with each Blooming Flowers post. So, Thank you for the nomination Paintdigi! Please go and visit my blogging pal, he has some very interesting artwork!!

Do the back-stroke to see what I found blooming in 201320142015

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Verbena simplex ~ Narrow-Leaved Vervain  ||  Silphium laciniatum ~ Compass Plant

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Monarda ‘Marshall’s delight’

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Phlox paniculata ‘David’   ||   Hemerocallis ‘Mauna Loa’ ~ Daylily

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Monarda

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Rudbeckia triloba ‘Prairie Glow’ (Dang rabbits keep eating him!!)

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Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’   ||   Knautia macedonica ‘Thunder & Lightning’

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Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’ ~ Betony


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl