Sunday, October 26, 2014


Could it be that I am not such a recluse after all?

An email from a friend suggesting that I join her, along with two other pals on a day long outing got my attention. I want to do this! Yes, I'm on board!

Anyone in the Midwest will tell you that this was slated to be one hell of a beautiful last Sunday of October. And it delivered! Sure, it started with a bit of a chill. The thirties. And breakfast was terribly early, as my friend wanted to get going. Ed sweetly kept me company in the sun room for the morning meal, even at this beastly (for us) hour.


'Bye Ed!

The four of us set out due north -- first to the International Crane Foundation. I've blogged about this place before, but honestly, each trip here sets your soul dancing. The ICF is home to the most beautiful birds! (It is the only place, I'm told, where you can find all eight crane varieties, from all corners of the world, some on the list of endangered birds.) There are cranes that live here permanently, and there are those that a visitor cannot see -- cranes destined to be released into the wild. Mostly, it's a Foundation that devotes its soul and being to the precious life of this graceful bird.)


You know, the upside of living near wetlands (the farmette is near wetlands) is that Ed and I are close to a crane habitat. We hear them nearly every day and you don't have to go far to cross paths with a crane during the summer. I've posted many photos of them in the fields. (The downside of living near wetlands is that, in bad years, you have mosquitoes that will leave you gasping for air.) I do not know anyone who does not love this loud, graceful, ferociously strong bird.


Seeing these guys again surely is a highlight.


(My photos are mostly of the whooping cranes.)


(Though not only.)


After, my friend drives the few scant miles to Devil's Lake. Now, for Madisonians, this place is the perfect weekend escape. Just an hour out of the city, it is a whole 'nother topography. There is the glacier era lake, and too the cliffs, the forests... It's a wonderful spot and we all love it, despite its great popularity. Long time readers will have seen many photos from hikes here and in warmer months -- swims in the clear lake waters. But you can never have too many Devil's Lake pics. Especially in Fall.


We didn't hike great distances. Just enough to soak in the views.


And there were a lot of good views.




On the drive home we stopped at an orchard to pick up cider (a favor for Ed back at the farmette) and, too, we stopped at Dr. Evermore's metal scrap sculpture garden. I can't really describe this place and I'm going to post very little from it because it's one of those places you either love or feel mildly horrified by and I must (secretly) (okay, obviously not so secretly) place myself in the second camp. It's art that's incredibly imaginative and on a grand scale. Is it beautiful? I don't know.  I feel lost walking among the clever dinosaurs and orchestra players. I am, in the end, always happy to head out.


Home. Sunday. Dinner with my girl and her husband. The farmhouse. Isie boy. Ed, still in his deeply orange t-shirt. I make risotto, and we stuff ourselves, too, with roasted beets, cheeses and olives.


I do not have to tell you that it was a spectacular Sunday. You'll have guessed it.