On the Trail Again

We went for a hike Sunday afternoon on a trail that is only about a mile from our house. It’s a former railroad bed, so it’s nice and wide to accommodate all the hikers, runners and bikers in summer and snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers in the winter.

looking down military ridge trailWe lucked out to have a gorgeous afternoon of sunshine and a breeze before it poured rain the rest of the evening.

early fall color

Most of the vegetation still looked very green, making the splashes of color really stand out.

red berries hidden in the foliage

We found some treasures here and there.

mushrooms on the forest floorWe also found lots of evidence the squirrels are very busy.

acorns and oak leavesI love all the hiking we get to do in Fall. Each hike is different every time, even if we do the same trail weekend after weekend. It’s like a treasure hunt finding different things, like plants or berries or fall color or animal tracks.

me on the trail

You know me, I’m always happy on the trail! It sure is great for my soul.

Another Day at the Market

You know me, I love going to the farmers market on Saturday mornings. June is such a great time at the market because strawberries – my favorite food – are in season!

strawberries at marketI only bought three quarts this time – two quarts to freeze for smoothies in winter and one quarter to eat now.

We saw lots and lots of sugar snap peas,

sugar snap peas at marketand beautiful heads of lettuce.

lettuce at marketI don’t like radishes, but I thought this pile was pretty. I’ve never seen radishes that were a color other than red.

radishes at market

I almost forgot to show you the stack of pies for sale at the Amish booth. They make the best bakery!

stacks of Amish pies at market

Check out the gorgeous peony bouquets for sale.

peonies at marketThere always a fantabulous selection of flowers. (are these dahlias or mums?)

pink dahliaI don’t know what variety these are, but aren’t they cool?

red dahlia at marketI’m so happy it’s summer!

The First Farmers Market

We went to the opener of the farmer’s market on Saturday, which is held from late April to early November around the city square where the capital building is located.

The market around the SquareLots of pansy baskets for sale.

pansy baskets for sale

Lots of hanging baskets full of geraniums too.

geranium baskets

The bee guy was there with precious honey.

The Bee Guy

You can’t have a farmer’s market in Wisconsin without cheese!

cheese vendorSo many beautiful varieties of cheese to choose from.

cheese cheese cheese!Check out these adorable cow cookies,which sell out every Saturday.

Cow Cookies

It may seem early for a farmer’s market to open, and we were lucky to have a sunny, 70-degree morning.  It’s my favorite way to start a Saturday, especially in April!

Colorful Day at the Market

I have written about the Farmers Market many times in my Notebook because I love going to the market. It’s fun to see what’s in season, to have a coffee and donut, and just be outside soaking up the atmosphere. I love to see all the colors, from produce to people!

Bright table full of peppers.

More varieties of jalapeno peppers.

Gorgeous mounds of Mums and Asters.

These are the first Asters I’ve seen this season. What a cheerful purple color!

I love the sunshine colors of these asters. They glow like flames.

Check out these wacky gourds, which will turn brown when they dry out. People drill holes in them for birdhouses.

It was nice to see there are still lots of beautiful flower bouquets for sale.

I always thought these strawberry flowers were so cool looking. They really do look like strawberries.

It wouldn’t be a market in fall without apples.

Here are some colorful people at the market. I guess tie-dye t-shirts are still “in” around here! Notice the trees in the background starting to change colors.

That was another colorful day at the market!

Signs of Early Autumn

I love Autumn! Who doesn’t? We’ve had some gorgeous sunny days with cooler evenings, so I can feel Autumn in the air. I’m not looking forward to winter, even though I love snowy days and skiing, but I have been looking for signs that Autumn is here.

Last weekend we bought some mums, and so far only the red ones are starting to bloom. I love mums because they are the flower for November (my birthday month).

I came across two recipes that scream autumn that I can’t wait to try – squash and potato torte and zucchini pie. That means a trip to the farmers market, where I’m sure there will be more signs of Autumn.

Our garden is exploding with tomatoes-

We went for a hike on Saturday and enjoyed a cool sunny day on the trails.

Not too many leaves were changing colors, but we did find these burning Sumac leaves-

and these wildflowers, which I think are called Yarrow-

and these Rudbekia sunflowers.

I love looking down the trail, trying to find color changes as the season progresses.

So far the trail still looks very green, but it’s bordered by a grove of Aspens on the right, which means it will show signs of Autumn soon with those notorious golden yellow leaves.

What signs of Autumn are you seeing?

The First Market

One of my favorite things to do is go to outdoor markets. I especially love the Dane County Farmers Market, held every Saturday around the Capital square here in Madison. The market was founded in 1972, so this is the 36th anniversary. This weekend was the opener for us to get ready for the 2008 growing season!

the first market

There are usually about 200 vendors, selling everything from bakery, pesto, produce, cheese (of course, it’s Wisconsin!), maple syrup, beeswax, perennials, jerky, smoked fish, and so much more!

Our spring has been cold and damp so far, making us wait another week or two to buy plants for our gardens. One vendor was selling tomatoes, grown in a greenhouse, I assumed. The winter lettuce sold out very early in the morning (before we arrived). But there were a few nice containers to choose from.

containers for sale

Some containers were hard to resist, but we exercised our will power to wait until the chance for frost is gone.

beautiful containers of geraniums

What a beautiful way to spend a gorgeous Saturday morning!