Take a Hike

I like to take different hikes on the weekends in fall, try a different trail, see different landscapes, collect treasures I find on the trails, mostly through photography. One of these weekends, I’m hoping to go on a hike by myself and try doing some botanical studies and odes to nature in my sketchbook.

This past weekend, I hiked at Lapham Peak, which is part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern unit, formed 10,000 years ago by glaciers. The trails traverse through glacially-formed hills and around kettle lakes, prairies and state forest land.

It was also great fun to discover a beautiful butterfly garden in the middle of this state park, full of a huge variety of wildflowers that attract pollinators. Nice to still see bees, goldfinches and monarchs this late in the season. I lucked out with a warm and sunny fall day, so it was exhilarating to be out in the woods and hiking the trails again.

Notes From the Trail

We squeezed in a little free time this past weekend to hike a trail not far from our house. I love these woods because they are full of very tall pine trees which are fun to walk through.arboretum trees arboretum trail

tree silhouette squirrel nest

tree lichen tree moss

pine cones on the trail tracks

It was great to be in the woods, soaking up fresh air, listening to the crunch under our hiking boots, and searching for treasures, from squirrel nests high up in the trees to lichen and moss on fallen tree trunks to pine cones and tracks on the trail.

Hope you found time to get some fresh air over the weekend too!


Notes From the Weekend: At the Greenhouse

I spent a couple days last week helping at the greenhouse where my mom works. They had 20,000 Easter lilies that needed to be planted in 2 days. Yes, 20,000!

planting Easter lilies

Put a handful of soil into the container, place the lily bulb in the container with the tip facing up, fill with soil, place five containers into a flat and move to a palette. Repeat!
planting Easter lilies

There were 10 of us planting non-stop, along with two other people helping replenish our supplies and moving the palettes of lilies into the coolers.

After we finished planting 20,000 Easter lilies, we planted spring tulips and daffodils for a few hours.

planting tulips

On breaks, I wandered around the greenhouse, admiring all they do, especially the fresh-cut room full of lovelies.

greenhouse cut flowers greenhouse bouquetIt was an exhausting couple days, so it took me a day to recover. And then I was ready to plant more bulbs in our own yard, this time daffodils and anemones.

planting daffodil bulbs

We’ve enjoyed some beautiful fall days lately so we’ve been tending to our gardens and soaking up as much sunshine and fresh air as possible.

beautiful fall backyardWhat a fulfilling weekend!


Notes From the Weekend: Big Waves and Fall Color

We took a road trip to spend the weekend at my parent’s cottage on the lake. The first couple days were super windy with cold winds from the North, producing big waves that were 4 to 6 feet.

Door County - big waves Door County - big waves Door County - big waves

The last day we were there the winds completely died down and the waters were calm.Door County - calm waters

Door County - calm waters We were lucky to go hiking a couple times since the fall colors were spectacular!

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Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall color Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall color Door County - fall color

Door County - fall colorDoor County - fall colorDoor County - Fall Color

Door County - fall color Door County - fall color Door County - Fall ColorWhen you look closely in the woods, you find all sorts of cool things!

Door County - fungus

Door County - fern Door County - fern

Door County - wooly bear Door County - Fall ColorDoor County - mushrooms Door County - mushrooms Door County - mushrooms


We were also celebrating my mom’s birthday, so it was a treat to get away for the weekend and spent lots of time in the woods!



Notes From the Weekend: Fall At the Botanical Gardens

I went to the local botanical gardens on Friday afternoon to soak up some fresh air and see what’s new for fall.

mountain ash at botanical gardens

leaves at botanical gardens IMG_4685The sugar maple tree is always the one of the first to turn colors around here, and it offers quite a show with its vibrant yellows and oranges.
fall color at botanical gardens pops of fall color at botanical gardens

sugar maple leaves at botanical gardens

tipped leaves at botanical gardens

red grasses at botanical gardens

There’s such a wonderful variety of colors and textures in the planters throughout the botanical gardens.

fall planter at botanical gardens

fall container at botanical gardens

fall planter at botanical gardens

fall planter at botanical gardens

fall urn at botanical gardens pops of color at botanical gardens

I love this hanging basket that lives in a shady spot throughout the growing seasons. Definitely want to try this in spring on our front porch, which faces north and doesn’t get any direct sunlight.

hanging moss planter at botanical gardensI was happy to spot my first wooly bear caterpillar of the season!wooly bear caterpillar at botanical gardensI was also surprised to see a few butterflies still hanging around, like this red admiral. I saw a couple monarch butterflies and a variegated frittilary butterfly too.
red admiral butterfly at botanical gardensIt was such a treat to visit the botanical gardens in fall. My next visit probably won’t be until December to check out what their gardeners have done to the grounds for the holiday season.



Notes From the Weekend: Yellow Leaves

It was a great fall weekend full of cool weather, a fire in the fireplace, soup for lunch, football games and raking leaves. fallen leaves

Many of the leaves on our trees that change to yellow in autumn are changing and falling.

leaves changing colors

Raking is always hard work but it’s a great excuse to get outside when the temps are cool.

raking leaves tree hugger shoes

fall leaves on the deck

Soon the oranges and reds will take over the landscapes.

red leaves

Hope you were able to get out into the wild and enjoy this fall season!



Signs of Spring: Buds, Birds and More

Spring is my favorite season because everything comes back to life revealing so many cheerful pops of color. More and more signs of spring are popping up after our 6-day marathon of clouds, cold and rain finally moved on.

Weekend Postcard digging in the dirt
lone crocus

first dandelion

There are buds on the trees and birds gathering for their nests and combing the grass for bugs and seeds.

tree buds

grackles combing the grass

robin combing the grass

robin and tree buds

birds next

I was finally able to dig in the dirt, plant a few cool-weather annuals, and make our first trip to the garden center. Very relaxing and energizing!

first trip to the garden center

pansies at garden center

pansy planterHope you are enjoying spring too!


Signs of Spring: Green

April showers bring May flowers. We are certainly having a lot of April showers lately, so I’m hoping we see lots of flowers in May. We are ever so slowly seeing signs of spring with bits of green here and there.

Weekend Postcard spring green

Most of our bulbs – tulips and crocus – have been eaten by the rabbits this spring, except for this lonely daffodil. We have some other daffodil clusters that are a bit behind so I’m looking forward to seeing their pops of yellow soon. It’s been a couple years since we planted new bulbs, so planting more will be high on my list for fall chores.

lone daffodil

Last weekend I noticed some of the buds on our trees are starting to open and show some of that spring green color I love so much. Looking forward to find more signs of spring over the next week.