Tag Archives: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Wonderful Wisconsin Weekend

27 Oct

In May friends of ours drove from Wisconsin to Kansas for a long weekend visit.  While they were here, we promised to return the favor and spend a weekend with them in October.  We try to keep our promises, so we got into our car and drove the 8 hours to see them. A wonderful weekend in Wisconsin ensued.

We packed a lot into our short time there.  First stop was the International Crane Foundation and its Cranes of the World exhibit in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  I had no idea that most types of cranes are found in Asia.  But now I know. We saw 15 varieties of cranes in areas designed to match their natural habitat.  Each setting had a small pond and marsh area. 

The cranes range in size from majestic to small.  A pair of cranes were housed in each site that were accessible on a lovely pathway.  Besides the area devoted to the cranes, there were also walking nature paths through a meadow planted with native plants and grasses that attracts butterflies and birds.

We spent two hours enjoying the nice weather, the lovely cranes and the other sites like the Zen Garden and the Prayer Wheels.  My favorite was the Senbazuru sculpture of 1000 colorful cranes made to look like origami cranes.  I am glad we went when we did, as the Center is open only from May 1 through October 31.  I encourage anyone who can to visit it next year!

After a stop for lunch, we continued our journey of discovery by visiting artists who were part of the Fall Art Tour.  We visited four artists who were located in either Baraboo or Spring Green, Wisconsin.  I wish we could have visited every one of the two dozen artists, but that was impossible.  However, I will say that my friend and I did as much as we could to support the artists we did visit.

We love botanical gardens and try to visit one wherever we go.   Thus, next on our list of places to go was the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin.  LOVELY.  I was impressed by the Thai Pavilion and garden.  As we walked throughout the gardens, there was beautiful greenery and flowers everywhere and having a river run through it added to the serene scenery and wonderful atmosphere. 

A walk through the giant green house, known as the Bolz Conservatiory, provided us with a view of wonderful tropical plants including a large variety of orchids, and an not-yet blooming corpse plant, was exciting.  When we entered the greenhouse, there were volunteers offering us a free plant, that we could put into a pot to take away.  Of course my friend and I each needed a plant.

When I say large, I mean large.  The Bolz Conservatory is 100 feet by 100 feet by 50 feet high.  Photos do not do it justice.  It holds almost 500 plants!

Another favorite for us when we join our friends is to taste wine. In fact, when they visited us in May we took them to a wine tasting at our arboretum, combining two enjoyable events in one.  They took us to a winery on the same day as the botanical gardens, so that counts!

We went to Drumlin Ridge Winery in Waunakee, Wisconsin.  There each of us could order a flight of 3 or 6 wines to taste along with a small plate of food.  We each chose three wines.  I like whites and rose, so I tasted the Edelweiss 2019, Drumlin Sunset and Marechal Foch Rose.  The Edelwiess was my favorite and second was the Marechal Foch Rose.  We ordered mixed nuts and pizza and a cheese board for them, while I had a soft Bavarian Pretzel.   Yes, I know pretzels really go with beer, but for me a soft pretzel goes with everything.  And I did snack on some nuts….especially the cashews.

Our final stop was the University of Wisconsin Campus for a snack while we sat along the lake front.  It was a quick and exciting three-night visit.  But I think we saw some of the wonderful highlights to be seen in the Madison/Middleton area of Wisconsin during our wonderful Wisconsin weekend.

https://savingcranes.org/

http://www.olbrich.org/visit/

https://www.drumlinridgewinery.com/