Fall Wreath

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Signs of fall are beginning to appear in Kentucky (even though these few days have been quite warm!) I made this wreath to hang on the door for some festive decor

Wisconsin Tour: Taliesin East & Frank Lloyd Wright

Day Four (08.20.10):

Taliesin Highlights Tour
Dinner at Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie, WI

Our last day trip was to Taliesin…which we had been wanting to go to for a long time! We had planned to go over spring break, but we found out it wasn’t open then. But coming this time of the year was a lot prettier!…even though we spent half the time in a rain storm!

Taliesin is located in Spring Green, WI which is west of Madison about an hour away. It is where Frank Lloyd Wright built his Taliesin East architecture school and his home. It is located on land his family had owned for a long time. Part of the site is still located on the original home and farm.

Taliesin is comprised of many different sections which surprised me. There is the guest center and restaurant (which was designed by Wright at a later time), the architecture school (which is still exists even today), Wright’s home, the original farm house, a small chapel, the windmills, the barn, the pond, lots of land, and couple of guest homes which is where some Taliesin trust members live. When I heard of Taliesin, I really thought it was just one building!

The architecture school holds a theater (which used to be a gym at some point), the studios, gallery space, and other rooms such as the dining hall and social space.
This is the architecture school. Taliesin was really only built as an experiment and a lot of it has been damaged by weather and just hasn’t held up! This means a lot of $$ to keep this place open!
This is the back part of the house where later in the house’s existence, cars were directed to park. Right now it is being re-roofed with wood shingles.
Wright didn’t like his entrances to be noticeable
Wright’s home was built into the side of a hill, instead of on top of it. The design of the building allows a courtyard that was really pretty!
Wright actually designed this barn that was used for building equipment and some farming tools. The men who first studied at Taliesin worked for their stay!
A pond was formed when Wright had part of a stream damed. However, it has many problems with it since it’s not really a natural area.
There are two windmills on site called Romeo & Juliet. Wright called them that because he said one couldn’t stand without the other. When they were built, no one thought they would ever last the weather here!
Taliesin is surrounded by lots of land. A large part of it is flat, and then meets up to some knobs. A lot of it is lawn grass, and other parts of it prairie
This is a small room attached to the barn and silo. There is a house attached to the barn as well where someone lives. However, a lot of it looked in bad shape!
Wright’s home from a distance
The Unity Chapel was used by the Wrights for services. It is still used today but more as a social space for the members of the preservation trust. This place was kind of creepy, but then again, it seems like most of Wright’s places I’ve been to are.
This is Wright’s ‘grave’ even though it isn’t really where he’s buried
The gift shop had a lot of nice and expensive things in it…I hope I can build something like this one day!

Wisconsin Tour: Old World Wisconsin

Day Two Itinerary (08.18.10):

Old World Wisconsin
All you can eat seafood buffet at OYSY Sushi & Seafood Buffet
Movie at Home: ‘North by Northwest’
The first of our day trips was to Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, WI. A few months earlier, a tornado (a tornado in WI!?) swept right through this place and pretty much destroyed their parking lot and lots of trees. However, it completely missed any of the houses! amazing…
Old World WI is pretty much a museum of Wisconsin buildings. They were actually all taken from around the state, and brought here, where they were rebuilt or settled down into a realistic setting. It is actually a pretty big place and they have done so to keep each building its own separate settlement. It is such a neat place and maintained really well (and isn’t one of those corny attractions!) It reminded me  of Shakertown back home in Lexington, Kentucky.
Old World even raises their own farm animals and makes food from their products, and does crafts just like the real settlers did back in the day. It’s really on its own really functional.
We finally took the tram that was offered after walking through the wooded areas (around a pond). We were attacked by hundreds of mosquitoes!
This is an old school house in Strawberry, where we were in the Apostle Islands!
We even tried some of the games they had in the schoolhouse building
This was one of the first churches in Milwaukee

Wisconsin Tour: Madison

After the trip to the Apostle Islands, the next series of trips were either hanging around Madison or taking day trips near Madison. On the first day back I went to the Olbrich Gardens, which I had been wanting to go to for a long time. The Olbrich Gardens are amazing…they have a conservatory with tropical plants, as well as a really neat maze of botanical gardens outside. It was well designed and filled with a variety of plants. I imagine it’s a neat place to work! There was even a golden temple that was donated to the gardens from India. I was disappointed we couldn’t stay longer, but Boo had to give someone a tour of the WI LA department. Hopefully I’ll get to come back where things are bloom again.

Day One (08.17.10):
Olbrich Gardens
Snack at Chipotle
Dinner at Home: Taco Mac & Blueberry Crumble
The scenery at the gardens was truly amazing and extremely photogenic. I think these are just a fraction of the photos that were taken. I promise to someday get a handle on all of my photography and post this stuff to a Flicker account or at least to Facebook! Also, we decided to cook some meat we had stored in the freezer, which was a nice retreat from all of the veggie munchin’ I have been doing lately… Although it was nice to eat meat, I feel that I feel better and more fit with a veggie/fish diet. So I guess I am perpetually sticking with the vegetarian diet until I feel another need for change.
Day Four (08.21.10):
Lunch at Chipotle
Gandy Dancer Festival in Mazomanie
Dinner at Brocach’s Irish Pub
After our 3 days of day trips (which will come in a follow up post!), Boo had to do some work for this WRM practicum in Mazomanie. However, I got to come with him later that evening to the Gandy Dancer Festival, where the WRM had set up a information booth. I learned a gandy dancer is someone who maintains railroads, which is an interesting name! Along with the festival was some bluegrass music, which seems to be popular in Wisconsin. We got to see the Lonesome River Band, which I had seen a couple years before, at the J.D. Crowe Festival here in Wilmore, KY. Kind of ironic!
A Gandy Dancer
Kid’s Hula-Hooping & The Feedmill Restaruant
Day Five (08.22.10):
Tour of Troy Gardens
Hung out at Glenwood Children’s Garden (Home of a Jens Jensen Council Ring)
Peruvian Style dinner with the WRM Students courtesy of Vanessa Cottle’s Mom
Unfortunately, we didn’t grab any good photos of the events that took place on this day, but it was still nice to get out and see some of the hidden gems in Madison. Troy Gardens is one of the first and only co-housing projects with a community garden, community supported agriculture plot, restored prairie, and 30 units of affordable housing… It is quite impressive to see all of this working together.

Also, Madison is home to the largest concentration of Jens Jensen designed “Council Ring” landscapes. The last one he designed before he died is in the Glenwood Children’s Park. It really is quite a humbling experience to get to tread in the footsteps of great designers, and I really love coming to this park. It is along the bike trail and is such an interactive retreat from the city… They have equinox festivals there and do yearly restoration work which I participated in last year. I think one of the reasons I enjoy Madison so much is its very diverse range of spaces and experiences. After living here a year, I still find myself exploring much of the city and discovering new things.

Wisconsin Tour: Aldo Leopold & Sand County

A few years ago I read A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. It was first published in 1949, and has been a very influential book for those interested in conservation. It was really one of the only books like this written at the time. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to actually go and see the inspiration for this book- Aldo’s shack and where he lived in Baraboo, Wisconsin!

You first arrive at The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center. It’s been designed to fit within the landscape and to respect the land around it. It was built with sustainability in mind- recycled wood (including wood from trees Aldo planted nearly 70 years ago), energy efficient windows requiring less energy for lighting, solar panels, water management and rain gardens, and an ecological prairie landscape. An inner courtyard made by the three buildings also made the center welcoming. The center also had art gallery space and educational areas about the goals of the center and the legacy of the man behind it all.
Aldo’s actual shack was located about a mile away down the road from the center, but the center had bicycles to rent for a low price instead of having to walk along the road.

‘The Shack’ began its life as a chicken coop! When Aldo purchased the farmland, he converted it into a cabin. The shack used to be surround by farmland, but now it was surrounded by woods and prairie and was just a short walk from the Wisconsin River.

The now forest had lots of pine trees, which Aldo writes about in his book.  Inside the shack it is still set up like how they lived there. There were also some family photos taken by the Leopolds. The shack hasn’t changed since the foundation acquired it. I couldn’t imagine living here with a large family like they had, especially through long and cold Wisconsin winters.

A short walk away from the shack is the Wisconsin River. There is a sandy area you have to walk through to get to it, now we knew why this area is known as Sand County! The land restoration of Aldo’s property was done by himself and his family. A large amount of the restoration was given to a pine forest, and an open prairie landscape.


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