June 14, 2014

A season-long staycation

vicia

Southern Wisconsin would be perfect except for the winters. On Friday, I had one of those "Ah, that's why I live here" kind of days:

  • People were out walking, biking, and skating;
  • Many obviously had the day off from work;
  • The weather was perfect; and
  • Not a cloud was in the sky.

Everywhere I looked was natural beauty.

curtis

At the UW–Madison Arboretum, where the native bumblebees were active, and Spiderwort and Baptisia were blooming in the Curtis Prairie...

propplane

monona

Looking out from downtown Madison at Lake Monona, where I saw a 1951 Grumman Albatross water-landing prop plane come in for a "landing," and the view was so peaceful you'd never know a moderate-sized city was a couple of blocks behind me...

olbrich

thaipavilion

At Olbrich Botanical Gardens, where the Kentucky Wisteria (W. macrostachya) was blooming, and the Thai Pavilion was as welcoming and regal as ever...

waubesa

A few blocks from my house looking out at Lake Waubesa, where people were picnicking, chatting, and soaking in the sunshine...

cats

And at home, where there was no need for air-conditioning, or a jacket, or even socks. Just a cold glass of ice-water, shorts and a T-shirt, open windows, and two cats. Pretty close to perfect. It sort of makes up for the brutal winter, but that's out of my mind right now.

Yes, I think I'll retire here (God-willing). Living here in the summer (and spring and fall) is like having a season-long staycation. And winter is the perfect time to travel south.

I'm linking in with Donna's Seasonal Celebrations with this post. Head on over to her blog to join in the fun!

**********************

Note: The Garden Lessons Learned wrap-up will be a bit delayed this time because of some personal situations (nothing bad, and I'll explain soon). Please share a post or your thoughts about lessons you've learned during the past few months. To join in, click here to leave a comment with a link to your post. Thanks, and enjoy the solstice!

45 comments:

  1. Oh, I had a few of those "This is why we live here" moments last week too! Here in good old Minneapolis, Minnesota, we too have those harsh winters that one must simply endure to get all these gifts of spring and summer! I don't know about you, but we are getting a lot of rain and wind at this very moment, and the forecast looks as if all next week will be the same! But I have to believe we will get relief soon. Enjoy the lakes (my goodness, that pagoda in the garden!!!) and the walks and the lovely people getting out to soak in the sun! Thank you for coming by, Anita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We haven't had the rain yet, unfortunately. It's starting to get a little dry around here. But it sounds like we'll get some rain later this week. It's also heating up, so I might have to turn on the A/C. Darn! I love those 70F-84F days when there's no need for heat or A/C! I love Minneapolis, too, Anita! I know it's beautiful in the summer, too!

      Delete
  2. It only takes looking around at where one lives to see the beauty and opportunity. So much to appreciate. While I would prefer to live in PA rather than here, it has to do more with the idea of "home". I miss the mountains, I miss the forests. Terrain is flat here, but that has its own beauty and something I talk about soon. It looks like where you live is quite beautiful, but I know I would love the winters as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna: Pennsylvania was lovely when we've traveled through! And also New York state--although we haven't made it to Niagara Falls yet. It's definitely on the bucket list. ;-) We don't have mountains here, but we have beautiful rolling hills. And we definitely have amazing forests and lakes. It's a great place to live. Except during the winter. ;-)

      Delete
  3. I can't imagine living somewhere that gets so cold and snowy. I wonder if it makes you appreciate the warmer times even more. From the photos where you live looks lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sue: Yes, it does make you appreciate the better weather more. It also makes the nice weather a little bittersweet because you know it won't last. And people try to pack way too much activity into the perfect days. Personally, I try to plan plenty of relaxation, gardening, and outside time into May through October. The other months aren't comfortable without a warm coat.

      Delete
  4. Enjoy your looooooooong staycation, Beth! My my, it does look absolutely beautiful in the Madison area now. Your photos belong in a tourism brochure.

    The cats resting on the windowsills, the peaceful lake, the tranquil pagoda. It all looks so idyllic.

    @ sue catmint, having lived where it gets snowy and still living where it gets quite cold in the winter, I'd say "YES!" it does make you appreciate the warm, pleasant weather even more. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Even though I'm working, my schedule is very flexible (self-employed), so I try to work more on unpleasant days and get out and enjoy the beauty on perfect days. :) The Madison area is truly an amazing place to live--for so many reasons. Winter is not one of them (in my opinion, anyway). I definitely echo your message to Sue. ;-)

      Delete
  5. I had a "flash moment" similar to yours a few days ago . . . Beautiful blue sky, not a cloud, bright, vivid green with "pops" of yellows, purple blues, pinks, reds and more in view everywhere . . . My thought, why would I want to live anywhere else! Your post today makes "my moment in Michigan" embraced with Wisconsin. Your views are near where I was birthed, lived, studied, married, began my family. Thank you indeed for the pictorial treat . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know--it's so funny, Lynne. During this past winter I kept telling myself "Enough! I'm getting out of here when I retire!" And then spring and summer came and I realized it's just the winter that I don't like. Autumns here are fabulous, too. So, I think I just need to get out of town (when possible) during the winters. Michigan is a beautiful state, too! We used to have lots of family members living over there, and we'd visit them frequently. I especially LOVED the dunes along Lake Michigan!

      Delete
  6. It looks so lovely and inviting and summery on your photos Beth, and yet I know exactly what it was like 4 months ago! Enjoy it while it lasts, that’s the only thing we can do. And trekking south with the birds during winter is a good idea, I would have liked to do that too :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is an amazing place, Helene, during three seasons of the year. For people who enjoy winter, it's even better! I never have. Even when I was a kid, I got so tired of the layers of clothing and how difficult it was to even breathe when going outside. I'm sure you remember that from Norway. Trekking south with the birds just seems so reasonable to me. I guess I'll be a snowbird. ;-)

      Delete
  7. Beth I can see why you want to stay there....it is idyllic...perfection in every season!!

    Thanks for linking in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for hosting, Donna! I guess our climates are very similar. And I know that Upstate New York is gorgeous, too!

      Delete
  8. even in winter, our weather changes quickly. A cold wet weekend ... but tomorrow the sun returns ... and later the cold. The gifted days in between are delightful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Diana! The gifted days! That's a great way to put it. And having the freedom to enjoy them and to be out in them is a joy. I almost feel like a fool when I pass up time to enjoy those "perfect" days!

      Delete
    2. Thank you - I've linked you in to my post at the wild orchid!
      http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/2014/06/fifth-blogaversary.html

      Delete
  9. Those vistas are beautiful and the weather looks wonderful. Your retirement plan to head south for winter is a good one and shared by many. Having been to Wisconsin and other very cold places in the winter I know it's too much for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Madison area is fabulous! Except for winter. I guess I'm finally realizing that I just really don't like winter--at least not the really cold winters that we have here. I don't mind a touch of snow, but it gets old after weeks on end. I know that San Antonio is lovely, too--one of my favorite vacation places. I've never been there in summer, though.

      Delete
  10. Oh, I agree--we've spent days vacationing in southern Wisconsin several times, and it is lovely! It has been a beautiful week here, too, and at this time of year I even appreciate seeing corn and bean fields:) The Olbrich Botanical Gardens look like a great place to visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I forgot to mention mosquitoes and tornadoes, though, didn't I? Those two fun events keep it from being perfect, too, I guess. I know what you mean about the corn and bean fields--I guess it's our heritage even if they are monocultures. Olbrich Gardens is amazing, and full of people of all ages during the summer, enjoying the beauty.

      Delete
  11. So beautiful! I can feel the fresh air, and no need for air conditioning! Your summer is much like our spring. May I come spend the summer with you? But only the summer. With my thin southern blood, I doubt I could survive your winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Deb: Yes, of course, you're welcome to visit! Just let me know when and I'll make sure I'm around. Speaking of air-conditioning, now we need it because it has turned very warm (high 80s). I prefer the heat to the cold, though. I'm sure you could survive the winters, but it wouldn't be pleasant, I can assure you. Some winter days, it's even hard to breathe when you step outside.

      Delete
  12. Sounds like the perfect day! You can come winter down here! We'd love to have you ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was an amazing day, Cat! Since then, we've had much more heat and humidity. And tornadoes. And heavy rain. But it's still a great place to live, And I might take you up on that offer. ;-)

      Delete
  13. Yes, I do miss Madison. I enjoyed our two years there. Lots of natural beauty in and around the city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great place to live and to visit. I love to visit the Chicago area, too. Especially in springtime, when your flowers often start blooming before mine. With that said, I think I'd rather live here and visit Chicago. ;-)

      Delete
  14. I envy your patch on earth. I can imagine, visualize and feel the just enough temperatures for humans, animals and plants. How so privilege are people like you who can live in those conditions and then transfer to still a lovely place during unwholesome times. Yes that is a long staycation, what a lovely life on earth!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I do feel very blessed to live here and to have these options! I do fear, however, that I've painted the picture of this part of the world as too perfect. I forgot to mention the mosquitoes and the tornadoes! ;-) With that said, though, it is a wonderful place to live ... except during winter.

      Delete
  15. To have 'big water' close to where I live is very important for me. You have it! It makes a place special!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Tatyana! The lakes make it so special. I can drive a few miles in just about any direction and be near a lake or a river. I'm glad you have 'big water' near you, too!

      Delete
  16. I enjoyed your post about living in Wisconsin. It looks like a beautiful place and the weather (at least the May-Oct part) sounds perfect, especially for gardeners.I reallly wasn't familiar with your climate so I enjoyed reading and seeing another part of our beautiful country. I guess we all have our weather woes. For me, its when we have the seemingly unending days of triple digit temps in summer, which I loved when I was a child!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Triple-digit temperatures all summer would be a bit difficult. Yes, our summers are wonderful for gardening. The growing season is short, but once it gets going, the plants grow fast because the conditions are just right! I don't mind the heat, if all I have to do is swim in a pool. But heavy heat makes it hard to do any work, and air-conditioning gets old. You're right--we all have weather issues. ;-)

      Delete
  17. I was having this same thought as we drove down Rt 2 (the scenic Mohawk Trail) to attend a party in Greenfield, MA. We drove along the Deerfield River, past farms, and hills woodland and an occasional roadside garden on this very rural route.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A perfect day is a perfect day, no matter where you are! I think most of us in the north are so thankful to have survived the past winter ... seriously. Your drive sounds beautiful!

      Delete
  18. I've never been to Wisconsin but it's so beautiful, I'd love to go. Now that you're staying, it's time to put in that rain garden! :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, please come visit Tammy! But I need to clean my house and my garden first so please give me a little warning. ;-) I'll have to put the rain garden in the next house because I have to watch my budget before we move (we're still planning to move, but in the same area).

      Delete
  19. Certainly makes you appreciate where you live. I often wish the seasons here in North West England were more marked instead of the grey days we can get all year round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, living here in the Midwest is kind of like a roller-coaster ride: very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Personally, I prefer the warmer weather because I don't have to wear a coat or socks. :) We definitely have four seasons here. Unfortunately, the winter eats into the spring a little bit.

      Delete
  20. I'm with you....those rare perfect days certainly make up for the long winters.

    Jen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Jen! I hope you're enjoying your perfect days in Northwest!

      Delete
  21. What an amazing treat to see the home you love! And I can see why you will retire there--it is beautiful. I've not spent much time in Wisconsin, so this was great. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the little tour, Susie. :) Southern Wisconsin is a great part of the world. I could go on and on. I forgot to mention mosquitoes and tornadoes, though. So...it's perfect except for winter, mosquitoes, and tornadoes. ;-)

      Delete
  22. Last Friday (June 20) was anothe rperfect day here in the Madison area. It was good to get out for a walk in the evening after so amny days of rain and storms, and I saw evidence of trees that had come down across the bicycle path and already been cleared away. Amazing how much has POPPED along the trail in the past week. The perfect end to the day was reaching the pedestrian overpass just as the sun was setting over the Arboretum. THIS is why we put up with such torturous winters! ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your description of the sun setting over the Arboretum made me smile. I can imagine how beautiful your hike must have been. Yes, I think we all are so thrilled to have survived the winter, and now our little place of the world seems absolutely wonderful. Well, it is ... except for the winter. ;-)

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by!

(Your comment might not appear right away. PlantPostings uses comment moderation, and we read every comment before we publish.)