I wasn't at work very long this morning but spent some brief time organizing the grounds staff and taking care of some tasks. We had a full crew of Big John, Terry, Cindy, Pat (half day) and Janice (half day) and I'm sure the volunteers were a big help as usual. Tomorrow morning I'm speaking for the Wood County Master Gardeners on the topic of Spring Bulbs as part of a half-day garden seminar. The venue is in Marshfield (UW-Marshfield / Wood County campus) so I took some time heading up North with some destinations in mind. My first stop was Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI) for a late season exploration of the gardens. The one photo directly above and the twelve photos below show just some of the highlights of my enjoyable visit. I really caught some late season color and took many images as I meandered through the garden. I think this was my best October visit and had a nice chat with Sam P. and saw Christian and Philip (all OBG staff) in passing. Regardless, I was glad I stopped for a stretch. See further below for my next destination.
My next stop was the Schmeeckle Reserve in Stevens Point (actually part of the UW-Stevens Point). I went to UWSP for graduate school and always enjoyed this natural area. I spent many hours hiking and biking through this little piece of the Northwoods. I've gone through this reserve in the Autumn years ago with the wife and younger daughter and we had a great visit. Today was no exception. This 280 preserve still had plenty of fall color, neat trails, boardwalks, some pumpkins (see below!), wetlands, a small lake, at least one startled deer, etc. The six photos below show some of my photographs in this area. I had a good time and hiked a good mile on the trails and took advantage of the fresh air.
I then had a 30 minute drive further north to Wausau, WI to see Robert W. Monk Gardens. I had heard of this new garden and was glad I stopped to see the beginnings of what looks to be a wonderful, 20 acre botanic garden. The land was donated by the late Robert W. Monk, a prominent local businessman and longtime resident of Wausau, WI. His dream was to create a public garden for the Wausau community. One of the "tag lines" for the garden is "Central Wisconsin's first Public Botanical Garden." Below are just some of the photos from the garden and see www.rwmonkgardens.org for more information about this garden that looks to have a bright future.
I couldn't visit Marshfield, WI and not see the "World's Largest Round Barn" which was pretty impressive (and round). This barn has a 150' diameter and a 70' height at peak. Built in 1916, this structure is part of the property that hosts the Central Wisconsin State Fair. See www.centralwisconsinstatefair.com/news.htm for information on this enormous edifice.