Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 Erickson Gardens Tour

On Saturday I took a trip over to Luck and on the way stopped to see the Erickson Gardens.  As luck would have it, Glenn and Kathy were there with my great nieces Wynni, Milli & Charli.  
The 14 year old gardens are really at their peak for blooms.  
I hope you enjoy the photos.
The view
Amazing flower beds

Fountain and background gardens
One of the Asiatics
Ruffled Pink Day Lily
Petunia garden
Tall (I can't remember the name) with background garden
White Asiatic
New design bed for 2013-beauty!
The Vanasse Girls at the gardens
Charli smelling the blooms
Milli's drawing of one of the lilies
Peach ruffled day lily
Deep red and yellow lily bloom
Wynni's drawing of one of the flowers
Yellow ruffled day lily
Milli & Wynni in front of the fountain
It was nice of Gary to spend his afternoon walking around the gardens with us.
Thanks Gary!
Kathy & Glenn with Gary Erickson
Wynni, Milli & Charli Vanasse

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Delight

Part of the fun of this time of year is enjoying the flowers around the yard.  Some are in pots and others in the ground, but all are a delight.
This ant was checking out the view after a little rain shower.

Bee balm always reminds me of one of the muppets that always has bad hair.  I'm hoping this lone plant spreads by next summer at this time of year.

One of my yellow begonias.

A few cosmos came back as volunteer after I planted them last year.

Daisy that were planted this year seem healthy.
A daisy is always a fan favorite.

The day lily flowers continue to please me.

Some good luck with Impatien plants in a big pot this year will be an annual planting I think.

Another begonia, I am very attracted to these beauties.

The red day lily after the rain.

Daisy after the bath

And last but not least, the tomatoes are starting to be a nice size for slicing.
I feel like I have been busy doing not much that is noteworthy, such is the life of a retired brewery worker I guess.  I had a glimpse of one of the fawns last night during the night and hope that they are both survivors.  The new trail cam hasn't captured any critters yet.
We are all worried about my brother Gus right now as he has had a recent procedure to remove a cancerous tumor from his bladder.  Awaiting the pathology review to hear what the doctors suggest as next steps.  We are optimistic.
My week includes a day at the card table with friends each week playing bridge, as well as piano lesson and practice.  Life is mighty good.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Remembrance Lily

My friends, Gary & Mary Erickson, have created a memorial flower yard in honor of their son who died in an auto accident some years ago.  They were generous to give me 6 clumps of lilies out of their lily beds.  And this week the action started as they are beginning to bloom.
I've numbered them from West to East, to keep track of which is which.
I'm planning to add 3 more clumps next spring, if the weather cooperates.
Lily 1, no quite ready to show off
Lily 2, the first to shine
Lily 3 looks a lot like 2 and was just a couple of days behind it's look a like.
Lily 4 is loaded with buds but yet to show any blooms.
Lily 5 is a delicate lemonade color

Lily 6 was early to show up and is the most colorful showing contrasting dark fuchsia, light pink and even some yellow.
I am grateful for these lily plants and although I never met their son, I feel good about extending the Erickson Memorial Gardens to my yard here in Rice Lake.
I have had good success with a patio pot of flowers that I picked up early this spring.
These petunias are called 'black petunias' and in person they look much blacker than what they photograph.
Unusual and doing well, even with the heat.

The caretaker at the nursery told me that these cherry tomatoes, grown in containers, would be the size of golf balls.  Well, that isn't exactly correct, but they branches are so loaded with fruit that I am working on ways to support them until all the tomatoes are ripe and picked.

The Arts in RL

Rice Lake is not a very big town, less than 10,000, yet it supports many of the arts.  The college offers concerts, there is a community orchestra, and among others, two performing arts theaters.
The Northern Star Theatre Company is a nice venue offering several performances through the year.  I saw The Wizard of Oz there a few weeks ago, and this past week, I saw The Bikinis.  The fictional story of a girls group who gained fame in the 60s and went on to sing together into adulthood.  
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The four women were outstanding vocalists and I enjoyed the show very much.  The set was clever, and since there were only a few modest costume changes and most of the time the women were standing while they sang, it was adequate to create the atmosphere of the beach.  With painted on sand and umbrellas to allow for costume switch, it also provided a nook (hidden at your left) for the outstanding orchestra.
With tickets costing $14, it is really such a bargain to be totally entertained for 2 hours in the comfort of good seating.
The second live theater is this immediate area, is The Red Barn Theater.

A little summer music

This summer I have been working hard on my piano lessons.  I have all but mastered In The Mood and now have moved on to Piano Man by Billy Joel and I'm Beginning to See The Light by Duke Ellington.  Along with those two songs, I have my lesson and theory work to do.  
It's a journey.  
Some weeks I feel like I am learning to be a piano player and other weeks....not so much.
I love to go watch live music and see how the keyboard player manages keeping up with a band.  Music on the grass @ Lehman's Supper Club on Wednesday nights is a fun place to hear good tunes, grab a bite to eat and also enjoy an adult beverage.
This week the band didn't have a piano player, but the music and vocals were so great, even on a very hot and humid night, it was fun.
 The Shackshakers sing a fun variety of music, and these kids can really sing and play! 
I will be going to see them again without a doubt.
My friends, Pete and Carol, on the left and their neighbors, Mike and Sharon, on the right.
A little slow dance on a hot humid night.
See my back on the upper left (I added an X, that's not really on my shirt)
A fun evening, I did have to take a shower when I got home though.
I didn't get any keyboard inspiration on Wednesday evening, but I sure did get some perspiration!
Ha, I crack myself up!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Where do you draw the line?

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources encourages us to leave wildlife alone.  I'm trying.  Two fawns have been in my yard several times since their mother met her demise on the county road.   They are not very afraid of me, they drink out of the bird bath and lounge in the trees at the back of my yard.  Unfortunately, they also cross the county road.  I'm worried that they will get hit, this is a busy road.  So, I worry about them.  They are so cute.
This morning when I went out to water plants, they were in my yard down by the road and when I saw them head across the road, I ran for the house.  I don't want to witness an accident.
What to do?  Well, not really anything.  They are too big to catch and take to a rehab center.  That might have worked a couple of weeks ago, but that window is closed.  I don't want to encourage them to stay in my yard by putting corn out there, but I also don't want them to starve.
Where do you draw the line?
I want to be a good steward of our earth and all that live on it, but there is also a time to let Mother Nature take the course that has been set.
So for now, I'll keep the bird bath full.  I'll watch for the deer on the road and 'shoo' them into the yard when possible.  I'll snap as many photographs as I can get.  And I'll trust nature to do what is best.
This morning 2 fawns were in my yard, this afternoon I only saw one.
I think this is the larger of the two, more skittish.
Impossible to not get attached to these two when I've seen them so often.
                                                               But it won't be easy.

Summer Flowers

My day lilies are blooming.  These are transplants from Gary & Mary Erickson who have created an amazing garden in memory of their son who was killed in an accident several years ago. 
I have 6 clumps of 'Erickson' lilies, 3 of them have bloomed so far.
Lily 2
Lily 1
Lily 3
My flowers are doing great.
This group is hiding the pump head and seems to be thriving.
My cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen.
I had a handful of the little ones yesterday, very tasty.


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