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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Natural Wonders and Spotted Wonders

So, with all my disappointment with Devil's Lake State Park, I did manage to find some fun things to do too.  Like stopping at Slack's to check out their jam and jelly choices.  It's been years since I bought theirs (available at Woodman's grocery stores if I'm not mistaken) and I was curious if they were as sugary as I remembered.

I got some advice on a flavor that might not be as sweet and bought a jar of the Bumbleberry, as well as a very small jar of the Root Beer Jelly which was surprisingly yummy.  Both were runnier than I like but maybe I'll make my own soda flavored jelly, I did find some recipes online.


Afterward I got to Baraboo just in time for the tail end of the Farmer's Market on the square, but wasn't tempted by any of the produce, just the bag of chocolate mint cookies that I bought.  The wall around the courthouse had insets reflecting Baraboo's fame as the home of the Ringling Circus.

Mum's the word

This is the time of year that the mums are out and the soybean fields turn gold.  What a nice prelude to fall color, right?

Before the soybeans are harvested, all the leaves will die and fall off, and the soybean pods (and the beans inside) will dry out, just like corn kernels dry out before the corn is harvested.

Between Baraboo and Sauk City I saw a sign for the road to Natural Bridge State Park and thought I'd go take a look.  The road was full of lovely farms, but I noticed a lack of weathervanes compared to what we saw in New England.

Maybe a tire full of flowers swinging in the trees is the only weathervane some farmers need.

Natural Bridge State Park is a day use park with some hiking trails and signage along the trail about the plants that the Native Americans used.  For instance, did you know that Goldenrod flowers can be brewed and drunk as a tea to help pass kidney stones?

And that quaking Aspen bark has aspirin-like qualities?

The 35 foot high natural sandstone bridge is a 5-10 minute walk from the parking lot. Of course folks have been coming here awhile so graffiti comes with the natural wonder. It's the largest in the state, spared the grinding of the glacier somehow.

The rock shelter at the bottom contained not only graffiti but evidence that it has been in use by native people for about 12,000 years.  Imagine, people who hunted woolly mammoth and mastodons built fires here.

When we left Vermont we saw some unusual animals along the roadside in Hoosick, NY, not woolly mammoth or mastodons but spotted wonders on top of a roof.

We didn't stop in but the internet says they have great pulled pork and pies.  Sounds good to me, but I don't know how I feel about the humiliation of all those creatures being painted like cows and then made to wear silly hats.

It sure does get your attention though when driving by!

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