Monday, June 28, 2010

Life on Liberty Ridge

No particular story here. Just a scene that caught my eye the other day. As usual, I was taking the long way around to get to the grocery store when this little barn popped into view. For a change I didn't have my trusty photo taking machine with me. I did my grocery shopping and took the short route home where I grabbed the old Canon and headed back to this spot on Liberty Ridge Road. I don't know anything about the place other than it makes a nice photo subject. After I arrived back home, I was downloading the shots into my computing thing when I realized that there was a second building in the picture, a dilapidated farm house. Now maybe there is a story here. Let's journey back, say a hundred years, to the time when a young couple found this tract of land in the middle of nowhere (just south of somewhere). They had been living with his parents and she was expecting their first child. They owned a couple of cows, a bull and a few chickens and had saved up enough money to make a down payment on a place of their own. With a loan from a bank in nearby Platteville (this was before the "M" appeared on the Platteville Mound), the land was purchased and, with the help of friends and family members, a house and a barn were constructed. what a joyous time that must have been. I'll bet that on a quiet summer evening you can probably still hear the laughter of those farm kids as they frolic through the fields capturing fire flies and playing "Red Rover". The family grew as did the number of cows and chickens. More land was purchased and the small plot of a couple of acres became a respectable spread of several hundred acres. The kids grew up and moved to places of their own, ma and pa along with their old barn and house had completed their mission. I'm sure that in one of the small weed covered cemeteries that dot the surrounding area, a pair of weathered tombstones mark the final resting place of that jubilant young couple while the skeletal remains of the house and barn mark the spot where a hard working, hard loving family found their "Liberty on the Ridge".

If you look real close on the right side of the barn,
the remains of the old farm house is visible.

I'm off now to prepare for my "Knee High by the Fourth of July" survey!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. But what a couple of weeks it has been.
First JoAnne had some surgery. She had a procedure done involving things that I not only can't pronounce and have no possible way of spelling. At any rate everything went after a week or so of "stay-at-home" recovery, Jo returned to work just in time to take an unscheduled trip down some stairs at work. (trip to emergency room required) Results: sprained foot, bump on head , twisted knee and a pair of crutches. Normally this would only be a minor setback but, not if you're expecting a house full of company that weekend for little Eddie's Christening and JoAnne being the Lands' End team leader for the Race for the Cure Saturday morning. With a well coordinated effort on every one's part, arrangements fell into place when... Friday the assisted living place called to tell us that Jo's mom was having a bad turn. (trip to emergency room required) She was put in the hospital for testing so her needs were being attended to. The Race, the Christening and the post Christening festivities went off without a hitch (if you don't count JoAnne having to cheer the team on the sidelines propped on her crutches, the breakdown of the churches audio/video system and Eddie crying through most of the ceremony) Then on top of all this stuff, it happened...Gary Coleman died! (I won't go into any of the sick Gary Coleman jokes that are circulating the internet) It was time to yell "UNCLE". Jo was teetering on the edge of something. Even the crutches weren't enough support. Time for a "Time Out". Jo only had a half day of work on Friday so I told her to pack a bag with enough stuff for the weekend and I would pick her up at LE. I didn't tell her that I had made reservations at the Kohler resort complex. To shorten an already long story. We had a great room overlooking a small lake, enjoyed good food and JoAnne got her batteries recharged. We spent the weekend exploring Eastern Wisconsin.

Disabled Team Captain with able bodied assistant Saffron.
Either gathering team or directing runners to Portapotties.

The Blume/Nimz team sporting their t-shirts honoring
Jo's thirtieth survivor year.
Even Eddie and Saffie wore one.

Eddie decides that the hat is a good idea.
He wasn't wearing one and they poured water on his head

Eddie meets Greatgrandma Rezabek for the first time.

Entering a "Timber Tunnel".

A pair of Whooping Cranes.
(at The International Crane foundation)

A whole family of Whoopers from a previous visit.
(Photo by grandson Roy)

Mom Coot and Cootling on nest in at Horcon Marsh.

Now, a quick explanation for the Deer Warning Sign above. These signs are a very common sight throughout Wisconsin and should be heeded. Someone once told me that if you live in Wisconsin and drive, you will hit a deer sometime in your lifetime. With this in mind, I am always extremely watchful as I travel the roads of this state. However, lately I have encountered many things that don't resemble the creature depicted on these signs. In the past two weeks I have had to give right of way to - wild turkeys, pheasants, chipmunks, flocks of suicidal birds, (one or two were successful) a family of Canada geese, a Mallard duck, a large bewildered calf and in the middle of nowhere, some peacocks. I did see one or two deer but they politely stood on the shoulder until I passed. Do we need to clutter the roadside with a slew of new signs? Judging by the carcasses strewn about, I'm sure that raccoons and possums would appreciate them. I even passed the site of a duck massacre where four or five were reduced to a flat mess of features and bones. The roadkill that amazes me most is the tired Turtle. Now squirrels, chipmunks and deer tend to dart out in front of a car without warning. Turtles don't dart very well. Actually they are really lousy darters. Normally you would have more time than it is taking you to read this post to avoid running over a turtle. Enough said. Off to the picture portion.

Hood's eye view of Pheasant who thinks he can outrun a Honda.

This guy gets wide berth. He has the moves of a squirrel
and potential damage of a bull dozer.

Now here is a Deer practicing proper roadside ethics.