Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trick or Treat?

It's almost officially fall now. Although it's not quite time for Halloween, I think it's almost appropriate for me to go ahead and post my autumnal painting today. I did see a very diverse selection of pumpkins and gourds on display at the grocery store this morning, so if they say it's okay then it must be okay:
Halloween might possibly be my husband's favorite holiday. Every year he looks forward to checking out the local haunted house offerings and I'm sure this year will be no different. One thing I will always remember about our years spent in LA was the enthusiasm with which some of the locals celebrated Halloween. 'Yard Haunts' were not uncommon and were often incredibly elaborate, frequently rivaling and surpassing some of the more commercial enterprises. The most impressive one I remember was "Hallowed Haunting Grounds" which sadly had its "final manifestation" in 2005 after an amazing 33 year-long run. A list of LA 'yard haunts' can be found here.

I wonder what Halloween goodies our new city will have to offer.....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Visit to Wisconsin

Summer in Texas lasts a very long time and finding that by September we've had quite enough of it, we departed for a short trip over the holiday weekend to southern Wisconsin in the hopes to escape the heat. I'd been to Wisconsin once when I was very young and hold almost no memory of it, so with little idea of what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful rolling hills and generally bucolic landscape. Not to mention the perfect weather!Our vacation turned into something of an architectural tour of southern Wisconsin as we visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, the Pabst Mansion, and The House on the Rock, the last of which I suppose is more of an incredibly bizarre experiment in sensory overload than a representation of any particularly well-regarded architecture, although still fascinating in its own unsettling way. Check out the photo gallery on their website to get a better idea of what the place is about - it is so strange and random that I really don't know how to describe it.

As we've been rather hike-starved for months now due to the heat and we lucked out with the beautiful weather in Wisconsin, we made sure to spend a significant amount of time outside. We visited Pewitt's Nest near North Freedom, WI which is a short, but stunning slot canyon in the Baraboo Hills.And for a more rigorous hike we visited Devil's Lake State Park and hiked up the very steep Balanced Rock Trail and back down the equally steep CCC trail.

We had never seen rocks quite so purple on hikes we had done anywhere else. Perhaps this is what "purple mountains majesty" refers to? Although I think our "mountain" would probably be more accurately described as a very grand hill.

We have only to wait a few more weeks before the Texas heat dissipates and we can get outside and explore our new city. I'm looking forward to it and I think our little adventure in the north will tide me over until then.