Backyard garden beds, July 9, Racine, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin — Our backyard garden beds, nearing the halfway point of the growing season: Raised bed (based on a raised bed plan from Sunset magazine) with marigolds, English lavender, snapdragons, rosemary, parsley, and sage. Heirloom tomato beds with basil and...

Red Admiral butterfly, purple coneflower, Racine

Racine, Wisconsin — Dorsal view of a Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) as it feeds on a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). We saw an abundance of Red Admirals here in early July.

Air Force One from Racine, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin — Air Force One, as seen from Lake Ave. near 7th St. outside Memorial Hall, about 90 minutes before President Obama's town hall meeting there.

Belle City logo on antique threshing machine

Brighton, Wisconsin — 1915 Belle City threshing machine (see the story and video) displayed during the 2010 Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast at Crane Dairy, This threshing machine, along with other farm equipment, was manufactured by the Belle City Manufacturing Company...

Ian graduates 8th grade, St. Joseph, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Kenosha, Wisconsin — Our nephew, Ian Thrasher, graduates from eighth grade at St. Joseph Interparish Junior High School, shaking hands with keynote speaker and St. Joe's alum Lisa Halverson. Our great nieces' grandpa, dean Doug Reindl, masters the ceremony from the...

Alfalfa mulch on garden beds, Racine, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin — After reading about Ruth Stout in Jerry Minnich's Wisconsin Garden Guide, we have used alfalfa hay for garden mulch with good results. We buy it from a farm just across the interstate and, where necessary, run it through the lawn mower to make it...

Scarlet Tanager in our mulberry tree, Racine, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin — This is the first Scarlet Tanager I have seen in the five years we have lived here. The mulberry tree has only recently flowered, so it's too early for fruit. The bird flitted from branch to branch for about five minutes, then flew off.

Best fish fry: Wegner’s St. Martins Inn, Franklin, Wisconsin

Franklin, Wisconsin — Our friend Mary Jean enjoys the Friday fish fry at Wegner's St. Martins Inn restaurant (11318 West St. Martins Rd,), where dinner includes beer-battered fried fish (haddock), coleslaw, and Miller's famous marbled rye bread. Wisconsin's fish fry...

Red Jewel Crabapple tree, iced

Racine, Wisconsin — A Red Jewel Crabapple tree (Malus x 'Red Jewel') covered with hoarfrost on a cold Wisconsin morning. This crabapple tree is one of a pair planted as part of the City of Racine's Street Tree Planting program. Butterflies on flowering crabapple tree...

First Culver’s restaurant monument: Sauk City, Wisconsin

Sauk City, Wisconsin — Monument marking the location of the first Culver's restaurant at 716 Phillips Blvd. It reads: The George Culver family opened the original Culver's Frozen Custard Restaurant on this site July 18, 1984. The current restaurant opened April 27,...

Frogmore Stew recipe: Low Country shrimp boil

Our Frogmore Stew recipe. Frogmore Stew is a "Low Country boil" from the area of Beaufort, South Carolina featuring shrimp, corn, smoked sausage (kielbasa), potatoes, onions, and Old Bay seasoning. We use andouille sausage and Yukon Gold potatoes — not exactly the...

Chicken kebabs on the grill

Racine, Wisconsin — Grilling chicken kebabs for dinner in our backyard on our Weber One-Touch Silver Kettle Grill. Besides chicken, the skewers are loaded with red onion, tomatoes, green pepper, and mushrooms.

Collector’s Edge Comics, Bay View, Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — Collector’s Edge Comics, at 2330 S Kinnickinnic Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood, boasts the largest selection of comics and graphic novels in Wisconsin. They buy, they sell, and this Bay View comic book shop is one of four locations.

Hi-Fi Cafe restaurant, Bay View, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — The Hi-Fi Cafe at 2640 S Kinnickinnic Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood. This perky neighborhood joint's MySpace motto is "Great Coffee — Great Food — Great Jukebox," and both the eclectic music on their vintage jukebox and their coffee...

Alchemist Theatre, Bay View, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — The Alchemist Theater and Lounge, at 2569 S Kinnickinnic Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood. The Alchemist's show schedule includes several sketch and improv comedy offerings.

Lonefeather Trading Post, Bay View, Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — According to the "Q10" column at the Bay View Compass, you can buy "walking sticks, canes, tomahawks, war clubs, bows and arrows, prayer sticks, turquoise jewelry, medicine wheels, dreamcatchers, wild rice mandalas, ceremonial pipes, chain-sawed...

100,000 Parts Company, Bay View, Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — 100,000 Parts Company, at 2373 S Kinnickinnic Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood. The window signs advertise appliance parts: Commercial cooking gas valves, pilots, thermostats, and controls; WCI, Gibson, Tappan, Frigidaire, Westinghouse,...

Sugar Maple bar, Bay View, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — The Sugar Maple bar, at 441 E. Lincoln Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood, features 60 American craft beers on tap. Read more about the Sugar Maple at, or follow thesugarmaple on Twitter.

Wild Flour Bakery & Cafe, Bay View, Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin — The Wild Flour Bakery and Cafe at 422 E Lincoln Ave. in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood. Wild Flour Bakery & Cafe sells artisan breads, muffins, barrista coffees, and sandwiches, and they also do catering.

Baseball game: Sheridan Park, Cudahy, Wisconsin

Cudahy, Wisconsin — Sheridan Park baseball diamond at the corner of S Lake Dr. and E. Armour Ave., kitty-corner from Rick Serocki's house with the Cadillac buried in the front yard. Seen here on the field are the Cardinal Stritch University Wolves, who play their...

Hamburglar, Captain Crook: Cudahy, Wisconsin backyard

Cudahy, Wisconsin — A Hamburglar statue and Captain Crook from McDonaldland, plus a large shark and a Milwaukee Harp street light are a few of the unusual objects displayed in the Cudahy back yard of Rick Serocki at 4531 S Lake Dr.

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