I think I can make it to spring.

Other than my Merry Knitalong updates & some belated photos of FOs, I have been a little quiet regarding my latest knitting. I am in that little span of time every couple months when I have some deadline knitting for new class samples and that work, of course, is top secret. I am clicking away though, that is for sure and can’t wait to share those projects!

Today I thought I would share just a couple photographs from our family’s Sunday adventure. In my corner of the world we are in the hardest part of winter. It has been a winter of extremes — yesterday & today we had high temperatures in the 40°F land and are seeing rain & thunderstorms. Tomorrow we are expecting 4-6inches of snow & the day after that the temps are set to plunge below 0. The extremes are new to us, but not the snow & the doldrums that late January and February bring to us are not. This time of year the snow tends to just be dirty & we are all tired of shoveling, it is very cold, and everyone is just ready for spring & sunshine.

This makes it the perfect time to visit the Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee, commonly known around here as ‘The Domes‘.  They are described on their website as:

three beehive-shaped (not geodesic) glass domes, 140 feet in diameter at the base and 85 feet high, offering 15,000 square feet of growing space for plant display

What this translates to in late January in Milwaukee is a breath of fresh air — the tropical, desert & show domes are such a treat this time of year. Really, I can’t express how awesome it is to walk out of the grey landscape that surrounds us (and this weekend was even greyer than normal), shed my calf-length down coat, & see this greenery. I love winter, I really do, but this is just…. it’s good for the soul. As a family we choose the end of January to visit The Domes because it’s this time of year that the show dome hosts its annual train show. Every year is a different theme & they set up model trains throughout a flowery lush green setting. My kids love it so much that we have gone every year for the past three or four years.

As the years pass, it has been really wonderful to see the kids expand their interest from just the train show to the other domes as well. We talk about the plants, look at the birds, and talk about wildlife that lives in the tropics and the desert. I usually come home with an SD card bursting with photos — I have a weakness for the texture plants and flowers offer. This weekend, however, I just brought my camera phone to keep things simple.

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This is from the tropical dome. Green & sunshine!

wpid-IMG_20130127_111642.jpgAnd a little burst of color.

wpid-IMG_20130127_112248.jpgAnd the desert dome. I have never actually visiting a proper desert, but hope to one day. I have always been drawn to the landscape.

wpid-IMG_20130127_112350.jpgI especially love succulents  — these had the most divine, subtle colors.

wpid-IMG_20130127_130255.jpgHere is my girl with her favourite holiday gift — a pink digital camera. Made by Fisher-Price, it is made specifically to withstand the challenges of being handled by a child & actually takes nice photos. She loves taking photos & it helps her to really look at & examine her surroundings.  I think the nut didn’t fall far from the tree here!

I didn’t grab any photos of the train show — I was too busy keeping an eye on my kiddos, but as always the conservatory did a lovely job making it exciting for the kids. This year for the first time my kids got to enjoy a short ride on a train, too – so fun for them! Really, if you are in the area & have little ones definitely bring them out — it runs until March 10.

As I wait for the rain to turn to snow here, I am thankful to have had a short time in the warmth of the tropics and the cool dry landscape of the desert. OK, the tropics were by far my favourite. In fact, I think they the time thawing in that warm, moist air may have refreshed my reserves. Yes, I think now I can make it until spring.