Note: This is an unpaid, unsolicited, unapproved endorsement. The 77th State Assembly District is the seat currently held by Rep. Spencer Black who is not running for re-election.
First up, let me point out out that I don't actually live in the 77th State Assembly District. It ends directly across the street from me. So all my friends and neighbors will be voting in the 77th, while I will be voting in the 78th. But it's a race I can't ignore because its outcome will affect all of us regardless of where we live.
This being the west side of Madison, it's a given that the real race here is between Ben Manski, the Green Party candidate, and Brett Hulsey, former Dane County Board Supervisor and the Democratic Party candidate. If, like me, you've heard Ben and Brett speak or read their stands on important issues, there is no contest. Manski reminds me of a young Bob La Follette or Russ Feingold or Gaylord Nelson. He is a born and bred Wisconsinite who has chosen to remain in his home town and home state. Now he's chosen to run for elected office to help make Wisconsin the progressive leader it once was.
ANDY MANIS/MANSKI FB PHOTO ALBUM
Since his student days, Manski has been involved in the wider world of ideas and action. I first met him in the early 1990s when he was a member of The Capital Times High School Advisory Board. He impressed us then, and he so impressed his teachers that the teachers' union (Madison Teachers Inc.) has endorsed him — the first time in their history that they have endorsed a third party candidate. Manski has also been endorsed by The Capital Times and by two of the candidates who ran against Hulsey in the Democratic primary.
To find our more about Manski, check out his web site — it's well-designed, easy to use, can be accessed in English or Spanish and is filled with Manski's thoughtful positions on the issues. From what I've seen and know of Manski, he's an innovator, already a leader at a young age; someone who will take a stand and do what's best for Wisconsin — not what's easy, popular or best for him. Two examples:
Manski helped to draft Rep. Black’s “Safeguard the Guard Act,” a bill designed to ensure that National Guard members are only sent into harm’s way following a lawful authorization of Congress. As a member of the legislature, Manski will work to see this bill passed.
Manski has pledged to renew former "Rep. Midge Miller's advocacy for the Wisconsin Equal Rights Amendment, protecting the rights of all, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender, including the right to marry," according to his web site.
I expect to see our state once again living up to its motto — "Forward" — with Manski in the State Assembly. A vote for Manski is a vote for all of us in Wisconsin.
You can find Madison voter information here and a map of the 77th Assembly District here. Don't be confused by the map; the entire green portion is District 77.
The hidden benefit of house guests is that you almost always go exploring in your hometown — something most of us never get around to doing without the excuse of visitors. Mark — along with guest/friend/fellow gardener and blogger Julie Siegel — spent a recent Sunday afternoon exploring the UW-Madison Arboretum and the Jens Jensen-designed Glenway Children's Park, while I was working.
These photos of the Arb give you a sense of what a wonderful natural area we have available to us right in the heart of the city.
The photo below is the view in the opposite direction of the image above. It's right next to a high traffic roadway that has the saving grace of this historic house.
Much of the foliage in the Arboretum was showing subdued fall color, except for this always amazing Black Tupelo tree whose leaves turn a shining lipstick red.
Usually I am the person who takes plant notes while Mark shoots the photos. This time Mark and Julie were each taking pictures and having trouble locating identification tags. Thus I can't tell you exactly which Hydrangea this is — even though Julie crawled right inside of it in hopes of finding its name!
The tree bark above is also unknown but the two images below are a Euonymus according to the tags Mark saw.
Last year when I wrote about the locust leaves on our pond, Greenbow's Lisa Bowman left a very evocative haiku as her comment. It summed up the situation so perfectly that I squirreled it away to use this year. And I did — as my contribution to a "zine" conceived by Martha Browne of Nibsblog. Martha generously invited me to participate, but I admit I had no real idea of what the finished product might be.
My tiny treasure arrived in the mail earlier this week: diminutive images from assorted bloggers in an equally small book with stitching details and ribbon ties to hold it closed. It came packaged with leaves and seeds and samaras — autumn souvenirs from out east where Martha lives. But knowing Martha — albeit just from her blog and our emails — I was not surprised at how creative and charming a product it turned out to be in reality.
The photo I submitted (taken by Mark, of course) was reminiscent of the ones of leaves and lilies I posted on Wednesday. Since there were two of us for my submission, Martha put our names on one page and the photo and text on the following page.
Lisa's accompanying haiku is below:
blanket of lilies
mingling with fallen leaves
autumn colored pond
Note: if you look at the first picture you can get an idea of the size of the zine from the Maple seed (samara) in the photo.
Our garden continues to be carpeted with these lovely little locust leaves. This year they've provided more drama than any other tree. The warmer weather — coupled with a serious lack of rain — has kept most of our show-stopper trees from coloring up. And then last weekend, the pond gave us one last memorable moment before the temps dropped: three water lilies simultaneously blooming!
I'm strictly an ornamental gardener; you'll find no edibles here except for a few herbs for cooking. Nevertheless it's been a banner year for our windfall crop: black walnuts. Neighbors on two sides of our garden have black walnut trees; we share in the soil toxicity and the nuts.
You can hear them ricochet like bullets off the fences and teahouse roof — except for those that plop into the pond. Luckily I haven't been hit by one. I can only imagine what it must feel like, knowing how painful a mere pinecone on the noggin can be.
Half-buried in the pine needle paths, the walnuts are still hazardous. More than once I've come close to falling when I stepped on one because they unexpectedly move and roll.
This year the walnuts are falling in rapid-fire spurts and clumps: four, six, eight at a time. The flower beds are full of them. I actually counted 18 black walnuts in and under a large Royal Standard Hosta.
Everyday more are caught in the pebbles between the stepping stones, and in every other corner and cranny the critters can find to secret them away.
This year, when all our energy has been focused on our indoor remodeling projects, I've just picked up the walnuts and disposed of them with the garbage. I love the flavor of black walnuts but rarely cook with them because they're so expensive — and here I am throwing them away!
Since this annual bounty is mine for the taking, I am determined to be prepared next fall with a plan and the right tools to deal with the walnut crop.
But frankly, I haven't a clue how or where or when to begin. If any of you have experience doing more than throwing black walnuts away, I'd be grateful for any tips, advice, words of wisdom or warnings you're willing to share.
When Pam Penick, of the blog Digging, visited our garden in early September she remarked on my clumps of Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra), noting she couldn't grow it in her Austin, TX garden. I was surprised but also secretly gratified since I am always envious of the gorgeous Sedums and Agaves she grows. So here are the three variations on forest grass that I am currently growing in honor of Foliage Follow-Up, the meme that Pam sponsors on the day after GBBD.
Hosta 'Inniswood' — obviously not a grass — but the perfect foil for fine foliage.
Hosta 'Inniswood' with Hakonechloa macra solid green
Hakonechloa macra 'All Gold'
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' (above and below).
As you can see from this image, Japanese forest grass looks best if you plant it on a gentle slope where its cascading habit is most evident.
The blooming season is rapidly winding down in our northern garden, but there are still sweeps of blossoms scattered about. The flowers range from the most common (pinky-white wands of Heuchera villosa 'Brownies' and Corydalis lutea) to the more unusual (Tricyrtis macrantha, T. hirta 'Tojen,' and T. hirta) and back again to the basics (unknown purple Aster and Cimicifuga racemosa 'Brunette' going to seed).
Thanks as always to Carol of May Dreams Gardens who initiated and continues to host GBBD. Check out what's blooming today in other gardens around the world here.
Saturday is the last day for bulk scoops of Olbrich's leaf mulch. Get a jump on winter (and spring) by putting down a nice thick layer of this yummy stuff. See details here and see Mark work below.
A number of plants used to decorate Olbrich’s Fall Quilt and Flower Show, such as mums, asters, ornamental cabbage, sage, and dianthus, will be on sale Monday, October 18, from 12 to 4 p.m., or while supplies last. The sale will also include perennials, shrubs, and tropical plants used at Olbrich. Some are potted for sale, while others are divisions from plants in the outdoor gardens. All plants are in limited quantities and are available while supplies last.
The sale will be held in Olbrich’s Atrium and adjoining terrace. Cash or check preferred, but credit cards also accepted. For more information call 608-246-4550 or visit Olbrich's web site. Proceeds as usual benefit the Gardens.