Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Another gloomy, rainy day here, so thought I'd share another pic to remind us that better -- not to mention warmer and sunnier -- days are ahead.

Spring on the Capitol Square here in Madison means tulips. Lots and lots of tulips. They line the walkways to the major entrances, and fill huge planters on two of the main corners (another corner sports a policemans' memorial filled with pansies and the fourth corner is curently under construction). This picture was taken during a visit to the Saturday Dane County Farmer's Market on April 29, the second market of the season.

Madison hosts one of the largest open air farmer's markets in the USA every Saturday (6am-1pm) from April into October, drawing about 20,000 people each weekend, and was recently mentioned in the March/April issue of Midwest Living magazine. This time of year it's mostly bedding plants and a few hothouse veggies, as well as fresh cheeses, jams and jellies, baked goods and natural crafts such as dried flower wreaths and bees wax candles.

Later in the season the Square will be overcrowded with people in search of the best bargains for homegrown fruits and veggies -- tomatoes of all sorts, salad greens, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, carrots, radishes, cauliflower, eggplants, peppers of all kinds... Fresh cut flower bouquets will scent the air, mingling with herbs, spices and assorted bakery goods. As summer fades to autumn there will be corn on the cob, apples of every variety, fresh apple cider, pumpkins and different types of squash. Though many vendors reserve the same booth space all season long, others rotate depending on how early or late in the season it is, and what their farm produces. Nurseries are more prominent in the spring, while fruit orchards dominate in the fall.

From across the Square will drift the forlorn sound of a bagpiper outside the Irish pub, or the sound of kids jamming on bongo drums on a nearby corner, or a college student playing violin and hoping for a few bucks to make ends meet. The drummers and violinist will drift down to State Street in the afternoon, hoping to entertain the masses there.


Jana said...

'Nother gorgeous pic. I love tulips. :-)

And Madison sounds like such a cool place to live. I tell you. If I ever decide to leave the south I'm heading up that way! hehehe

Heather said...

Thanks, Jana!

I'm actually not that fond of tulips - I much prefer Daffodils, tyvm - but have to admit that the sea of tulips surrounding the Capitol in the spring is gorgeous.

And you would DEFINITELY love the Farmer's Market and Madison in general. Lots to see and do around here.