03 April 2011

Let the Bye-byes Begin

Milwaukee, we have to admit, has its charms, though few and far between they may be--at least for us.  In acknowledgement of this we have, under the category of "regret minimization," compiled a list of places we want to go and things we want to see before we say "fare thee well" to this part of the world.

exotic specimens--for now
One of the items on our list is the Mitchell Park Conservatory, a.k.a. "The Domes" named for the triple geodesic dome-shaped structures in which are housed various biospheres.  We have turned this into an annual pilgrimage at about this time for each of the past several years.  Our trips generally coincide with that discrepant period between calendrical and actual spring, when we become driven to distraction by our need for warmth and humidity and green--signs of life that the out-of-Domes world won't produce for weeks yet.

Since it was time for our therapeutic visit, anyway, we decided to make it the first item to check off of our "Milwaukee Bye-bye List."

The Desert Dome seemed more lush than we'd remembered.  But since we never track exactly when we go, we couldn't decide whether it was because we'd hit it at a more verdant time of year or because they'd remodeled.  It was warm, but a little dry, as deserts are wont to be and we made a mostly obligatory trip around the path and moved on.

The Show Dome featured "Garden Railways," a model railroad system that can be installed in pre-existing gardens.  An enhancement to any garden for the model railroad afficionado; a desecration of perfect landscape design for the gardener.

We saved the best for last--the Tropical Dome.  This is where we live and breathe and will be in less than a year.  It is Wonkaland to the winter-weary.  I remarked to Jane (as surely I do every time we walk through it)  that with but one or two exceptions in the entire 9 years I've lived here, I have found no one who hates, hates, HATES winter as much as do we.  Good for them, I guess.  They have found or were lucky enough to have been born into a world suited to their climatic tastes.  Not us.  True to our name, we hibernate after a fashion during the winter months.  No unnecessary outdoor excursions, no commencing new projects, not even a reasonable job of upkeep; just waiting for the sun and warmth to return.

But not for very much longer...  We will not see another whole winter here--or anywhere--ever again.

Slowly, unenthusiastically, we left the Tropical Dome.  Back into the cooler air of the outer building followed by the colder air of the outside.  It was sunny at least.  It does help some.

And so our good-bye visits begin.  Here is the list in its entirety.

Modified as of 8 September, 2011