After a brutal summer and early autumn of necessary trips, events, and guests, my husband and I just wanted to get away for a few days of tranquil beauty and no responsibility. An intense web search finally yielded a bed and breakfast that was available and looked inviting to us. We went for it! It's called the Life o' Riley Farm Bed and Breakfast and is owned by Mike and Jean Murphy.
Upon arriving, we found a dragon statue on the porch rail and lots of books with very New Age sounding titles, neither of which appealed to us, but everything else about the place was absolutely perfect and lovely. We had our own beautiful guesthouse complete with kitchen and stocked with farm grown and Jean-baked goodies to eat and cook with, and we could wander anywhere we wanted to on the spectacularly scenic property. We were happy.
Mike Murphy had built the guesthouse, called the Granary, and recycled wood from the actual granary that had previously occupied the location. He'd built other things around the place also, and I was quite impressed with his skill. Jean's decorating skills made the guesthouse cozy and comfortable.
In the morning we began our exploration adventures on the property. We drove up to one of the farm's quarries, and I took photos of a rock outcropping and the valley below. Following a breakfast of scrambled eggs seasoned with chives, garlic, and parsley, and topped with sautéed veggies (I cooked), plus caraway rye bread and cinnamon rolls, my granola (Jean had provided some also), farm fresh milk, and apple juice, we headed out in the car to explore.
We wandered in and out of every hollow we could find, enjoying the color of the forests, the streams, the rock outcroppings, the topographic relief of ridges and valley floors. We loved how the land would drop away from the ridges into tree filled valleys and the narrower hollows. The driftless region exudes a sense of closeness and privacy nestled in tranquil beauty.
We stopped at the Boscobel boat landing on the Wisconsin River. The river flows along its floodplain with high bluffs on either side, on some of which are exposed rock outcroppings. At the boatlanding, the view of the bluffs across the river includes a place where someone had set up three white crosses on a rock ledge. The boatlanding itself was a photogenic spot that was not being used by anyone else at the time. We stayed there awhile.
Eventually we headed back to the farm, where we decided to walk the trail up toward the top of the ridge. We found an old quarry that Mike and Jean had told us about, where they had set up a nice area for guests to hang out. It included a grill, a fire pit, a picnic table, and lots of chairs. On a warmer night it would have been a great place to hang out with a set of binoculars and study the stars. We didn't. I took a lot of photos of the valley below, the farm buildings, and the rock ledge backdrop of the quarry.
The next morning we prepared to go home. It was a gray day, unlike the crystal brilliance of the preceding day. We didn't move too quickly; it was hard to leave our little haven.
The trip home was gray and misty, sometimes rainy, still beautiful. We took a scenic route so we could visit the vegetable seller on the corner of highways 21 and 13 and buy many sacks of potatoes. I took more photos capturing what's beautiful about the driftless region: valleys dropping away from ridges, the river road, rocky bluffs. We crossed the Wisconsin River on the Merrimac Ferry, then drove through the Baraboo Hills. I was amazed that any of these photos turned out, as most were shot along highways in our moving vehicle, often through a dirty windshield. My last decent shot was the descent into Baraboo from the hills above.
High resolution prints of all my photos, in the sizes listed below, matte finish, are available for purchase. I'm not a professional photographer, therefore, not very pricey. Please use the following PayPal shopping cart to order prints. PayPal membership is not required. Please allow 3 - 4 weeks delivery, as I'll order prints upon purchase.
To order, please place your pointer on the photo(s) you want. A pop-up caption will appear. Enter the caption information into the PayPal shopping cart for each photo selected. Thank you.
4 X 5.3 inch prints (proportional for digital photos, but might require custom frame). $6.00 USD, includes shipping, USA only.
4 X 6 inch prints (standard size for frames, but top/bottom of photo will be lost, to fit paper). $6.00 USD, includes shipping, USA only.
5 X 7 inch prints. $9.00 USD, includes shipping, USA only.
8 X 10 inch prints (proportional for digital photos, but might require custom frame). $12.00 USD, includes shipping, USA only.
MY PUBLICATIONS AND PRODUCTS
"COILED ART WITH PINE NEEDLES-REVISED EDITION" This book is for beginners as well as experienced coilers who want to learn more. It includes all the original Coiled Art text, including Basics for Beginners, the stitch glossary, lids, inserts, handles, loops, beading, shaping, everything. Booklet: $10.50 includes shipping. How to order.
"COILED ART WITH PINE NEEDLES AND RAFFIA" Covers everything from beginner to most advanced techniques. Very thorough and complete. Compilation of my original publications plus more. Many illustrations. Booklet: SOLD OUT - no longer available. Purchase "Revised" instead..
"BIRCH BARK QUILL BOX PRIMER" All the basics thoroughly explained, with illustrations and templates. Booklet: $6.50 includes shipping. How to order.
GORGEOUS BASKET JEWELRY: Gemstones in gold filled settings for your coiled baskets. Prices vary. How to order.
Iris Teneriffe Pattern: Explanation and diagrams for weaving the iris. How to order.
Illustrated coiling pattern: $4.00 includes shipping. How to order.
Lake Superior Agate Inserts - click for pricing. Agate photos and information.
Various Gemstone and Mineral Inserts - click for pricing. Gemstone and mineral photos and information.
Reed and Coiled Basket Patterns: Various patterns for reed and coiled baskets. How to order.
Order by Mail
Order by PayPal, including credit card, and membership no longer required.
Order by credit card non-PayPal online only.
Southern Longleaf Pine Needles.
Download PDF Catalog
Web design copyright 1999-2017 by M.L. Arnoldussen. All rights reserved.