Art on the Door


View from Peninsula State Park (JJacobs photo)
View from Peninsula State Park (J Jacobs photo)

You may be driving up to Door County, WI, a north-easterly finger jutting out into the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, to vacation in charming seaside villages with good shopping, casual eateries, relaxing scenery and outdoor fun such as sailing, golfing, hiking and biking.

However, once you get there you realize after passing several galleries, art studios and numerous potters that Door County is also an art colony.

You can take art classes or try your hand at creating jewelry, glass-like sculpture and ceramics and also visit artists in their studios.

Plus, you should have no trouble finding paintings, pottery, jewelry and glass pieces to take home or give as holiday presents.

Even if you are going to spend most of the vacation exploring, relaxing or playing, you are likely to stop at a gallery.

So, first stop should be the Visitors Center, (Destination Door County) 1015 Green Bay Road, in Sturgeon Bay. It’s on your right before you reach the canal bridge and cross onto the main vacation part of the peninsula.

Pick up the “arts guidebook” (Not in caps) which has an excellent map (but you can also get a larger map at the Center.

Door County Coffee and Teas (J Jacobs photo)
Door County Coffee and Teas (J Jacobs photo)

If you are not staying in Sturgeon Bay you might want to take a latte break at Door County Coffee and Teas, 5773 Hwy 42, Sturgeon Bay (actually Carlsville) before continuing on the peninsula so you can look through the arts guide before checking in to your condo or inn.

Door County Coffee and Teas is where many folks stop when they get to the Door and then when they leave it.

You won’t get to all the places listed in the book. Really.

Here are some favorites:

Plumb Bottom Gallery, Plum Bottom Gallery

4999 Plumb Bottom Rd., Egg Harbor. It’s potter Chad Luberger’s first place and now he and wife, jewelry maker Angerla Olson Luberger, have four galleries.


Hands On studio (J Jacobs photo
Hands On studio (J Jacobs photo

Take a look at the studios on the grounds of Hands On Art Studio, 3655 Peninsula Players Rd, Fish Creek. If you like what you see schedule a time to return and create. I made a piece similar to these which look very much like what I saw later at the Art Institute of Chicago store but anyone could do it.

Edgewood Orchard Galleries

Edgewood Orchard Home – Edgewood Orchard Galleries, 4140 Peninsula Players Rd. Fish Creek. Best if you wore walking shoes because many of the sculptures are on paths through the trees. Leave time to visit the two floors of the main gallery.

Fine Line Designs Gallery and Sculpture Gardens 

Fineline Designs Gallery. 10376 Hwy 42, Sister Bay (actually at Ephraim’s north end). Good gallery but also found fun outdoor items to bring home.

Ellison Bay Pottery  12156 Garrett Bay Rd, Ellison Bay, WI Longtime Door County potter. Call to check hours (920) 854-5049.

While at Ellison Bay Pottery follow the signs to The Clearing, a folk school at 12171 Garret Bay Rd.  The Clearing | The Clearing Folk School. The building and grounds are worth a stop but also ask for the classes and programs brochure. 

Jodie Jacobs





Flower Moon

April full moon (J Jacobs photo)
April full moon (J Jacobs photo)

It may be hard to look up at May’s full moon when it appears on Thursday without thinking of the tragic, multi-nominated, award-winning movie produced and directed by Martin Scorsese and co-written by Eric Roth.

The movie is a true-crime drama. When oil was discovered on the Osage Nation property in Oklahoma during the Flower Moon festival in the 1920s it resulted in several Osage murders by people who wanted their oil rights and property.

As many readers of “Travel Smart with Jodie” know, the full-moon articles often note that the moon names come from different sources ranging from Native American tribes to European countries and reflect what is happening at that time in nature.

Other names are Budding Moon and Leaf Budding Moon (Cree)Planting Moon (Dakota and Lakota).

Except that moon names are annual, this year of 2024, it might also be called the cicada moon because at least in northern Illinois, the 17-year cicadas are just beginning to emerge.

No matter what you want to call the May moon it actually reaches full illumination at 9:53 a.m. EDT, the morning of May 23 but looks full on May 22 and will still look full on May 24. The Old Farmer’s Almanac tells when it is visible where you live on its Moonrise and Moonset Calculator.

Also find more information at Flower Moon: Full Moon in May 2024 | The Old Farmer’s Almanac at May’s full moon is called the Flower Moon ( and Flower Moon Is the Full Moon in May (

Meteor shower tonight


Meteor shower (Photo courtesy of NASA)

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

Look up tonight. The Eta Aquarids, named for the constellation Aquarius from where they seem to radiate, has been shooting stars since April 19 and will continue to do so through May 28 but their peak is this weekend.

They have been known to reach 50 meteors per hour. Although they can be seen in both hemispheres, they are supposed to be easier to catch in the southern hemisphere.

Their parent comet is 1P/Halley but for more information visit Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower 2024 (

Plant a tree or visit Morton Arboretum for Arbor Day


Maybe you were busy when Earth Day rolled around last weekend. The day was April 22 but celebrated in several forest preserves all weekend. Now you have another chance to communicate with nature this Friday, April 26 to plant a tree or otherwise celebrate Arbor Day.

A great place to celebrate Arbor Day is the Morton Arboretum, located in suburban Lisle, IL. The Morton Arboretum is holding plant sales and walking tours but going there is more than just visiting an Illinois treasure. It is perfect for an Arbor Day celebration.


The Lyrids are here


Meteor shower (Photo courtesy of NASA)

(Photo courtesy of NASA)

How to “catch” a falling star? Go outside somewhere without a distracting light, Dress for the weather and be patient.

One of the oldest known meteor showers, the Lyrids, will be peaking tomorrow on Earth Day.  Best is to watch for them late Monday night and very early Tuesday morning.

They tend to average about 18 per hour but have been known to shoot out as many as 100 meteors per hour. However, the moon which is almost full, now, might make the meteors harder to catch.

These meteors are very bright but they move fast. Their velocity is 29 miles (47 kilometers) per second.

The Lyrids started about April 15 and will last until April 29 but the highest number will be seen shooting across the sky before dawn, April 23. 

First reported by the Chinese in 687 BC, the Lyrids’ radiant is Constellation Lyra with C/1861 G1 Thatcher as its comet of origin.

For more information visit EarthSky, NASA Science and Space.

Pink Full Moon not really pink


(JJacobs March 2024 full moon photo)

Look for April’s full moon next week. Peak illumination will be 6:49 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 23,2024.  But even though it is named the Pink Moon, it won’t take on a rosy shade. 

Moon names often reflect what is happening in nature so pink is for the color of the phlox blooms that usually show up in the eastern part of North America in April. 

Called Phlox subulata, it is a creeping or spreading form of the wild flower also called moss phlox. 

Other names for the April moon depend on when in the month it appears full and how close to Easter and Passover or weather changes it happens. So sometimes it is called the Paschal or Egg Moon or the Breaking Ice Moon, Budding Moon and Awakening Moon.

The moon will also look full April 22 and April 24 so if the sky is cloudy you can also capture its fullness the day before and after.

For more information visit The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Time and

Spring events you should know

There’s still time to plan a visit to see Tulip Time in Holland Michigan. ( J Jacobs photos)

The eclipse is here and gone and it was great – maybe beyond most expectations. But there are more interesting and fun events coming this spring.

 First, there are Earth Day walks in your area forest preserves and at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum

Earth Day/s April 21-22

The Lake County Forest Preserves Hasting Lake site, 21155 W. Gelden Rd., Lake Villa, has an Earth Day walk April 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. (Shelter A)

This is a chance to visit and explore an area is the western part of the county you may not have visited before. Its for all ages and no registration is needed but adult supervision is required. (No pets but service dogs ok)

Event includes free, guided hikes and crafts. For more information visit Earth Day: The Official Site | EARTHDAY.ORG

 Chicago Botanic Garden

Also, April 21 at 2.p.m. is a 45 minute guided walk at McDonald Woods in Glencoe, IL (or do your own walk here at any time). There is a choice of a short (1/3 mile or longer loop of a 2/3 mile. (walks canceled if heavy rain) Parking and Garden admission charged for nonmembers. For more information visit Earth Day Walk in McDonald Woods | Chicago Botanic Garden


Tulip Time May 4-12

Then, in early May, tulips will be coloring the downtown landscape, parks and Windmill Island in Holland MI during Tulip Time, the towns, big, annual flower festival. Plus, there are traditional dances to watch and other activities during the fest. Tulip Time is worth the trip so book a B’n’B or hotel and get to know the town, its heritage and visit its wooden shoe factories on the outskirts of downtown. For more information visit Tulip Time.

Adler Planetarium or SIU for Solar Eclipse



Photo from Adler Planetarium Eclipse Exhibit 2017
Photo from Adler Planetarium Eclipse Exhibit 2017


In Illinois, the place to be mid-day April 8 is Carbondale. That is ground zero for the full-totality solar eclipse that crosses the United States in 2024.

The town, home to Southern Illinois University, is holding a multi-day festival that includes a program by Chicago’s Adler Planetarium in SIU’s Saluki Stadium on April 8.

Mokena, IL, a tiny, arts community near Carbondale, is also holding a festival. This is where WGN weatherman Tom Skilling did his broadcast during the 2017 solar eclipse.

But if you live near Chicago and don’t travel down to Southern Illinois, the other place to be in the state is at the Adler Planetarium.

“This one is different from 2017,” said Michelle Nichols, Adler Planetarium Director of Public Observing. (Nichols will be doing the SIU program April 8.

Enumerating the differences, she said, “The direction is different.” After first talking about how it starts over water she said, “This eclipse goes from Mexico to Maine, Southwest to Northeast.” She noted that the 2017 eclipse went from Oregon to South Carolina. (Northwest to Southeast)

(NASA map readers will note the 2024 eclipse enters Canada in Southern Ontario, and continues through Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton and will exit continental North America at Newfoundland’s Atlantic coast.)

“Also, the last was smaller,” said Nichols, explaining that the moon was further. “This is closer and the shadow covers a wider area.”

Another difference is the amount of time the eclipse takes and the area covered.

“This time the moon will be a tiny bit bigger. The shadow will be wider and will take longer in totality,” said Nichols. “In 2017 it was two minutes. This time it will be over four minutes.” she said.

(The maximum length of totality in 2017 was 2 minutes 40 seconds and 4 minutes 28 seconds in 2024.The width of the path of totality in 2017 as about 70 miles and in 2024 it will be about 115 miles.)

“Chicago will go from 12:51 p.m. to 3:22 p.m. with the maximum amount of totality at 2:07 p.m.” she said and added that Chicago would experience 94 percent totality.

Nichols cautioned that safety was very important so the Adler will have solar-appropriate, disposable glasses available on April 8 when it holds a free watching event. “Glasses will be handed out beginning at 11 a.m. until the supply runs out.”

According to Nichols, people who still have their solar glasses from 2017 can use them only if in good shape and not scratched or damaged. (Regular sunglasses won’t work)

Another reason to go to the planetarium is that visitors can watch through telescopes equipped with appropriate filters made with a 3D printer.

“We will have telescopes, about five to ten of them, for people to look through but they don’t have to be up close to the lens. The lens is very wide and they can take a picture of what they see,” she said.

For people watching at home she suggested they make a pin-hole camera with a card to capture the eclipse on paper or the ground so they don’t look at the sun.

Tips: NASA has a time chart of where totality will be when and where. For more eclipse information go to Adler Explore’s Chasing Eclipses. Also visit Enjoy Illinois for Solar Eclipse IL Guide and Solar Eclipse Carbondale and SIU Solar Festival.

 Ed Note: Looking directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing will cause severe eye injury.




Call it the Worm or Paschal Moon


J Jacobs photo)
J Jacobs photo)


Called the “Worm Moon” because beetle larvae started emerging from tree bark as noted by Captain Jonathan Carver back in the 1760s when he visited the Naudowessie (Dakota) and other Native American tribes, the name did not refer to worms coming out of the ground as once supposed.

Some other names, also from Native American tribes, are Eagle Moon, Goose Moon (Algonquin, Cree), Sugar Moon (Ojiibwe) and the Wind Strong Moon (Pueblo).

But depending on when it comes, before or after the Spring Equinox, it is also called the Lenten or Paschal Full Moon. This year, the equinox was March 19, so it’s the Paschal Moon. 

Whatever you want to think of the March’s full moon name, it will be rising early March 25 with peak illumination at 3 a.m. ET but it will appear full this Sunday night, March 24 beginning at sunset. To find the moon rise time in your area go to Almanac. It also will appear full March 26.

Special effects: “Moonbow” and “super illusion”

A Moonbow is similar to a rainbow because it is an arc caused by rain but happening at night with a little bit of moonlight and raindrops.

The full moon’s super illusion is how large it will appear when it is rising at the horizon. For more full moon information visit Old Farmer’s Almanac/Worm Moon, TimeandDate.

However, March 24-25 has another event so as the ads used to say, “But wait.”

EarthSky notes there is another kind of lunar eclipse, the penumbral lunar eclipse which will be happening so the moon may seem to be in a shadow. The moon eclipse happens with a full moon as the sun, Earth and moon are lined up with Earth is in the middle casting a shadow on the moon.

There are three types of lunar eclipses: Total, partial and penumbral, the last of which is happening beginning Sunday.

Translated, that means the greatest part of the lunar eclipse, begun on March 24, will be at 2:12 a.m. CDT March 25 when nearly all of the moon will be inside the Earth’s outer penumbral shadow. Because it is not in Earth’s darker umbral shadow it will appear darkly shaded but not disappear.


Happy Spring


spring flowers (J Jacobs phto)
spring flowers (J Jacobs phto)

We used to think the beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere. began on March 21 but that thinking has changed.

The equinox occurs when day and night have equal amount of time with 12 hours each. But in the spring, there are a few more minutes of daylight at the mid-temperate latitudes on equinox day, March 19, this year. However, the exact time of the March equinox is 11:06 EDT.

Weather and astrological sites such as EarthSky and the Old Farmer’s Almanac estimate 2-2 1/2 minutes more of daylight. But location does matter. The difference can be 8-10 minutes.

For sunrise and sunset in your are visit Almanac rise and set which is currently set for Chicago, IL.

As to when, sunrise is the time that the edge of the sun first touches the eastern horizon. Sunset is when the last edge of sun touches the western horizon.