THE STATE OF WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin state flag features the state coat of arms on both sides against a field of blue (see the Wisconsin state seal), with the the state name of Wisconsin above and 1848 below (the year Wisconsin was admitted to the Union).
Wisconsin designated the diminutive and delicate wood violet (Viola papilionacea) as the official state flower in 1909.
Wisconsin designated the American robin as the official state bird in 1949 (voted on by the school children of Wisconsin in 1926-27). One of America's favorite songbirds, robins are watched for each year as the heralder of spring.
Robins were named by early settlers after the familiar robin red-breast of Europe (a bird with similar markings that is not closely related to the American Robin). The most widespread thrush in North America (because of its adaptation to human-modified habitats), robins are a familiar backyard bird often observed pulling up earthworms on suburban lawns.
The American robin has many vocalizations - rich songs composed of long phrases and "whinny" and "tut" calls. The female is muted in color compared to the male. The American Robin is also the state bird of Michigan, and Connecticut.
The sugar maple was designated the state tree of Wisconsin in 1949. Sometimes called hard maple or rock maple, sugar maple is one of the largest and more important of the hardwoods. Sap from the trunks of sugar maples is used to make maple syrup. Sugar maple trees seldom flower until they are at least 22 years old, but they can also live 300 to 400 years.
THINGS TO DO
Wisconsin produces more than 35 percent of all cheese made in the United States. Much of it is made in small, family-owned and operated cheese factories that specialize in award-winning varieties. They welcome visitors. Tours and observation windows are offered by many cheese makers. Mornings are generally best. Many factories also have a retail outlet so you can sample the cheeses, send some as gifts, or take some home. Be sure to call in advance to confirm the availability of tours or viewing on the date of your visit.
The Harley-Davidson Museum is a North American museum near downtown, Milwaukee, WI, celebrating the more than 100-year history of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. The 130,000-square-foot three building complex on 20 acres along the Menomonee River bank contains more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts from the Harley Davidson Motor Company's 110-year history. The museum attracts an estimated 300,000 visitors annually.
The House On The Rock is the world's most bizarre and vast collection of stuff -- everything from scrimshaw and medieval armor to carousel horses and mechanical music machines -- and all of it may be fake. Or all of it may be real. For many years, the story went that Alex Jordan, Jr wanted to teach Frank Lloyd Wright a thing or two about architecture. Jordan's dad, a budding architect, had been dismissed at Wright's Taliesin home, near Spring Green, with the declaration, "I wouldn't hire you to design a cheese crate or a chicken coop." Soon after, the senior Jordan chose a pinnacle rock south of Taliesin to build a parody of Wright's fancy-pants architecture, a strange "Japanese house." The ceilings were dangerously low and the structure seemed to cling precariously to the odd contours of the rock. The House On The Rock opened to the public in 1959.