Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest

Cheri Lucas Rowlands’ choice of topic for this week’s Photo Challenge on The Daily Post, Quest, could not have come at a more opportune time.  More than sixty years ago when I was a young schoolgirl in England, I became the proud recipient of my own library card.   I can remember as clearly as if it were yesterday, the first book that I borrowed with that card.  It was a very old publication on the history of the American Indian Nation. The photographs were probably some of the first ever taken and I was absolutely fascinated by the faces that stared out at me from those yellowing pages.

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wpc-quest-3It became something of a lifelong ambition (or quest, if you will) to one day see something of the American Indian culture.  I don’t pretend that it was an all-consuming passion. I didn’t make a study of it or even pursue it once I came to America but I often thought about that book whenever I saw Native American artifacts or costumes in a museum and when I read that the American Indian Center’s 63rd Annual Chicago Pow Wow was about to take place at a nearby forest preserve in September, I realized that now was the time to make good on that promise I had made myself all those years ago.

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I’ve never been a great one for portrait photography, always feeling rather self-conscious about taking other people’s pictures especially when they are total strangers, but I was determined to make the most of this opportunity, and I have to say I was very pleased with the results.  I hope to share more of these images in upcoming posts.

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For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge on The Daily Post go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/quest/

 

 

Goldfinch Haven

Because we favor a cottage style garden, our home has become a haven for goldfinches. Although their color diminishes during the winter months, as soon as the weather starts to warm up, so do the bright yellow feathers of the male goldfinch and we know that spring can’t be far behind.

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But they may have become rather miffed just lately as we have plans to turn a large part of their territory into a lawn.  Over the past few years, the area behind our house has been taken over by sunflowers and the goldfinches just love it!

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Not that there aren’t plenty of other flowers out there in the garden for them to enjoy, including the purple coneflowers and orange cosmos but they do seem to prefer the sunflowers. Well, sorry guys but that’s all about to change.

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Despite the fact that they have torn our back door screen to shreds, we have still gone out of our way to provide food and nesting materials for these bright little gems but there are times when parts of the garden have to undergo a  makeover and this year it’s the sunflower bed.  So they have been watching the proceedings with keen interest.

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I realize that wildlife is extremely fickle.  The only reason they’re here is for the food, water and shelter that we provide, not because they want to be our pals, but I hope that once the project is complete, they will return and consider this, once again, a goldfinch haven.

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One Word Photo Challenge – Cow

When I saw the subject for Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge this week I couldn’t resist rummaging through the photo files to see if I could come up with something. The topic is Cow and apparently I’ve taken pictures of quite a few over the years.

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The cows coming home at historic Wheeler Farm in Salt Lake City.

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The grass is always greener……. just don’t get your head stuck trying to get through to the other side of the fence.

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Taking it easy and enjoying the sun at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.

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A close encounter at Old World Wisconsin.

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Where else would you expect to see a cow climbing up the wall but in Chicago.

For more on the One Word Photo Challenge hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/09/13/one-word-photo-challenge-cow/

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Eyes

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Eyes so, without further ado, here are a few examples of eyes that looked out at me from my photo files.

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These eyes may look sleepy, but they don’t miss a thing; a lion at Brookfield Zoo.

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Ooooh bunny! What big eyes you’ve got! All the better to find the tastiest snacks available in the garden, my dear.

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An emu, giving me the eye at the Indianapolis Zoo.

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The very prominent eyes of a frog basking in the sun at the Arboretum in Dubuque, Iowa.

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An anxious moment as granddaughter applies a little makeup around the eyes.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/09/13/cees-fun-foto-challenge-eyes/

Whitefish Point And That Song

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Driving home from Mackinac City, through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we stopped off at Whitefish Point to take a look at the lighthouse there.  The oldest operating light on Lake Superior, it looks out over a history of troubled waters.

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On the 10th November, 1975 the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a storm, 17 miles from Whitefish Bay, with the loss of the entire crew of 29.  She was, and still is, the largest ship to have been lost in North America’s Great Lakes.

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The beach at Whitefish point is littered with huge chunks of driftwood, like the bones of some gigantic creature cast up by the waves, but it’s hard to imagine, gazing out at the calm, clear waters of Lake Superior, that the weather could boil up to such an extent that a ship as big as the Fitzgerald could sink amidst 35ft waves. What really happened to the Fitzgerald remains a mystery; no distress signal was ever sent and the bodies of the crewmen were never recovered.

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So the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald passed into legend and that’s where the song comes in.  In 1976, Gordon Lightfoot came out with a catchy little number called The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (or Old Man Gerald, as my grandson refers to it) and it’s one of those songs that, once I get it into my head, I can’t stop playing it, over and over and over!  So naturally, as I stood on the beach at Whitefish Point I started humming that song.  (Very quietly because I wasn’t alone.)

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There were dozens of us, either standing still, gazing out on the waters, or strolling up and down, looking for what, I don’t know.  Some people were gathering pebbles in buckets, others were picking up shells, and the more serious-minded were plying metal detectors no doubt searching for buried treasure, while the seagulls sat soaking up the sun.

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Every once in a while they let out a mournful cry (the seagulls, not the people) and it seemed like they were joining me in a chorus of ‘that song’ as they bobbed up and down on the water.

Oh no!  There it goes again!

 

 

Butterflies

Just a few of the butterflies and moths that we saw at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s ‘Butterflies & Blooms’ exhibit this year. Our grandchildren love visiting this place and are amazingly cautious as they walk along the paths, careful not to step on any of the butterflies that land there.

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I wish I could tell you the names of these beauties but as usual I’m too busy taking pictures to read the signs.  The exhibit is closed now but I imagine it will be open again next year when the weather warms up.  Something to look forward to over the coming winter months.

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Every time I think I’ve seen a garden at its best, it amazes me by outdoing itself.  The blooms at the Green Bay Botanic Gardens this summer were absolutely breathtaking!

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The daylilies were just gorgeous! And so many different varieties!

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The Cottage Garden is always my favorite spot. All the flowers seem to be jostling for attention, pushing themselves to the forefront, clamoring to be photographed and I’m only too happy to oblige.

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