Goodbye March – Hello April

One of the last things I did in March was to visit Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.  I stopped on the way to visit the elk in Elk Grove Village and while I was there, almost stumbled over a nest of garter snakes.

When I arrived at Spring Valley the sun was shining although it was rather chilly, and one of the first things I noticed was that it looked as though they had been burning off some of the old growth in the field.

The smell of burning was quite strong so I figured it must have happened recently and I wondered what the chances of spotting any wildlife in the area would be.  No worries! I got a nice close-up view of a water rat over by the pond.

And a little bit further along the bank I spotted this creature (not sure exactly what it was, and would welcome any suggestions.) It was very skittish and didn’t keep still for long so I was only able to get a quick shot.

Meanwhile, over at the farm, the horses and cows were enjoying the sunshine.

I was right about the controlled burning. As I was returning to the parking lot I spotted smoke rising from the far side of the trail and, hurrying in that direction, I managed to capture the last of the day’s work.

It’s rather scary to see how rapidly the fire spreads but with the experts on hand to keep things under control I felt quite safe and the fire quickly went from a raging inferno to a few wisps of smoke and some dying flames.

So with that, I said goodbye to March and today it’s Hello April. With not much sun and chilly temperatures in the forecast for the coming week I don’t anticipate doing much in the way of photography for the next few days.  But there are signs of hope in the garden.  Just a few colorful crocus shivering in a cold wind.  Come on April! Let’s see what you can do!

Thanks for choosing this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy!

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38 thoughts on “Goodbye March – Hello April

  1. Oh, no… a nest of garter snakes, then fire. Scary scene of the fire spreads.
    Love the photos of the horse and cows. Early spring flowers are just so beautiful!
    Thank you, Sue for joining in! 🙂

  2. I’m so very ready for April and warmer weather! As to that creature my guess might be something in the weasel family. There are a lot of possibilities within this species but it has the characteristic face of that type of animal.

  3. Lovely photos, Sue. What a lot of animals you saw. The little rat is adorable. It must have been a happy day for the snakes, who could expect a few mice to pass by fleeing the fire. I don’t know North American animals, but is it possible that the little brown fellow is a mink? I bet the cows and horses are looking forward to green pastures.

  4. Looks like you found a mink! There used to be a mink farm in Cary, where I used to live, I heard. Snakes coming out of hibernation is a great find, too. Happy Spring!

    • I must admit that I was rather nervous when they started slithering towards me (even though I knew they weren’t poisonous.) I think they were as curious about me as I was of them. They were still there a week later when I went back to check them out and they came up so close I couldn’t get them in focus with the camera. I’ve come to the conclusion that they were fascinated by my bootlaces (a possible source of food. I know they enjoy a good earthworm occasionally.)

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