Autumn In The Valley

It seems like autumn has only just begun but, the way time seems to fly by, I thought I’d better pay a visit to Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg before fall turned to winter.

Water levels were rather low on the pond. Up until this week we hadn’t had much in the way of rain and all the water lilies had died off but there were still lots of frogs to be seen.

I’d noticed a heron standing on the shoreline some distance away and was trying to get him in focus when a disturbance broke out a little nearer to me. A beaver had been swimming between the water’s edge and the lodge in the middle of the pond when all of a sudden a hawk swooped down and attacked it. The resulting pictures are not that clear but I thought I’d include some of them anyway. The hawk made several attempts to get at its prey, returning to nearby branches to regroup and try again, but eventually it gave up and flew off.

I took my cue from the hawk and walked to the other end of the pond where I watched two very small turtles trying to climb up on to a log and then not quite knowing what to do once they got there. They were being watched by a much bigger turtle who sat looking on with a rather superior air.

From there I went on to the farm where all was quiet except for the sound of two cows munching at the grass.

It seemed to me, upon reflection, that most of the action that day was taking place on the pond and, afraid that I might miss something, I headed back there, and had I not been so preoccupied, faffing about taking umpteen pictures of frogs, I might have captured something more than a shot of the beaver’s backside as it swam away from a spot where I usually sit by the water’s edge.

Oh well! You can’t win ’em all, and if I’ve learned anything about wildlife photography it’s that you have to be in the right place at the right time. The church bell was chiming the hour. Time for tea, so like the catterpilar, I hurried home.

17 thoughts on “Autumn In The Valley

    • I was surprised to see this too, Tom. It was a huge bird and usually when I’ve seen them, if they miss their target they just fly off and try somewhere else but this one stayed quite a long time and made several attempts. I was even more surprised that the beaver didn’t just dive underwater but it didn’t seem too bothered as you can see in the first picture.

  1. Thank you, Sue for the enjoyable walk of this beautiful valley. I love these frog photos, so cute. Birds and turtles are happy there. I really love the catterpilar capture!

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