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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – The Letter S

This week, Patti has suggested that any subject starting with the letter S will serve splendidly for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. While strolling around our garden, we see all sorts of subjects starting with S including snapdragons, sedum, sunflowers, scabiosa, snowdrops and squill.

We have also spotted several species of birds, the most common of which is the sparrow, but the sora was a total surprise as it had evidently strayed well off-course.

In summer we see skippers and swallowtails sunning themselves.

And in the fall we may occasionally spot a squirrel snacking on some squash.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Vanishing Point

This week, Cee has chosen Vanishing Point as the theme for her Black & White Photo Challenge. There are several sections of the walk around Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg that provide a ‘vanishing’ perspective. I always wonder what I’ll see when I get to the other end or around the next corner.

The images were captured last year. We are expecting a blizzard this evening and these paths will probably be under several inches of snow by tomorrow so it will be a while before I walk them again.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Patterns in Nature

I’ve been hoping for an opportunity to share these images and this week’s theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Patterns in Nature, seemed to be the ideal spot. They were captured at Cantigny Park in Wheaton last year and although they were growing in a heavily shaded area, the patterns on these plants really caught my eye.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – And Here Comes The Holiday Season

Ho! Ho! Ho! Here comes the holiday season. Amid all the fun and jollity of the holiday season, over the years, we have experienced some epic highs and lows; the birth of one of our grandsons, the arrival of my Mum & Dad from England and the wedding of our eldest daughter last year were some of our happier moments, countered by the time said daughter had her car broken into while visiting and all the Christmas presents in the trunk stolen, same daughter having four wisdom teeth removed the day before she was due to host dinner resulting in the quick transfer of an enormous turkey to our house and finding the oven too small to cope with it, an exploding apple pie that sent shards of glass all over the kitchen (a story for another day) and countless times when the toilet malfunctioned while the house was filled with guests liberally supplied with soda and alcoholic beverages. Which leads me to this year’s debacle.

As I mentioned to a fellow blogger the other day, the only interaction we’ve had with anyone outside the family for most of this year, other than the grocery store cashier, has been with the guys who came to replace our wall oven and cook top, the chaps who put in a new furnace last month and the plumbers who showed up to mend a leaking water pipe in the basement three days ago. While we had them on the spot, we asked them if they would rod out the main sewer line and lo and behold they discovered 20ft of broken pipe.

We had already resigned ourselves to the fact that, because of COVID, we would be spending this Christmas on our own, something unheard of in the history of our family, but the idea that a large section of the garden, that I had worked hard to maintain throughout the year was about to be destroyed was the last straw.

I have to commend the plumbing company for their promptness. They were out here first thing yesterday morning, tearing everything out with a backhoe while I was still in my pajamas. I had hoped to nip out there and see if there was anything I could rescue before they started, but no chance. A beautiful mock orange shrub, whose roots were probably the cause of the trouble, was wrenched out of the ground along with hydrangeas, peonies, irises, daylilies, poppies and dozens of other perennials including next spring’s daffodils and tulips. I told myself I wouldn’t even look out of the window while all this was going on, but I did, and deeply regretted it.

On the bright side, everything in the house is functioning properly, and we can now well and truly say that, at least for us, this year has officially been flushed down the toilet!

Wishing everyone happy and healthy Seasons Greetings and an even brighter New Year. Goodness knows, we could use both!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – You Pick It

This week, Tina says, “You Pick It” for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and my reply would be, “I pick flowers,” but only figuratively speaking. I rarely pick flowers to put in a vase. I’d much rather see them growing in the garden. So, that being the case, here is a bouquet of some of my favorite flower shots taken from way back in the photo archives.