This week, Amy has chosen something Unique as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours with the butterflies at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and, rather like snowflakes, it seems as though every one is slightly different. And they feel like snowflakes too, whispering past my arms and neck, giving me those butterfly kisses just like my mother used to brush against my cheeks with her eyelashes when I was a child.
And there is definitely some butterfly hanky panky going on in here. What I at first take to be one very large, oddly-shaped butterfly turns out to be two having a good time in the afternoon sun. And there are more of them at it a little further along the path.
I wonder if it’s the rotting fruit that is driving them sex mad? There seems to be a constant flow of visitors to these colorful trays of tempting delicacies, including a butterfly that looks strangely like an autumn leaf.
Whatever the reason, the butterflies are extremely active, the air is full of them fluttering around. It’s a strange thing but although moths usually send me running for the exits or screaming for assistance in the house, butterflies are welcome to land on my shoulder or, like this one, catch a ride on my camera bag.
Each one of these little gems is a unique creation of nature, living a brief, gaudy life, distributing butterfly kisses and filling the hearts of young and old alike, with joy.
Here is my second entry for Becky’s Spiky Squares photo challenge. One of the best places to study nature in the Chicago area during the winter months is the Field Museum and this has to be one of their earliest exhibits; those giant battling African elephants with their pointy tusks. We had a great family day out there on Saturday.
I’m currently in the midst of a lengthy and ultimately expensive dental procedure, so what does my husband get me for Valentine’s Day? A large chocolate bar liberally laced with chunks of toffee. He means well, bless him, and we must be doing something right. We’ve been married for just over 46 years! Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
This week, the subject for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge is horns and, as I discovered when I went through the photo files, they come in all shapes and sizes.
The only longhorn that we saw in Texas was this one, stuffed and mounted, on display outside a restaurant in San Antonio.
Personally, I’m always happy to have a fence between me and any animal that has horns like either of these two critters.
One close encounter with a bison in South Dakota was more than enough for me. This one was safely lounging in an enclosure at Brookfield Zoo.
These are some of the prettiest horns I’ve seen, belonging to an addax antelope, also at Brookfield Zoo.
And last but not least, some impressive horns on an energetic goat waiting for food to be delivered on a pulley system at a farm in Lowell, Indiana. The grandkids had a great time sending up bucket after bucket.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Horns.
With the temperature at -3F and a wind chill factor of -30F, all I can do is dream of warmer days at the Chicago Botanic Garden. But as my dear old Mum, ever the optimist, always used to say, “Never mind, dear! We’re one day closer to Spring.”
In view of all the dreary, grey days that we’ve experienced recently, it’s sometimes hard to believe that the sun has actually put in an appearance from time to time. One such occurrence presented itself last week and I took advantage of the opportunity to go for a walk around Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.
The one slippery spot that I came across during this trek was the observation deck that overlooks the pond, but luckily I had hold of the railings otherwise I might have had difficulty obeying the sign.
The Volkening Heritage Farm area is closed until March1st (unless you call ahead to gain admittance) but, leaning over the gate that blocks off the path, I got a good view of the horses enjoying some welcome sunshine outside the barn.
There were quite a few people at the Center, parents with their children, photographers, nature lovers and walkers, all making the most of the relatively fine weather, as the footprints on the paths and trails attested. We were all smiling, clearly pleased with the way the day was going and obviously hoping that the sun would continue to shine down on us, at least for another hour or two.
The sun stayed out at least long enough for us to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Now we are back to cloudy skies and the threat of snow later on today, but looking on the bright side, this may present us with more photo opportunities.