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Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow

The subject for The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post is shadow and, while I have plenty of pictures that have shadows incidental to the overall image, I don’t seem to have taken many where the shadow was the focal point. This was the best I could manage.  For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge, which this week was set for us by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/shadow-2017/

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A toad contemplates its shadow at a local nature center.

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Two barns, one at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the other at Old World Wisconsin, patterned by shadows from nearby trees.

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Littlest grandson keeping a close eye on his shadow during an early April walk at Spring Valley.

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The ‘pergola effect’ shown here at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, the gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville SC and the Rose Garden at Cantigny in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Trees in autumn cast long shadows at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Crawling and Flying

Cee is certainly putting us through our paces as she has us crawling and flying for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge.  For some, like this great blue heron taking off into the sunrise just outside Mackinac City, flying comes naturally…..

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while most of us need a little help, like this plane coming in for a landing at O’Hare Airport in Chicago………

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And others just launch themselves down a hill and hope for the best, like this ski jumper in Fox River Grove.

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Crawling takes a bit of practice, as our granddaughter demonstrates.  How quickly they grow up!  Now she’s swimming, bike riding and doing gymnastics.

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And here’s something we found crawling up the wall at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center in Ashland, Wisconsin.

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For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/02/07/cees-fun-foto-challenge-crawling-or-flying/

Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitude

Solitude.  Even when you’re not alone you can feel a sense of solitude, as I’m beginning to discover as I get older.  I always find this picture of my mother, sitting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, rather poignant.  Although she lived with us and was very rarely on her own, I knew that she felt lonely.  Most of her contemporaries had already died and she was far away from a place that she had known as home for almost seventy years.  When she passed away a few years ago, she left me with my own kind of solitude, taking with her shared memories of people, places and events that no one else but me remembers.

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Sometimes, even when you’re standing right next to a crowd of people, you can feel like you’re the only person on earth.

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Arches Nation Park in Utah.

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The Badlands in South Dakota.

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

Halloween Challenge – Graveyard

The subject for Jennifer Nichole Wells’ Halloween Challenge today is graveyard.  It’s difficult for me to think of cemeteries as spooky. Part of the Sunday routine when I was a very small child was a morning walk with my father that often took us through the local cemeteries in London.  He would point out all the beautiful monuments and would read the inscriptions on the headstones. Many of the people interred there were famous and my father’s stories about them were fascinating.   Now, very often when we visit a place for the first time, I look out for the old churchyards and wander around amongst the tombstones remembering those walks with my Dad.  For more on Jennifer’s Halloween Challenge go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/10/27/jnws-halloween-challenge-graveyard/

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A cemetery in Elgin, Illinois. As an avid genealogist I have a great interest in, and respect for, those who are buried in these graveyards, hoping that other people show the same consideration for our loved ones at rest in similar places around the world.

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The graveyard at St Matthias Mission Catholic Church near New Fane, Wisconsin.

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St Michael’s Cemetery, a Mission of Shepherd of the Hills Congregation in Wisconsin.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Local

For this week’s Photo Challenge on The Daily Post, Jen has asked us for something local (as in home.)  I have written several posts on one of my other blogs, Incidentally, at http://skfjrifnd.wordpress.com/ about the towns and villages in the Chicago area.  I wish I could think of here as home but that term will always be reserved for dear old England, so for now I will just share a few images of my favorite places to visit that are within an hour’s drive of our house.  I suppose they could be considered local.

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The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe; one of the most worthwhile annual subscriptions that I’ve ever kept up has been to this place.

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Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg; always a pleasant walk and a good opportunity to do some nature photography as well as visit the farm animals.

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Millennium Park in downtown Chicago;  despite all the bad things that I read about Chicago these days, I still enjoy the occasional visit, especially to Millennium Park where there are so many good things to see.

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Morton Arboretum in Lisle;  I have to visit this place at least twice a year, in the Spring to see the daffodils and in the Autumn for the fall color.

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Arlington Park racetrack in Arlington Heights; always a favorite venue during the summer months and a fun day out even if I don’t always pick the winner.

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Brookfield Zoo;  We’ve been taking children and now grandchildren to the zoo for more than forty years. The big cats are always popular. “Here kitty.  Nice kitty.”

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BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett; one of the most beautiful buildings in our area and such a peaceful place.

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Lilacia Park in Lombard; I never miss the Lilac Festival. It was always one of my mother’s favorite parks.  For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/local/

 

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/

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.