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Getting The Point – At The Field Museum

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.

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Valentine’s Toffee

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!

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Horns

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.

 

Pull Up A Seat – Wishful Thinking

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.”


For more on the Pull Up A Seat Photo Challenge at XingfuMama go to Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2019-Week 4

Hard To Believe

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.


A Different Light

A few days ago, when 2018 was rapidly drawing to a close, the sun finally came out so I decided to take a break from the routine that we have settled into these past few months and go to the Chicago Botanic Garden for a much needed long walk and a breath of fresh air.

Usually, when I go to the Garden it’s early in the morning but on this particular day I wanted to catch the last of the Christmas lights so I waited until later in the afternoon which enabled me to see things in a slightly different light.

The air was crisp and clear but there was little or no wind which made pleasant conditions for walking. It’s been a while since I went around the garden in Winter and it was interesting to see the stark lines of the trees and shrubs and the exposed walls amid a light dusting of snow, especially in the English Garden.


Heading over towards the bridge that leads to the Japanese Garden, I passed some geese pecking away at the grass. I’m not quite sure what they were finding to eat there but evidently it was enough to hold their interest.

Two bridges, both leading to Evening Island, cast long shadows in the afternoon light, and the bells rang out clear from the Carillon Tower.

The sun caught the top of the new copper sheathing on the roof of the Regenstein Center and as it dipped below the trees, the Christmas lights began to appear. Not only was I seeing the Garden in a different light but life in general. Now that my mother-in-law is in hospice care at her house in Chicago I have come to realize how lucky I am to still be able to get about and visit places like this. To have the ability to come and go as I please is an extraordinary gift and one that I hope I never take for granted.