Tag Archive | Autumn

A Golden Day

What better way to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series than a leisurely stroll around Spring Valley Nature Center on a sunny, 65 degree day in November!  Yes folks, miracles do happen!  After all the baseball hype and excitement of the past few days, it was nice to get away from it all yesterday and just relax, if you can call walking about for two hours relaxing.  For some of us it is, especially when you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seat for what seems like a lifetime, waiting for the Cubs to finally win the big prize.

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And it seemed like Mother Nature was celebrating with us, everything basking in a golden glow.  Finally we could take a deep breath and enjoy life after all those years of torment.

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It’s been a couple of months since I was at Spring Valley but apart from the new children’s play area that is being built near the entrance, things are pretty much the same.  The farm will probably be closing for the winter soon, so I was glad to be able to make one last visit there this year.  One of the horses, that had an abscess in its hoof, was being attended to by the resident veterinary technician who kindly let me stay and watch the proceedings. She did an amazing job and the horse didn’t seem the least bit bothered as she applied some gooey green stuff to the hoof.

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After that, I went on to the farmhouse where I met a young lady in costume who kindly posed for me. Everyone at Volkening Farm is very friendly and helpful.  I would have visited the house but unfortunately the immediate area was being patrolled by a ruthless band of chickens and as many of you will know, I have a terrible fear of birds, and chickens in particular, so I stayed well back and used the long lens, glancing around me every few seconds to make sure none of them were creeping up behind me.

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Leaving the farm, I walked past the track to the arboretum and headed towards the cabin that used to be the old visitor center.  A nice surprise was awaiting me on the path, two deer that stayed just long enough for me to take a couple of pictures.

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Leaving the cabin, I went along the road to the pond and found several frogs making the most of the sunny day.  There was a handy bench by the water’s edge so I got comfortable while a duck paddled over, thinking there might be something to eat in the offing. It soon realized there was nothing doing and steered away to the other side of the pond.   A dragonfly landed nearby, blending in nicely with its surroundings.

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I would have stayed longer but time was getting on so I bid goodbye to the frogs, (I’ll swear I heard one of them croak “Go Cubs!” as I left) and made my way back to the parking lot. There most likely won’t be too many more days for strolling around but, as we always used to say with the Cubs, “Wait till next year!”

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Autumn Bonus

Who would have thought we’d be walking about in our shirtsleeves in 70 degree temps at the beginning of November but such was the case today.  A splendid autumn bonus that was best enjoyed in the open and preferably in a place as beautiful as the Chicago Botanic Garden.

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Soaking up the sun and making the most of every moment, we’ve seen a lot of changes at the Garden over the years but none more spectacular than the change from summer to autumn.

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We are so lucky to live within easy driving distance of this wonderful garden and love to visit no matter what the season but there’s something just so spectacular about the fall months.

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Brilliant colors at every turn and in all parts of the garden and with the warm temperatures we were able to take our time to appreciate one of nature’s miracles.

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Morton Fall

You have to drive quite a distance from where we live before you can consider yourself ‘out in the country’ but visiting the Morton Arboretum in Lisle is a great way to get that country feeling especially in the fall when even a trip all the way up north doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get those colorful autumn pictures.

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One of my favorite spots is Lake Marmo, named after Margaret Morton.  The lake is on the west side of the arboretum. Drive down the hill from Daffodil Glade and leave your car in one of the parking areas then take a walk around the lake. You’re sure to see something of interest such as waterfowl or frogs.

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There are walking trails all over the arboretum but if you don’t feel that energetic you can just pull in to one of the parking areas and still get some nice shots.

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I do enjoy walking, however, and like to get off the beaten track once in a while. Didn’t see too much in the way of wildlife this time. No coyotes, but I did spot a garter snake slithering away as I made my way across the grass.

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Back on the east side of the arboretum, near the visitor center, is another lake, Meadow Lake, surrounded by colorful grasses, which makes a very pleasant walk especially when the weather is mild and sunny as it was when I was there last week.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Vibrant Colors

Cee’s choice for her Fun Foto Challenge this week are Vibrant Colors, an easy thing to find in the photo files as they always stand out from the rest.

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On the Scarecrow Trail at Morton Arboretum in Lisle, these colorful creations made by various scout troops are a regular feature in the fall.

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These eye-catching decorations were on display at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in South Barrington.

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The vibrant colors of this costume worn by a participant at the 63rd Annual Powwow in Busse Woods really made a splash!

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Gorgeous blooms at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens in Wisconsin.  For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/10/18/cees-fun-foto-challenge-vibrant-colors-2/

Halloween Challenge – Fall

We’re at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm which must mean it’s FallJennifer Nichole Wells has selected Fall or Autumn for today’s Halloween Challenge and I’ve made a special trip to the farm for this purpose.  Everything looks very colorful at this time of year especially when the sun’s shining.

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I wanted to find somewhere different to take autumn pictures this year and during our trip up to Duluth we stopped off at Council Grounds State Park in Merrill, Wisconsin. The trees were just starting to change color.

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And of course, it wouldn’t be Autumn without a trip to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. We’ve been making this pilgrimage every year for more than forty years and Mother Nature never disappoints.  For more on Jennifer’s Halloween Challenge go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/10/18/jnws-halloween-challenge-fallautumn/

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Yellows

There was no shortage of images featuring yellow for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.  Like red, yellow usually shows up well in pictures and I’m always on the lookout for bright colors.

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These cheeky sunflower faces caught my eye at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in South Barrington the other day.

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We visited the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau last week to see their ‘Birds in Art’ exhibit.  This beautiful piece, entitled ‘Lesser Bird-of-Paradise’ (Oil on tupelo), was created by Gary Eigenberger.

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Maybe not quite so artistic but very creative, this pumpkin was decorated for the Scarecrow Trail at Morton Arboretum in Lisle last year.

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Trees showing off their autumn finery at River Trails in Northbrook, Illinois.

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Splendid yellow costumes worn by participants in the American Indian Powwow in Busse Woods this September.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/10/11/cees-fun-foto-challenge-yellows/

 

 

The Last Hurrah

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last-hurrah11The flowers in our garden are starting to wind down now and the process of clearing up has begun.  I’m always sorry to see the beds starting to look empty but there are still the last few remnants of color to be seen. The seasons seem to fly by faster every year,. Sometimes it feels like we hardly have time to enjoy the results of all our labor out there and it’s only when I take the camera around to shoot some pictures that I really can stop to appreciate just how beautiful these flowers are.

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The weather has been very wet here during the past few weeks, although thankfully not as bad as some places, but it has meant that we were not able to complete some of the tasks that we had hoped to finish by the end of the growing season.  Trying to dig muddy, soil with a high clay content is next to impossible!  So some things will have to wait until next year.

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Everything seems to be soaking up the mild, sunny days, expending their remaining energy into putting forth a few more blossoms and generating those all-important seeds that will bring the garden back to life next year. I really enjoy walking round collecting the seeds, one of the less arduous tasks in the garden, and people often stop by to ask if I have any to share, which I’m always happy to do as I usually end up with way more than I can use.

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Cleome, Cosmos, marigolds, 4-o-clocks, snapdragons and nasturtiums are the most prolific and there are quite a few gardens in the neighborhood that have enjoyed a nice display of flowers as a result.

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