Tag Archive | Autumn

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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Time To Reflect – Autumn At The Chicago Botanic Garden

After our return from Utah things seemed a bit drab here in Illinois so I thought it might be a good idea to visit one of my all-time favorite haunts, the Chicago Botanic Garden.  This place will always raise your spirits and, after walking across the bridge just beyond the visitors center, I felt decidedly more cheerful.

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The Esplanade was ablaze with colorful chrysanthemums and you could hear several gasps of wonder as visitors caught their first glimpse of the gardens.

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In the Heritage Garden the water lilies were looking splendid and were just close enough to get some nice shots.

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It was one of those mild October days when everyone was making the most of the sunshine and even the sparrows were happy to splash around in the fountains.

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Despite being past their peak blooming season there were still plenty of flowers in the Rose Garden.

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The autumn season was very much in evidence in the Beuhler Enabling Garden with lots of pumpkins and squash on display.

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And an abundance of gorgeous flowers in the Sensory Garden.

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It was a pleasure to just amble about the gardens, leisurely crossing the serpentine bridge to Evening Island. No rushing about as we’d been doing during the previous few weeks.

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There was even time to sit and enjoy the view in the Circle Garden, one of my favorite spots in the garden.

 

 

Time To Reflect – Alta

The first storm of the winter dumped several inches of snow on us last night and with temperatures due to plummet into the 20’s tomorrow it looks like hibernation time. I’m definitely not a cold weather person and have little interest in winter pursuits. I feel no strong urge to run outside and make snow angels or build a snowman. At least not these days. The older I get, the less I’m inclined to climb into cold-weather clothing and go hiking on snow-covered trails. I feel I have nothing to prove now. I’ll leave that to the younger generation.

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Instead I prefer to use this time to go through the photo files and reflect on all the things that we’ve seen and done in the past months. The highlight of the year was our trip to Utah and, going back over some of the images from that journey, I realize that I took a photo for almost every mile that we traveled, over 3,ooo miles in total.

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One of the side-trips we made while staying in Salt Lake City was to Alta and in particular the Albion Basin situated in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains. Alta is known for its ski slopes but in early September it’s also a lovely place to go hiking.

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We had heard of a 1.6 mile trail leading up to Secret or Cecret Lake as it is sometimes spelt, and despite having a few misgivings regarding the altitude and the fact that I hadn’t done any really strenuous hiking in a long time, we decided to give it a try.

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The scenery was spectacular and even though autumn hadn’t really got going by then, there were already patches of brilliant color along the way.

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The trail started out nice and easy but after crossing over a little stream things got rather more steep and rocky. Naturally it was like a walk in the park for my daughter (who was wearing flip-flops) and her husband, but after we’d been going for just over 30 minutes I started to feel the pressure to keep up.

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We took a break to watch someone taking the hard way up then continued on, passing several people who had already made it to the top and were on their way back down. They all told us how lovely it was at the lake, that the view was well worth the effort and that “It’s not much further!” And they kept telling us that even after another 20 minutes of climbing.

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My daughter took this picture of me as I stayed close to her husband who was leading the way.

I should probably mention here that a few years ago I had a bit of a medical emergency involving blood clots in my lungs and legs and, although I have been quite active ever since, I wasn’t sure if this aging body was going to make it to the end of the trail, especially when we took a wrong turn along the way and found ourselves at rather an impasse, at least as far as I was concerned. I had just reached the point where I had to sit down and tell the others to go on without me when luckily someone coming back down the trail pointed us in the right direction and with supportive coaching from the kids and several stops along the way with orders to “take slow, deep breaths” we finally reached our goal.

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It wasn’t all that big, as lakes go, but it was a welcome sight nonetheless. Bathing is not permitted so we had to stifle the urge to jump into its clear waters and after sitting on the rocks for a while and taking a few pictures we started back down to the parking lot.

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I have since Googled the trail to Cecret Lake to find out more about it and came across a quote that said, “There is nothing difficult about this hike. It is suitable for small children and seniors. This is more of a stroll than a hike.” I beg to differ but then that’s just me. I felt a definite sense of achievement at having made it there without collapsing.

Travel Theme: Autumn

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One of my favorite places to visit in the autumn is the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, so for Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge, which this week is Autumn, I thought I’d post a few images that I’ve taken there over the years.  For more on Ailsa’s weekly challenge go to http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/10/31/travel-theme-autumn/

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