The topic for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week is anything farm related. I have some happy childhood memories of staying at a farm during one summer holiday and, although I don’t think I’d fancy living a farm life, I still enjoy visiting them either locally or when we’re away on one of our trips. These pictures were taken at Kline Creek Farm, run by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, in West Chicago. This living history farm is open year-round with free admission.
Back to the alphabet for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge which this week features the letters K and L. Many of the images that I’ve used for this challenge were taken some years ago and it’s been interesting for me to wander through the old photo files to see just what kind of things caught my eye back in the day.
A Komodo Dragon named Faust, on display at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago in 2006.
This picture of a kangaroo was taken so long ago I can’t remember where I saw it. Possibly Brookfield Zoo.
A more recent picture, of a koi fish, was taken at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
The king of the jungle, a lion at Brookfield Zoo gazes out at an admiring crowd, sizing us up perhaps as a possible source of lunch. He looks very lazy but I’m sure he was ready to leap into action if the need arose.
A lamb at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.
A rather alarming llama appearing to get somewhat confrontational at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in South Barrington.
I really had to go out on a limb for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week. Keeping to my chosen theme, animals, bugs and birds, I struggled to find anything in the photo files that started with the letters I or J especially the letter I, so I hope you will pardon me if I have jumped to any conclusions in identifying the following. Hopefully, anyone more knowledgeable about bird and animal species can correct me.
Could this be a glossy ibis? I captured the image many years ago in an avian sanctuary at Cypress Gardens in Florida. Unfortunately the b/w treatment has taken away all distinguishing colors but the original picture shows that the bird was grey with an iridescent sheen to the feathers. There was also a red strip on the upper part of the bill. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time you will be wondering why I was in a cage full of birds. Despite my life-long fear of our feathered friends, the opportunity to get some close-up shots of so many beautiful creatures prompted me, in a moment of insanity, to plunge in, so to speak. My husband accompanied me (someone had to be there to carry me out if I fainted!) and we crept around trying not to disturb the inhabitants. I was terrified!!! I only managed to take a few shots before my courage completely deserted me and had to be led out with my eyes shut.
The animals pictured above are, I’m fairly sure, Siberian ibex. This was a shot that I took on slide film many, many years ago at Brookfield Zoo when they had a high, rocky enclosure know as IbexIsland. It was demolished in 2008 to make room for the new bear exhibit. I don’t know what happened to the ibex.
Jellyfish, pictured at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
A junco and blue jay in our garden. These shots were taken with a long lens from the safety of our living-room window.
The subject for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge gives us plenty of scope this week, so for this one I thought I’d try to find my A’s & B’s in nature and more specifically among animals, bugs and birds.
I believe this animal, found at Brookfield Zoo, is what’s known as an Addax.
I’m not a huge fan of spiders but this one, found at Crabtree Nature Center, was a beauty; Argiope Aurantia.
Bears (the football variety)are commonly associated with Chicago but I found this one hanging out at Brookfield Zoo, as was this Bison.
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.
Sometimes, even when you’re standing right next to a crowd of people, you can feel like you’re the only person on earth.