Tag Archive | elk

Goodbye March – Hello April

One of the last things I did in March was to visit Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.  I stopped on the way to visit the elk in Elk Grove Village and while I was there, almost stumbled over a nest of garter snakes.

When I arrived at Spring Valley the sun was shining although it was rather chilly, and one of the first things I noticed was that it looked as though they had been burning off some of the old growth in the field.

The smell of burning was quite strong so I figured it must have happened recently and I wondered what the chances of spotting any wildlife in the area would be.  No worries! I got a nice close-up view of a water rat over by the pond.

And a little bit further along the bank I spotted this creature (not sure exactly what it was, and would welcome any suggestions.) It was very skittish and didn’t keep still for long so I was only able to get a quick shot.

Meanwhile, over at the farm, the horses and cows were enjoying the sunshine.

I was right about the controlled burning. As I was returning to the parking lot I spotted smoke rising from the far side of the trail and, hurrying in that direction, I managed to capture the last of the day’s work.

It’s rather scary to see how rapidly the fire spreads but with the experts on hand to keep things under control I felt quite safe and the fire quickly went from a raging inferno to a few wisps of smoke and some dying flames.

So with that, I said goodbye to March and today it’s Hello April. With not much sun and chilly temperatures in the forecast for the coming week I don’t anticipate doing much in the way of photography for the next few days.  But there are signs of hope in the garden.  Just a few colorful crocus shivering in a cold wind.  Come on April! Let’s see what you can do!

Thanks for choosing this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy!

Elk Spotting

Maybe it’s because I’ve always driven by at the wrong time of day, but I had become increasingly concerned that I hadn’t seen any sign of the elk lately and feared that, owing to inevitable budget cuts, the Forest Preserve had decided to abandon the idea of maintaining the herd in Elk Grove Village.  It would surely be unthinkable!  But you never know, these days. I decided to stop and take a closer look.

I saw plenty of wild flowers including some red things that I think are trillium and some purple things which, as far as I’m concerned, must remain nameless. There were dozens of squirrels running about and a woodpecker was making quite a commotion up in the treetops while a few frogs gently burped in the background. Still no sign of the elk.

I walked up as far as the bridge that spans Higgins Road and then came back, keeping well to the side as some of the cyclists who use the path go speeding past dangerously fast. PLEASE! PEOPLE! Remember that pedestrians use this path too, some with small children.  Almost back to the parking lot and still no sign of the elk, but then, just as it seemed like my worst fears may be realized, there they were.

Phew! What a relief! They’re still with us, looking a bit ragged as they shed their winter coats but seemingly healthy. Elk Grove Village just wouldn’t be the same without the elk!

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Elk of Elk Grove Village

Continuing with the ‘alphabet with a twist’ theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, this week’s topic is the letter k.  If a word has only three letters and one of them is a k, there’s a pretty good chance that the word might be elk.  And what better place to find elk than in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. These majestic creatures are not native to the area but, because of the name association, a small herd of elk are kept in a protected part of Busse Woods Forest Preserve. They are cared for by the Chicago Zoological Society veterinary staff and Busse Woods Forest Preserve wildlife experts.

The original herd of 10 elk was brought in by train from Yellowstone National Park in Montana in 1925 by local resident William Busse.  The best time to see them is either early morning or at dusk.  They spend a lot of time amongst the trees but when they do come out into the open field they’re a beautiful sight.

I should add that these images were captured a few years ago.  For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter K – Needs to have the letter K anywhere in the word

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Letters E or F

Cee continues her Black & White Photo Challenge this week with letters of the alphabet and more specifically the letters E or F.  Plenty of those in the old photo files.

A close encounter with an elk in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

An emu giving me the eye at the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana.

An enraged eagle at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois.

friendly frog at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Koi fish in a feeding frenzy at Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois and another fish at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/03/16/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-letters-e-or-f/