Tag Archive | family

Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow

The subject for The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post is shadow and, while I have plenty of pictures that have shadows incidental to the overall image, I don’t seem to have taken many where the shadow was the focal point. This was the best I could manage.  For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge, which this week was set for us by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/shadow-2017/

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A toad contemplates its shadow at a local nature center.

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Two barns, one at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the other at Old World Wisconsin, patterned by shadows from nearby trees.

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Littlest grandson keeping a close eye on his shadow during an early April walk at Spring Valley.

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The ‘pergola effect’ shown here at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, the gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville SC and the Rose Garden at Cantigny in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Trees in autumn cast long shadows at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitude

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.

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Sometimes, even when you’re standing right next to a crowd of people, you can feel like you’re the only person on earth.

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Arches Nation Park in Utah.

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The Badlands in South Dakota.

For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/solitude/

The Empty Nest

Some years ago, a pair of robins set up housekeeping in a shrub conveniently located just outside our bedroom window. By dint of climbing atop a rather shaky chest-of-drawers we were able to watch as, over the ensuing days, they flew industriously back and forth with bits of nesting material, busily constructing what our local realtor would have described as a highly desirable residence. (Some of today’s houses should be built so well!)

But try as I might I could never seem to get a good enough shot of the proceedings; the branches always got in the way and, because this was in pre-digital camera days, it wasn’t until after it was too late to retake the pictures that I discovered, upon getting my prints back from the pharmacy, that my efforts had met with little or no success.

Meanwhile, the babies emerged from their delicate, blue eggs, ugly and featherless, immediately demanding to be fed while both parents tirelessly kept up a supply chain of worms and other delicacies for those hungry, gaping beaks that was nothing short of amazing.

Thanks to their heroic efforts, three skinny, defenseless young robins quickly developed into cocky, self-opinionated adolescents and it wasn’t long before we witnessed their first attempts at flight. Eventually the day dawned when, looking from our vantage point on top the chest, we experienced, literally, that empty-nest feeling, when we realized that the ‘kids’ had grown up and left home.

I wonder how those parents felt? Were they relieved; another brood brought safely to adulthood?  Or were they a little sad to see their fledglings moving on?  I doubt it on both counts.  In nature, life goes on.  In our case, however, we experienced all those feelings but, unlike the robins, our ‘babies’ return every once in a while, sometimes with ruffled feathers, still demanding to be fed.