This week, Tina is celebrating Spring for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. One of my favorite local places to visit is the Spring Valley Nature Center and Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg. Sadly it wasn’t open this Spring for obvious reasons and and will remain closed at least through August. That being the case, here is a nostalgic look back at Spring in Spring Valley.
In response to Ann-Christine’s topic of #10: Fences, this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, let me take you on a quick trip to Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.
Here, fences are not so much an intrusion as a picturesque part of the overall scene. Many of them are weathered and some used only as a temporary measure but all of them seem to blend in with their surroundings.
Naturally, the animals on the farm play a large part in many of the fence images in my Spring Valley photo files.
And flowers play an important role in the pictures too, the fences sometimes appearing to be merely an adjunct to their cheerful color.
Whatever purpose the fences serve, they are nearly always a welcome addition to any image of Volkening Heritage Farm.
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.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: All Things Farm Related
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/
A toad contemplates its shadow at a local nature center.
Two barns, one at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the other at Old World Wisconsin, patterned by shadows from nearby trees.
Littlest grandson keeping a close eye on his shadow during an early April walk at Spring Valley.
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.
Trees in autumn cast long shadows at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
When I saw the subject for Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge this week I couldn’t resist rummaging through the photo files to see if I could come up with something. The topic is Cow and apparently I’ve taken pictures of quite a few over the years.
The cows coming home at historic Wheeler Farm in Salt Lake City.
The grass is always greener……. just don’t get your head stuck trying to get through to the other side of the fence.
Taking it easy and enjoying the sun at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.
A close encounter at Old World Wisconsin.
Where else would you expect to see a cow climbing up the wall but in Chicago.
For more on the One Word Photo Challenge hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/09/13/one-word-photo-challenge-cow/