Tag Archive | frogs

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – All One Color

Originally I had planned to use this picture for a different challenge but on second thoughts decided that it would be ideal for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge which this week is All One Color.  Blending in and looking like part of the surroundings, this little frog at the Chicago Botanic Garden was quite happy to sit and watch as visitors to the garden wandered past.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/05/16/cees-fun-foto-challenge-all-one-color/

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/

Travel Theme – Eyes

It’s been a while since I participated in Ailsa’s Travel Theme photo challenge but this week’s subject really caught my eye.  For more on Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack go to https://wheresmybackpack.com/2017/02/12/travel-theme-eyes/

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I’ve got my eye on you; a frog sunning himself on a rock at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Iowa.

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Soft kitty; our daughter’s cat Sugar with her odd-colored eyes is enjoying her new surroundings in Utah. She was always used to apartment living in Chicago and has now become accustomed to the joys of roaming about in the garden.

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A bald eagle giving us the eye at Brookfield Zoo.

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Just for fun; a dinosaur skeleton at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I gave him the eye!

A Golden Day

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!”

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Nature

It’s all about nature this week for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge and I am definitely ready for this one.  When I first became interested in photography I spent most of my time taking pictures of wildlife and flowers and although I’ve broadened my horizons since then, I’m still looking out for those nature shots.

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Pelicans on the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.

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A friendly frog in the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Iowa.

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A lounging bison on Antelope Island on The Great Salt Lake, Utah.

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A remnant of Autumn at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.

For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/10/20/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-its-all-about-nature/

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Eyes

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Eyes so, without further ado, here are a few examples of eyes that looked out at me from my photo files.

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These eyes may look sleepy, but they don’t miss a thing; a lion at Brookfield Zoo.

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Ooooh bunny! What big eyes you’ve got! All the better to find the tastiest snacks available in the garden, my dear.

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

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The very prominent eyes of a frog basking in the sun at the Arboretum in Dubuque, Iowa.

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An anxious moment as granddaughter applies a little makeup around the eyes.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/09/13/cees-fun-foto-challenge-eyes/

The Nature Of Biltmore

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As I imagined, there was far more to the Biltmore Estate than just walking around a magnificent house, although that in itself was well worth the price of admission.  The nature of Biltmore extends to every corner of the 8,000-acre estate which includes some spectacular gardens.

Biltmore was landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s final major project and what an almighty challenge it must have been.  In 1895, the original property purchased by George W. Vanderbilt covered 125,000 acres, much of it over-farmed and with many of its trees already cut down, but with the help of Olmsted’s brilliant planning it was turned into a profitable, self-sustaining estate.

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It is interesting to note that the Biltmore Estate appears on the National Historic Landmark Register not because of the house, but because Carl A. Schenck established the first forestry education program in the U.S. here on the estate grounds in 1898.

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Vanderbilt had asked Olmsted to set aside 75 acres to be transformed into formal gardens, one of which is the Italian Garden that features three large water gardens and classical statuary.  Each pool contains water lilies, lotus and papyrus as well as other water plants.   You will see koi and goldfish swimming about among the lily pads and I also noticed a large number of tadpoles in various stages of development lounging around the edges of the center pool.

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The 4-acre Walled Garden features thousands of tulips in the spring and colorful mums at autumn time. Our visit came just after they had planted out all the summer annuals and as they hadn’t had time to become established, the beds were not quite as spectacular as they might have been, but the garden still looked beautiful nevertheless.

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Similarly, the rose garden had already seen the first flowers in full bloom and they were past their best but if you didn’t examine them too closely you could imagine how gorgeous the garden must have looked just a few weeks previously.  Timing is everything and it’s not always possible to visit these places at exactly the right moment.  Still, we were very lucky with the weather and enjoyed brilliant sunshine throughout our stay in Asheville.

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Water plays an important part at Biltmore. The French Broad River runs through the middle of the estate which also features a bass pond and waterfall.

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Traveling further from the house you come to the Farm, Antler Hill Village and The Winery, all of which are overlooked by The Inn on Biltmore Estate.

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As always seems to be the case, we had to cram as much sightseeing as we could into one day, but you could easily spend a few days at Biltmore in order to look at everything.