Tag Archive | frogs

A Good Day At Spring Valley

Because it was Columbus Day, school was out and the weather was gorgeous, Spring Valley Nature Center was packed!  The new recreation area was full of super-excited children, happy to have at least one more opportunity to play outside in shorts and sandals.  I was pleased to see, too, that parents were encouraging their families to not only enjoy the slides and climbing frames but to go exploring the rest of the nature center.  Great for them but not so good for someone who is hoping to do some wildlife photography.  Screaming youngsters and timid woodland creatures unfortunately don’t make for a good mix.  However, I had all day and waited patiently for the rare quiet moments when I was able to get a few shots.

Any day at Spring Valley is a good day.

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How Green Was My Spring Valley

It’s been a while since I last visited Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and there have been some changes which were noticeable as soon as I arrived.  There is a new children’s playground complete with slides, climbing areas and waterfalls where the kids can have a great time.  I just hope the parents don’t forego the opportunity of taking them around the rest of the facility to see all the wonderful things that nature has to offer, like flowers, animals, birds and other living, breathing things.  There is also a new pond that has been created nearby although it appears to be a work in progress.

With all the rain we’ve had just lately it wasn’t surprising that the place looked so lush and green. I love walking around here! Apart from the forest preserves, this is the closest thing we have to ‘being in the country.’ I think it would be impossible to count all the different plants that flourish in Spring Valley.

The water in the lake was quite high and covered with water lilies which made ideal resting and hiding places for the frogs. Underneath the surface it was teeming with life as frogs, fish and turtles, in a frenzy of activity, made hundreds of little waves in the water.

 

I was pleased to see that the Kid’s Garden was flourishing, with plenty of flowers and vegetables on display.  I think it’s so important to encourage children to take an interest in nature and that is just what the people at Spring Valley are doing so ably.  After all, the future of our world and the environment is in the hands of generations to come. In these troubling times, it would be a sad thing indeed if we did not make the effort to teach them to understand and respect nature and each other.

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/