This is my third entry for Becky’s Square Tops Photo Challenge. From the natural wonders of our State and National Parks to the man-made cairns on Cana Island in Wisconsin, it’s always good to be top of the heap.
This week, Amy is asking us to find a place where a river runs through it for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. We always seem to be drawn to water on our travels and, very often, rivers feature quite a bit on these trips. There’s something fascinating about a river as it makes it’s way through so many different kinds of surroundings, from the quiet countryside to the bustle of a big city. The first two shots of the Bad River and its tributary,Tyler Forks, were captured at Copper Falls State Park in Wisconsin.
The next three images are of the Eau Claire River at the Dells of Eau Claire in Wisconsin.
The next two places are a little closer to home. The first is the Des Plaines River as it flows placidly through Joliet, Illinois. The next is the Fox River tumbling over the dam at St. Charles.
Normally, the Chicago River would just be gearing up for a busy season of river traffic but who knows what things will be like for the next few months. I’ll miss these familiar sights. I’ll be staying put for the foreseeable future, but these rivers will keep flowing on. Stay safe, everyone.
This week, Amy has chosen Waiting as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I know very little about horses, but one thing I’ve noticed is that they are very adept at waiting patiently. The definition of ‘patient’ is to be able to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. The definition of ‘waiting’ is the action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens. Horses seem to have got this down to a fine art. We humans could learn a thing or two from them.
Places in order of appearance; Wade House in Greenbush, Wisconsin – Fountain Square in Indianapolis, Indiana – Mackinac Island, Michigan – Wausau, Wisconsin – Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, Illinois – Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg, Illinois (2) – Old World Wisconsin near Eagle, Wisconsin.
I was sorry to have missed the past couple of LA Challenges but I have finally caught up with everything after a hectic few weeks and now I can spend some time looking through the photo files. Amy has chosen Seascapes or Lakeshores as the subject for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and I found a few shots that might fit the bill. The first one was taken in downtown Chicago along the edge of Lake Michigan which, in the city, very often consists of nothing but concrete slabs.
Below, part of the shoreline at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in Michigan. The song ‘Edmund Fitzgerald’ kept running through my head as I stood looking out over the scene. It’s hard to imagine these calm lake waters becoming rough enough to sink a ship weighing 26,000 tons.
The image above shows part of the shoreline of Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
Below, a little patch of lakeshore on Mackinac Island, overlooking the mighty Mackinaw Bridge.
Cee’s topic for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge is 3 items or the number three. I don’t see too many creatures hanging out in threes. I guess two’s company, three’s a crowd. But here are a few that didn’t seem to mind sharing space.
Pictured above; snakes and elk in Elk Grove Village, African wild dogs at Brookfield Zoo, ducks at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Frederik Meijer Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, turtles in Hermann Park in Houston and pelicans on the river in Davenport, Iowa.
This week, Ann-Christine has chosen Trees as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and there is certainly no shortage of those in my photo files, so in order to select a few for this post I decided to look at the images and choose some of those where I thought the trees added the finishing touch, the icing on the cake, so to speak. These were taken at Cantigny Park, Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum in Illinois and one in Utah.
Cee has chosen Patterns as the topic for her Fun Foto Challenge this week so here are some interesting patterns that I found on a selection of rocks, gemstones and fossilized wood at The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Nancy Merrill is looking to the horizon for her Photo Challenge this week. Here are just a few of the horizons we’ve seen on our travels. The first one is in Wyoming.
Then two in Wisconsin, the first at George K. Pinney County Park in Door Country and the second in the Kettle Moraine area.
The next two were in Utah, the first at Antelope Island and the second at Arches National Park.
The horizon from Galveston, Texas and one in Nebraska.
The horizon off Mackinac Island, Michigan and one in southern Illinois.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to On the Horizon.
The subject for Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge is Reflection and I seem to have captured one or two at Cantigny Park in Wheaton without even realizing it. Quite often, I’m not fully aware of everything that’s in the picture when I take the shot so sometimes it’s nice when something unexpected shows up, especially when I can use it for a photo challenge.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Reflection.
My photo files are overflowing with images of paths in various forms and places, both town and country, but today I made a trip to Crabtree Nature Center specifically for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge as I wanted to document a path that really had some meaning for me. Mum and I used to visit Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington quite often, but in the eight years since she passed away I have rarely gone back there. I don’t know why. There are plenty of other places that we used to go to together that I still visit regularly but for some reason I feel uncomfortable taking this once-familiar path alone.
All living things change over time, and I was curious to see how Crabtree had fared during the intervening years. Would it have changed that much? I used to know this path like the back of my hand but would it still be like it was when we came here to see the spring flowers or rustle through the autumn leaves, very often talking nineteen to the dozen but also sharing a companionable silence as we made our way through the fields and woods.
As was nearly always the case, I was greeted at the head of the path by several chipmunks, chattering and skittering about among the dead branches. That much, at least, was still the same.
There are two paths that wind their way around Crabtree, covering only a small part of the one thousand acres that make up this sprawling nature reserve. Phantom Prairie Trail is about 2 miles long and Bur Edge Trail, the path that we usually took, is approximately 1.5 miles, the first part of which skirts Sulky Pond. I was rather disappointed that there was no sign of any migrating birds. I had expected to see a few egrets at the very least but everything was totally still and silent on the pond.
The foliage on either side of the path had become overgrown, covering what once used to be a hide overlooking the pond, and the little causeway at the top of Bulrush Pond where we used to sit for hours sometimes, waiting to see a family of water rats or a beaver, offers very little view of the water now. However, I did manage to find a turtle well-camouflaged with pond weed and a frog who gave me the cold shoulder.
Even in the last week of September, the mosquitoes were still rampant in the shade under the trees so I was glad to get to the other side of Bulrush Pond and out into the sunshine. I noticed that they have added quite a few more seats along the path but there was always one here where we loved to sit and talk or just look out over the pond.
The path zig-zags through tall grass and spent summer flowers, the milkweed pods bursting open to spread their seeds in the first passing wind, and one or two faded butterflies flitting about among the autumn asters.
The path gradually curves back towards the entrance to Crabtree. The observation platform that overlooked neighboring fields has gone but other than that there is very little that has changed. The big difference now is that my best friend is no longer by my side to have a laugh or wonder at all the things that we have seen, like the time we turned and discovered a deer following close behind us down the path or coming across a huge snapping turtle lumbering back to the pond after laying her eggs or the time we found a nest of snakes among the fallen leaves.
Perhaps I’ll return to Crabtree one day but for now it was enough to have travelled down and become reacquainted with that once-familiar path.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, which was set for us this week by Tina Schell over at Travels & Trifles go to #12 – PATH