Tag Archive | nature

Weekly Photo Challenge – I’d Rather Be……..

…….photographing flowers.  And that’s exactly what I was doing last week during a second visit to the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden with a cousin who was visiting from England, despite the blizzard that was raging outside.   I know!  The first one isn’t an orchid, but it was just too beautiful to not capture an image.

For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to I’d Rather Be…


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Leaves or Trees

This week, Cee is looking for leaves or trees for her Fun Foto Challenge so here is my take on the subject.  Like many people, my favorite time of year for viewing trees is in the Autumn when the colors are at their brightest.  Although the Chicago Botanic Garden is not chiefly known for its variety of trees, there is still plenty of fall color to be seen.

One of my favorite times to visit Morton Arboretum in Lisle is in the Spring when the blossom is on the trees.

Another good place to see Autumn color is at local Forest Preserves such as Busse Woods in Schaumburg.

Looking at trees from a slightly different angle at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook.

Trees are remarkably resilient, finding a foothold even in the most inhospitable of places such as this rock in The Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois.

Even in death, trees hold a certain fascination for me, telling their history through rings and roots.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Leaves or Trees

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Wildlife

Here is just a sample of the wildlife that we see from our window here in the NW suburbs of Chicago.  Not included are the deer that on the rare occasion take a stroll down our road, the skunk that lives under our front doorstep, coyotes that sometimes trot past the house after a night of hunting small animals, the many different varieties of birds that we see on a daily basis and an eight-legged possum, reported by my father, that turned out to be two of these creatures following very closely one after the other.

The term ‘wildlife‘ would seem to be something of a misnomer as all these creatures appear to have made themselves quite at home in our backyard.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Wildlife


Spring in the Valley

I went for my first walk around Spring Valley this year the other day. The sun was shining and although it was still chilly, there were definite signs that spring is in the air. The lake is no longer frozen and although there aren’t any leaves on the trees yet, they look as though they are getting ready to burst into life.

With all the rain that we’ve had just recently, the little creek was fairly rushing along. I could hear it even before reaching the bend in the path.  Add to that the shrill trilling of red-wing blackbirds and the unmistakable sound of a large flock of geese flying high overhead and it seemed like spring really was a reality and not just something that we keep wishing for.

The animals at the farm were outside enjoying the unexpected warmth.  They’ll back in the barn next week if the weather forecast is anything to go by.

Because of recent rains, many of the trails and paths were flooded or exceedingly muddy but fortunately the farm is on high ground so I managed to get there without getting my feet too wet. I returned the same way, just to be on the safe side.

After visiting Volkening Farm, I went in search of the one thing that I knew would be a sure sign that spring was on its way.  Down by the old Redeker Cabin I found them. Snowdrops, only just in bloom but a welcome sight.

Further down the trail I came across something that must be a new addition to the Nature Center. This little area is called a Natural Play Pocket that encourages children to play and create things from the natural materials available. Someone had evidently been very busy.  The sign at the entrance says that children should be permitted to create and build with minimal adult input but wisely adds that adults DO need to supervise.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Out of this World

After all the snow and freezing temperatures that we’ve experienced over the past few months, it was nice to catch a welcome break when the sun came out and things warmed up sufficiently for us to take an almost leisurely stroll at the Chicago Botanic Garden this week.

Add to that the pleasure of seeing the ‘Asia in Bloom’ orchid show and it turned out to be a most enjoyable day.  As always, the Garden has done a splendid job of displaying these gorgeous blooms.

Each year, the show has a slightly different theme that gives it a fresh appeal and affords the photographer a chance to capture a whole new array of images.

Of course, the orchids are the main attraction and the colors and shapes are truly out of this world, reminding us that nature is indeed a miraculous gift for all to enjoy.


The show is open through March 25th so I hope you’ll take the opportunity to visit if you’re in the area.  For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Out of This World


Weekly Photo Challenge – Silence

We rarely go to places where there is total silence. In our immediate area, if there isn’t the sound of airplanes passing overhead then you can hear busy traffic on a nearby road or trains hooting and clanging as they make their way along the tracks.  So it makes a welcome break to go anywhere where the only thing you can hear is the wind rustling through the leaves or the birds twittering in the trees. That, for us, is comparative silence.  Here are just a few of the places where we have enjoyed such a respite from the daily clatter of life.

Wasatch National Forest near Alta in Utah.

Antelope Island near Salt Lake City in Utah.

Off-season at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Snowy Range scenic byway in Laramie, Wyoming.

For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Silence





Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered in Wisconsin

This week, Krista has suggested the subject Weathered for the Weekly Photo Challenge and looking through the photo files I found several interesting subjects in Wisconsin that had been exposed to the elements to good effect.

The side of a barn at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle.

A weathered gravestone in St Michael’s Cemetery.

Remnants of the old lumber steamer ‘Mueller’ on display at George K Pinney County Park Harbor of Refuge.

Rocks at the Dells of Eau Claire in Plover, worn smooth by weather, water from the falls and the feet of thousands of visitors who have scrambled over them, have been dated at about 1.8 billion years old according to Wikipedia.

For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Weathered