Tag Archive | Spring Valley

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Farm Fences

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.


Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow

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/

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A toad contemplates its shadow at a local nature center.

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Two barns, one at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the other at Old World Wisconsin, patterned by shadows from nearby trees.

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Littlest grandson keeping a close eye on his shadow during an early April walk at Spring Valley.

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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.

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Trees in autumn cast long shadows at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.

Uncovered

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Hooray!   This is what it looks like at Spring Valley now that the snow has almost completely gone.  So much that lay hidden for so many weeks and months has been uncovered and life is getting back to normal.

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I feel like embracing the whole of the great outdoors on a day like today!  It feels so good to get out in the fresh air without being encumbered by heavy coats, scarves and gloves.  After the winter we have just experienced I can fully appreciate every little sign of life that I come across on my way around the nature center even if it’s only a bird’s feather or a patch of lichen on a fallen tree branch.

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Along the way I passed this bonfire, part of a controlled burn that is carried out intermittently at Spring Valley.  Someone was busy clearing fallen branches and twigs, making way for new growth among the trees.

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Now that the snow has melted it has left a lot of soggy areas but even these are a welcome sign that Spring may finally be here.

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Plenty of activity at the farm as workers prepare fields and enclosures, getting them ready to receive visitors for the first of many events held here during the coming months.

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Walking along the path leading away from Volkening Heritage Farm I heard a slithering among the fallen leaves and spotted this garter snake, just one of the many creatures beginning to stir now that the weather has taken a turn for the better.

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Of course, I might have known all this was too good to be true.  Although the temperatures climbed all the way to 68F today, they are due to plummet back down to the 40’s in a day or two. But I enjoyed this welcome respite from the cold and made the most of the opportunity.

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