Tag Archive | Spring

Elk Spotting

Maybe it’s because I’ve always driven by at the wrong time of day, but I had become increasingly concerned that I hadn’t seen any sign of the elk lately and feared that, owing to inevitable budget cuts, the Forest Preserve had decided to abandon the idea of maintaining the herd in Elk Grove Village.  It would surely be unthinkable!  But you never know, these days. I decided to stop and take a closer look.

I saw plenty of wild flowers including some red things that I think are trillium and some purple things which, as far as I’m concerned, must remain nameless. There were dozens of squirrels running about and a woodpecker was making quite a commotion up in the treetops while a few frogs gently burped in the background. Still no sign of the elk.

I walked up as far as the bridge that spans Higgins Road and then came back, keeping well to the side as some of the cyclists who use the path go speeding past dangerously fast. PLEASE! PEOPLE! Remember that pedestrians use this path too, some with small children.  Almost back to the parking lot and still no sign of the elk, but then, just as it seemed like my worst fears may be realized, there they were.

Phew! What a relief! They’re still with us, looking a bit ragged as they shed their winter coats but seemingly healthy. Elk Grove Village just wouldn’t be the same without the elk!

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Place in the World

Ever since I was a little kid, growing up in post World War II London, I have loved gardens. We didn’t have a garden of our own until I was seven years old but some of my earliest memories are of playing in my great-aunt’s garden and visiting my grandma’s house in Hackney.

One of the things that stands out in my mind from those early days is the heady perfume of the flowers; roses in the rain and the gorgeous scent of lilac blossoms, which is why, every year when May comes around, I head to Lombard for the Lilac Festival. I may never be able to go home again but visiting Lilacia Park at lilac time is probably the next best thing.

The timing of a visit to Lombard is everything and, although I was a bit too early to catch all the lilacs in full bloom this year, I was able to see the accompanying tulips at their best. They always have an interesting variety of these spring flowers at the park, with names such as Yellow Pomponette, Copper Image, Orange Princess and  Dream Touch.

Of course, the lilacs are the stars of the show and their heavenly scent made me feel nostalgic, thinking of Mum and how she loved to visit Lombard in May, both of us missing home and remembering the long-ago days of lilacs, primroses and bluebells in the wood.

A beautiful garden will always lift my spirits though, and with the sun shining, making the colors come alive, I quickly set about capturing these images. I guess you could say that a garden is my most favorite place in the world, no matter where we are.

For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Place in the World

 

The Darling Buds of May

There was an abundance of buds, blossoms and blooms at The Chicago Botanic Garden this week, and with almost perfect weather conditions it was an ideal time to take some pictures.

As Shakespeare so aptly put it, “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer’s lease hath all too short a date:” The flowers that we enjoy during these spring months only last for a brief spell so it’s good to get out to the Garden as often as possible in order not to miss anything. The daffodils are almost finished now, but azaleas are making a beautiful show and the tulips are still looking spectacular.

One of my favorite walks in the Garden is along the path by the Sensory Garden where primula, columbine and anemones among others, vie for attention in a colorful display. Christina Rossetti certainly got it right when she wrote, “There is no time like Spring, when life’s alive in everything,

There are plenty of seats available to rest awhile so relax and soak up some of that welcome spring sunshine and then on to the other end of the walk where the vibrant hues are just as breathtaking as the flowers all along the path.

At every turn, the Garden is aglow with color and when these flowers are spent there will be different ones to take their place.  It won’t be long before Summer is A- comin’ in!

Weekly Photo Challenge – The Garden Awakening

It was good to see the Chicago Botanic Garden awakening from its long winter sleep today.  Stretching its arms and giving a bit of a yawn, it welcomed us back for another year of spectacular flowers and foliage.  Everything was neat and tidy, all the winter debris cleared away and emerging tulip leaves promise a beautiful show on the Esplanade in a few weeks.

Over in the English Walled Garden, a robin watched me as I stopped to take a picture or two.

The waterfall is yet to begin its cascade down towards the lake but the birds were singing and you could almost hear Mother Nature rolling up her sleeves, spitting on her hands and murmuring, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

A stroll around the immaculately-kept Japanese Garden showed me that it won’t be too long before the azaleas are in bloom.  All kinds of buds were showing on the branches of shrubs and trees.

If it’s true that “the earth laughs in flowers” then it was positively giggling like a giddy schoolgirl today as hundreds of brightly-colored crocus poked their heads out of the grass in front of the Carillon Tower.

Walking back through the Sensory Garden towards Spider Island, I was filled with anticipation, thinking about all the wonderful things that the garden will have to show us in the coming months now that it is finally awake.

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

April Showers Bring………

………more showers but also May flowers.  Despite moaning about the miserable weather we’ve experienced so far this spring in the Chicago area, I have to admit that our garden has never looked so lush and vibrant.  Many of the plants that I thought might not do as well this year, for one reason or another, have really pulled out all the stops, especially the iris.

The peonies never disappoint and somehow the frequent downpours of rain only seem to make them smell all the sweeter.

 

In fact, everything in the garden is thriving, from tulips to allium and the Japanese anemone.  A feast for all the senses and a promise of things to come in the summer.

And always lurking in the background, my arch nemesis, the rabbit, looking the picture of innocence.  One false move, rabbit, and you’re for the high jump!

Consolation

Because of ongoing health problems I missed seeing some of my most favorite things this spring including the daffodils at Morton Arboretum, tulips at Cantigny, spring blossoms at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the lilacs in Lombard. However, the flowers in our garden provided some consolation. They seem to manage pretty well without too much help from me and hopefully I can get out there before the weeds take over. We’ve had a lot of rain recently and when the sun finally did put in an appearance I managed to get a few shots of some familiar faces.

A colorful display of tulips and some mud-spattered daffodils as well as a few  other springtime flowers helped to brighten the day.

 

A white-crowned sparrow and my arch-nemesis the rabbit also paid us a visit.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Spring/Wood

After the recent spate of b/w photography it’s nice to get back to some colorful images with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge which this week focuses on spring/wood.  The photo files are bursting at the seams with spring pics but I thought I would keep to three different venues that have provided some great opportunities for photographing this seasonal subject.

 

What better place to start our spring tour than in the woods at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. These pictures were taken last year but it won’t be long before the daffodils are blooming among the trees once again.

Our next stop is at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois.  A wonderful place to visit at any time of year, the Garden looks especially pretty in its spring colors.

On a more rustic note, our last port of call is at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/03/28/cees-fun-foto-challenge-spring-wood/