Winter Wonderland II

Welcome back!

This post is focused solely on the last big snowfall we had, sometime in mid-February. The snow that fell was of a light texture-the kind that clings to branches when it falls. It transformed our street into some sort of magical, sparkling scene right out of a book.

I can’t really say much else, so you’ll have to see for yourself:

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These are the the best photos and they still don’t do justice to that snowfall.

Anyway that was the last snow-post (I hope) and there will be spring posts coming soon! (If spring reaches us at least, it’s below freezing)

Have a lovely day and I hope you are enjoying April!

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Winter Wonderland

I’m back!

Yes, it’s been over a month since I last posted. My entire family came down with a horrible case of the flu and since then, everything has been so busy that doing a post on the lovely winter we’ve been having just slipped from my mind. Now, it’s slowly getting warmer and I’m finally sitting down to write.

The first snowfall we had after the one in my last post was quite pleasant. We had about six inches of snow and I went out with my siblings once the sun came out so we could enjoy the weather and the snow.

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The snow had fallen on the leaf buds, making them look like pussy willows.
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I love how trees look against the sky in winter. You can see every branch.

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The second snowfall was a heavy one. It snowed for two days straight and we had nine inches of snow. I realized later that I hadn’t gotten a good picture of the snow in our yard. But I got one a few days later when we went to our old house for the last time. Not the best, but just to give you an idea of how much there was…

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And of course, the icicles. Probably one of my favorite parts of winter. These pictures are from the first snowfall.

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Almost melted.

The second snowfall gave us the BIG icicles.

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And that brings me to the end of this post. Part two will be on the last snowfall we had-it was stunning!

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day!

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Cold Chicago Winter!

Happy new year!

I mentioned in my last post that we were having an extremely strange autumn, with the weather being warm and sunny. Well, Chicago winter has come around and hit us with a bang. It snowed two weeks ago and the temperature stayed below 0° for both of those weeks. The warmest it got was 15°.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’ve always preferred the cold to hot, humid weather. And after that autumn, I was relieved that it was getting cold. But I was looking forward to going out and playing in the snow with my siblings and I couldn’t do that when the weather was so cold. It took my breath away just to walk from the car to the grocery store. However, it is warming up now (30° fahrenheit) and maybe I’ll go out after lunch.

Two days after the first big snowfall, I woke up to find the bottom of my window covered in ice. And the ice was on the inside.

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The next day, as I was walking up to my door, my mom pointed out that it was so cold, each snowflake had managed to keep its perfect shape. I grabbed my camera and stayed outside for about 15 minutes just taking pictures. I got lots of pictures and I think most of them came out pretty well.

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Sparkling snow.

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You can almost see each snowflake’s shape.
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I tried using the flash for this picture and it came out slightly blurry. Probably because I was so close. I think my hand was shaking a little as well.

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And that’s all from me. 🙂

Have a great day!

October

 

I’m back!

Now, I know I said that my next post would be about autumn leaves, but honestly, this autumn has disappointed me greatly. All of October was warm and sunny, and it started getting chilly only about two weeks ago. The autumn colors, (which I was so looking forward to) were equally disappointing. Oh, we had a few trees here and there that were very beautiful, but it wasn’t as beautiful as last year.

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Posting for the sky. 🙂

However, we did get a lovely surprise. In the summer, one of our neighbors gave my grandfather a few little plants. They honestly looked rather sad, but my grandfather planted them against the wall of our garage. They grew pretty fast; by September, they were taller then me! Sometime in mid-October, they started to produce flowers.

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We were a little surprised that the flowers had bloomed so late in the year, but I suppose it made sense since we were having such warm, sunny weather.

Anyway, one afternoon, I noticed that the vines were attracting butterflies and bees. I know, it’s crazy. Butterflies in October? But, there they were.

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I think this is a Painted Lady.

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And that’s all from me. (For now)

Have a wonderful day!

It’s been a while!

I can feel the fall coming. The days are getting shorter, the morning air is more crisp, and I have had sudden cravings for tomato soup. (I LOVE tomato soup.) The leaves are just starting to change color so I haven’t been able to get any good pictures as of yet. So you will have to be satisfied with a few  pictures of the flowers in our garden.

As I probably mentioned before, we have a rose bush along the side of our house that produces the most beautiful peach roses. In my post about our new house, I posted one of the best pictures I took of the roses. But, I did have a few more pictures that I was quite pleased about. So I decided to post those here.

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I love this one.

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I went outside after an unexpected shower sometime in late August and I managed to snap some decent photos of the flowers.

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This honeybee stayed still for quite a long time.
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These flowers are not in our garden; I just thought they were pretty.

For now, that is all from me. Hopefully, I will be back soon with some pictures of the fall!

Since our move, we’ve been exploring the wildlife centers and parks near our house.

As I mentioned in my last post, the town we now live in is quite old. The heart of the town itself is very quaint; we visited a candy shop and ice cream parlors that sell homemade ice cream. They also have cafés, cake shops, and an art gallery. I don’t think there’s any need to say we had the time of our lives walking there.

Anyway, sometime ago, we visited the local forest preserve. It was beautiful. We walked for a while on the main trail, then we noticed a little trail leading deeper into the forest. We decided to venture in a little way. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful, mysterious little places I’ve ever seen. The trees were so tall they completely blocked out the sunlight, which filtered  through the leaves, giving me an amazing lighting for photos. Check it out.

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Sumac. 

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We have also visited our local park many times since we moved. It’s perfect for taking a stroll. Near the playground, there’s a hill that we ran down so many times, our legs started to hurt. I got a lot of nice pictures on that hill.

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Wild carrot, or Queen Anne’s Lace, has to be one of my favorite native plants.

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And… that concludes this post.

Thank you for reading, and have a lovely day!

Our New House!

This post is long overdue. I apologize.

As I mentioned in my last post, our family moved to another house about three months ago. We moved for the convenience of being closer to the places we visit most frequently. The neighborhood we now live in is quite well established; our house is roughly seventy years old.

I’m not going to lie, I do miss our other house, especially the prairie. I could see so much wildlife from the window. (Not to mention I could actually see the sunset) But our new house has such a cute garden and overall, the house itself is hard not to fall in love with.

As soon as we moved in, my grandfather began to get the garden in order. He planted the usual flowers, petunias, salvias, marigolds, and alyssum. He also planted a rosebush in the midst of these, and another rosebush along the side of the house.

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These were planted along the side of the house. They smell heavenly.

When we first moved in, we discovered that there was a magnolia tree in the front yard, and the magnolias in front of the house were in full bloom. You can imagine my delight.

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Throughout May, the azaleas planted along the side of the house were in full bloom and they let a spicy smell into the house when the windows were open.

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I couldn’t decide which picture of the azaleas to post, so I attached both. 🙂

Our neighbors planted a row of peonies between their house and ours. They planted three different colors and I have to say, they are gorgeous. Who doesn’t love peonies?

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There are also a few large hydrangea bushes in the front yard. These flowers are so large and delicate, and they look amazing as a centerpiece on a table.

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The rhododendrons from our other house were brought and replanted.

My grandfather planted some foxgloves by the house recently. I love foxgloves, mostly because they appeared in my one of my favorite stories as a child. (Ever read “The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck” by Beatrix Potter?) I sadly didn’t get very good pictures.

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That’s all from me. (For now)

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Saskatoon Pie

A couple months ago, our family moved to another house.

We’ve been busy the last few months, trying to organize the house and get the garden in order. My grandfather planted some flowers along the side of the house and we’ve been trying to de-weed the backyard. (We haven’t been very successful)

But that’s not what this post is about. Today, I’m writing about a special tree we discovered in our backyard. A Saskatoon tree.

We didn’t know what type of tree it was at first. But sometime in June, we noticed lots of berries growing on the tree. We all assumed they were poisonous and we were constantly reminding my brothers not to eat them.  Then, a few weeks later, a friend of my mother’s came to visit. While we were giving her the tour, she stopped at the tree and said, “Oh, these are Saskatoon berries!” We had never heard of them. She pulled out her phone and found a picture of Saskatoon berries. They seemed to be the same berries, so we each tried one and were pleasantly surprised to be alive after a few hours.

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The berries look like blueberries, but have the tart aftertaste of an apple.

So, we decided to make a pie.

We found a recipe, made a pie crust, and picked all the berries. We probably should have picked them sooner, because most of the berries were dried out. However, we got just enough berries to make a small pie.

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I think it turned out quite well.
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Not the best picture… Oh well.

And…. that’s all from me.

Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Sky Shots

Now, I think you have figured out by now that I love taking pictures of the sky.

Somehow, staring at the sky always calms me. One of my favorite pastimes on lazy days is lying on the grass, staring at the sky, and letting my mind wander.

So for this post, I am going to be attaching some of my favorite sky shots that I have taken. Enjoy!

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Below is a picture of the sky after a heavy rain…

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About twenty minutes later, I looked out the window again.

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I took this picture about two years ago.

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That’s all from me. Thanks for reading!

Lilacia Park

Here are some of the pictures I took on our most recent outing to Lilacia Park.

Now, lilacs are some of the loveliest flowers I know of. (I have been saying that about a lot of flowers lately) They smell beautiful and they are just so delicate.

If you have never been to Lilacia Park, let me give you a little background information.  Lilacia Park was started by Colonel William Plum and his wife, Helen. They were both enraptured by the lilacs and started to cultivate two lilac bushes. However when the Colonel’s wife passed away, his interest in his estate vanished and he offered his collections for sale. However, his offer was shot down when people told him that the lilacs should remain in their original location. When the Colonel passed away some three years later, he stated in his will that the estate be given to the local people as a public park.

When we went, most of their flowers were in full bloom. Now, Lilacia Park is full of tulips. (Most of my pictures are of tulips.) But they are all different colors so wherever you turn, there are gorgeous splashes of color. On to the pictures!

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If you stand by the lilacs and just breathe, the scent could just overpower you. It is beautiful.

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I have never seen tulips like this before. It looks like someone painted flames on the petals.
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I loved the color combinations.

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Another unique tulip.

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That’s all from me. Thanks for reading!