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Spring Nature Fun

June 14th, 2022 Comments off

We’ve been trying to maximize our free time the past month by getting out and doing as much in nature as possible before the extreme heat hits (which it did yesterday).

Sunday 05/22 we hit up Armstrong Park & Fountain View Park because it was such a beautiful day out. I neglected to bring my camera to the first park, so I didn’t make the same mistake when we went out later that afternoon.

We went back to Armstrong Park the following Sunday (05/29) with my camera and spotted some cute baby ducks.

Saturday 06/04 we ventured a little further from home to check out a new to us nature center in St. Charles called Hickory Knolls. It was pretty crowded between the native plant sale and all the kid soccer games nearby. We’d love to go back at a quieter time to explore more.

Instead we headed over to Peck Farm Park to walk around and bird watch.

I got a photo of a common yellowthroat, which was exciting since I never knew this bird even existed!

We decided against checking out the butterfly tent this visit since it was overcast and they weren’t terribly active.

After snapping plenty of photos, we drove over to Fabyan Forest Preserve since it had been years since our last visit. Despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t get any photos of the barn swallows that call this preserve home. They move too much and are too far away for even my longest telephoto lens to capture.

By this point it was threatening to rain, so we decided to get over the Windy Acres Farm to check out the strawberry festival I heard about. The place was a madhouse and there was a huge line to get into the festival grounds so we noped right out of there. I’m glad we did because I later emailed them to ask if you had to pay the $12 fee just to get access to the festival food and was told yes. WTF?!? I understand having to pay to go on rides, but not just to get to the food booths. Sorry, but no. It’s too bad as I wanted to try the strawberry donuts.

Sunday (06/05) we visited Northside Park in Wheaton.

We visit this park often because it has so much wildlife to watch. I was able to get a close-up picture of a killdeer on this particular visit!

They are more prevalent in the area than I originally thought. They are just very good at going about their business undetected because they blend in with the landscape. If you do spot one, they usually run off if you get too close. This one was standing its ground, so I suspect it was a female protecting her camouflaged eggs.

On our way back to the car I captured a few shots of this cute fox squirrel.

This past Saturday (06/11) we took a picnic lunch over to Ray Franzen Bird Sanctuary in Itasca.

We didn’t see any good birds (mostly just red-winged blackbirds which are a dime a dozen), but we did spot this cute baby bunny hiding along the trail.

We also saw a dead squirrel. He looked like he had climbed on a tree branch, laid down, and passed. Poor little thing. I want to go back either early morning or closer to dusk when birds tend to be more active.

I really want to buy a new camera and lens to up my photography game. More on that in my next post…

Categories: Animals, Excursions, Photos Tags: , ,