Laurasjoquist's Blog

arts, crafts, photography, and joy

Mother’s Day Hike

Today we hiked at Devil’s Lake State Park near Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Partly because it was mother’s day and my family knows I like to hike.  But also because I received a new lens for my camera and wanted to try it out.  I am still figuring out the focus, but I took a few decent photos of the family.

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Spring in Illinois

The flowers are out in full forest in Illinois forests in April and May.  Most of these ephemeral beauties won’t last long though.   I take a hike (almost) every day to see who has shown up and who has gone away.

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Photos of Paris France

John had to work a few days in Birmingham, UK.  Jack and I flew into Paris and spent those few days looking at monuments, churches, and cemeteries and then took the train to meet John in London.  The last time I went to Paris I was alone and it was February.  It rained most of the days I was there and, while the city was beautiful, it had a general feeling of melancholy.  Going this time with Jack in April was different.  The city felt familiar to me, but the mood was brighter.  To see more photos of Paris go to my flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurasjoquist/sets/72157614852117618/ .

The Eiffel Tower

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Arc de Triomphe

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The Louvre and Tuilleries

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Montparnasse Cemetery

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Basilica Sacre Couer

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Notre Dame Cathedral

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Photos at Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Jack’s favorite part of the trip to Paris was Pere Lachaise Cemetery. Our apartment was only a few blocks away from a “secret” side entrance and so we went there two mornings in a row. It is a place that is sad in the way that all cemeteries are, but also absolutely beautiful in its slow decay. If you’re ever in Paris with children, take them there. They will love all the little pathways and stairways and the wild flowers and broken gravestones.  Too see more photos in Paris go to my Flickr page  https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurasjoquist/sets/72157614852117618/

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Photos of hen and chicks

I know.  You thought there would be some great photos of baby chicks here.  But you got a plant instead.  I am just so excited that my Hen bloomed.  I mean, I know this means my hen dies, but I’ve never had a hen that bloomed before.  And so…vigorously too.

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Spring photos at Harlem Hills Prairie

Jack stayed over at a friend’s house Friday night which gave me the opportunity to visit Harlem Hills Prairie early Saturday morning for a short wildflower identification walk.  We had gone earlier in the week with friends from the Master Naturalist class but I wanted to go back and get some pictures and try to identify some of the flowers that had perplexed us. First off, let me say, native wild flowers are not my forte.  Secondly, I’m still perplexed.  So if you’re reading this and are a Illinois wildflower aficionado, feel free to jump in the comments and help a fellow naturalist out.

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Wild Rose

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Purple Cone Flowers

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Lead Plant

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I think this is Daisy Fleabane in with the coneflowers

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Unknown, maybe it will flower and I’ll be able to figure it out

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Also unkown, even with a flower.

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We think this might be Golden Alexander.

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False Indigo,one of my favorites!

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Is this a coreopsis?

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Perhaps some kind of grass.   Grasses are also not my forte.

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Not sure what the flower is, but I liked the raindrops.

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Yarrow

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More coneflowers

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a white coneflower

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And more conflowers again

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compass plant-also a favorite

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Tiny, purple unkown

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We thought this was Shooting Star after the flower was gone.

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I think this is called Deptford Pink.  I don’t think it is native to Illinois.

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Short Green Milkweed

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Thimbleweed

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And Common Mullein.

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impossible photo request

The Sierra Club asked for a photo of my favorite public land.  Well, not just me personally,but everybody.  And I thought, just one photo?  Just one favorite place?  Impossible.  I’ve loved every tree in every park on every hike I’ve ever taken.  My heart is full.  Here are a few photos of the many favorite places that reside there.

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I wish I could get paid for this…

A million years after the fact, I finally get what my last college photography instructor was trying to teach me.  Of course at the time he made me cry, quit photography, and take up painting instead.  He wanted us to make a still life, but not the kind with fruit and flowers.  It was suppose to be something completely constructed, and I just couldn’t seem to do it at the time.  It was only recently I realized that I have been doing it all my life, but just never thought of it as art.

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A Few Photos of Christmas

I always feel a little bit like a hypocrite this time of year.  I have no real reason to be celebrating Christmas, and yet I do.  I keep telling myself that I do it for the kids, so they don’t feel alienated from their peers or left out, but I know deep down that’s not entirely true.  There are a lot of things I like about the Christmas season.  I adore the colorful holiday decorations, especially if they are made from paper or fabric.  I absolutely love the cookies, especially if they are frosted.  I enjoy a good meal and a glass of wine with friends and family, especially if it is followed by board games.  The music makes me happy, the memories make me smile.

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a few photos from a walk at harlem hills prairie

I may have a new favorite nature spot.  On Thursday the Master Naturalist class went to Harlem Hills Prairie for a little prairie ecology instruction in the rain.  Prairies are pretty awesome.  It’s too bad there are so few acres left.

John left early for Texas on Sunday morning and I didn’t have to pick Jack up from his friend’s house until 11:00.  I used my time wisely and went back to visit Harlem Hills Prairie for a walk (without the rain this time) and some photos.  It’s a gorgeous place, even in the fall, of rolling hills and abundant plants and birds.  It is a place that really fills my heart.  And I need that, to stay human.

I can’t wait to see it in the spring.  If I were a better Master Naturalist-in-training, I might remember all the names of these plants.

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