Driving to Catherine's this morning stopped at a light, I noticed this cross on the side of the road. Obviously a tribute to Gregory Vasich whose life must have ended at this very spot in an auto accident. A small, but powerful representation of how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken. I am sure than when Gregory began his day he had no thoughts that it would be his last. Life can be too short, live life, find joy in life, and love to complete your life.
Catherine's Bee Balm (Monarda) had already burst into bloom. I think this is the coolest looking flower....it has these petals that just make little poufs....Catherine called it a witches' broom, I think that is a great description, but it's so much prettier than a broom. Another amazing design of nature. I have these in a deep magenta pink which will be displayed proudly on this blog when they bloom.
Today we are headed to Essex, IL to find these darlings as well as a metal sculpture artist that displays his work in Essex. We saw both of these treasures on our way back from our first trip to see the quilted barns in Kankakee, but we were running late that day and couldn't stop but vowed to return to get a better look and today was the day for the "better look". The sky was threatening all day (what else is new) but it did not rain...hallelujah!!
Look at those sweet little antlers...they were all so very small, it was like looking at reindeer in miniture.
The babies were just soooo cute, I could have taken these home with me. Not sure what Toby would have thought, I didn't, so no worries, Toby.
You know the saying "the grass is always greener on the other side" well, here ya go....proof positive.
It was hard to leave this little farm, I could have watched these beautiful animals all day long. They were very friendly, came right up to the fence, obviously looking for a handout...I pulled some of the green grass on my side of the fence for them to nibble on and I became their instant friend. What a find.
Next stop, Essex, IL at Jack Barker's workshop. This place is amazing, and what a character Jack is. He is 78 years young, unbelievable imagination and a genuinly nice guy. Picture this, country road - rundown building - tons (literally) of metal sculptures displayed all over the property with no particular rhyme or reason, each piece a work of art. I admit, some are a little weird, but what an imagination. There were pieces of metal just piled everywhere, old bicycles, typewriters, wagons, barrels, metal, metal everywhere. A junkman's dream.
It's fun just trying to figure out what each piece and part is....talk about recyle!!
Told ya Jack had a sense of humor...check the boobs on this heavy metal lady.
Just a small sampling of his work. It was difficult to get a lot of shots because everything displayed was so close that it looked like a heap of metal, instead of works of art.
After being entertained by Jack we decided it was lunch time...Jack recommended a restaurant in town so off we went. Essex, IL is about as big as a postage stamp. The downtown was approximately 1 1/2 blocks long, but in those short blocks they managed to have at least 4 bars/restaurants. Didn't see a grocery store, but there were plenty of places to enjoy a drink or 2 or 3. There are several "clubs" in the area, I asked what a "club" was and apparently that is a fancy word for a campground/fishing hole and a golf course or two. Lots of fishing and hunting in this area. We ate the recommended pork tenderloin sandwich with fries and headed out....good, but I wouldn't drive to Essex for a 2nd one.
On the way back we stopped at the same farm with the sweet deer, these animals were on the other side of the house, I can see why, not quite the cuteness in these animals as there were in the deer. Not sure what this is??? probably a moutain goat of some kind. It was pretty far away so we didn't get acquainted like I did with the deer. He doesn't look quite as friendly.
And finally, this sorrowful soul. Isn't this the saddest and can we say "ugly" creature? There were about 3 or 4 of these animals, I think some kind of a water buffalo, perhaps, not sure. We didn't become friends either.
Decided we had better head home after a fun day spent in Essex, IL
"I took the road less traveled and happy I did" Robert Frost
Until next time......(comments are always welcome)