Posts Tagged ‘Lake Katherine in Palos Heights Illinois’


Here’s Ezra, out on the grassy knoll, having a fun time running around the back acreage, getting all sweaty and exploring our simple life on the Cutoff with his big sister, Kezzie, and cousins Jake and Scott (who shared a great big bag of Thomas the Train and all of Thomas’ friends). The camera “caught” our young lad rounding the wildlife habitat. 



What a busy, long weekend was had; decorating a cake for Papa’s birthday with Auntie Jenny, and “funning” around the backyard,




and taking a walk at Lake Katherine, then visiting the Plush Horse for big scoops of ice cream. Kezzie shared a small table with another little lass while Ezra dipped into ice cream for the very first time.


All-in-all, ’twas just plain old fashioned enjoyment with family gathered together, here on the Cutoff.


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Lead Glass:GreenThe view outside our windows is an emerald sea these days, from our worn out lawn wearing a freshened suit of moss, to the emerging leaves on trees and bushes. The ferns are unfurling, the lily of the valley showing tiny buds, and the roses are promising blooms sometime soon. I feel a bit like Kermit the Frog, only with a positive spin on the words to the song that helped to make him famous, as I sing out “it is easy being green”.

On a recent walk around Lake Katherine, one of Kermit’s relatives was splashing in the mud,


and a pair of Mallards became mighty friendly as they waddled over to where Tom and I were bench sitting, begging for a handout. Mrs. Mallard came a-quacking right over to our knees. As tempting as it is, I do not bring morsels of bread to feed geese and ducks as it is not good for them to take food from strangers now, is it?



Well, I have a bit of list a mile long today, so, I’d best get off of this log I’ve been sitting upon, and get out and about with the day before me, which includes finishing up “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train”, composing the minutes from a meeting I’m charged to do, give the basil sitting on the countertop a home in a pot on the deck, and maybe sit for a spell in the arbor and count my blessings.


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We have donated clothes and furniture, toys and time, books and money; all the things you also have donated. It is what we all do to ease the burdens of others or support a charitable cause. Today, we made a donation unlike any other.

It all started last Saturday when we visited Lake Katherine. We were in the nature center. Tom was coming up the stairs as I was going down. There, on the landing, half up and half down, was this wonderful poster identifying the many mushrooms and fungi that sprout  in our area. There, dead center, with a fairy ring dancing round and around, was an illustration of a puffball. We were chatting about it when a voice behind us queried “Did you say you have puffballs in your yard?”. An employee of the center, she was fascinated with our puffy story, saying that if we would like to dig it up she would love to display one.

Most of our gang of puffballs are gone now; deflated, eaten by the woodchuck or dessert for the deer, chunks of puff scattered about.

One, only one, remained. The one measured by the size of my sandal still sat near the arbor, still growing, although with less zeal.

Tom carefully dug the puffball out,

put it into a lined box,

and nestled it securely into the trunk of the car.

I drove away with my precious produce, avoiding bumps in the road and sharp turns; not an easy ride for puffballs, like all things that play with elves and gnomes, emanated the most obnoxious of odors that managed to seep through the car’s ventilation system.

I soon waddled up the walkway from my now noxious car to the nature center, avoiding a gaggle of preschoolers excited over the geese pecking about. I was greeted with as much enthusiasm as Santa Claus by the very same Saturday lady, who gurgled with glee , “Oh, my, you really did bring one!”. 

The soon-to-be famous Cutoff Puff now sits on the stairway display case, half up and half down, measuring just over 18 inches long. It looks like a dinosaur egg sitting in its nest. I wonder how long it will sit there before some curious lad or lass pokes it.

I also wonder if can we claim it as a charitable donation on our income tax?


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We visited a peaceful city park in nearby Palos Heights last weekend, Lake Katherine.

We were in awe of the many ways community groups and volunteers participate in maintaining this public space. From the Heritage Garden brimming with vegetables that is maintained by the University of Illinois Extension Services, to a children’s garden whose entrance is the reclaimed pillars of razed schoolhouse, Lake Katherine is truly a gift from the community to all of its citizens and beyond.

The entrance to the children’s garden.


The sign above caught my eye. The nearer I came to the display, the more I thought that I should try growing dahlias next year.

Do you grow dahlias? Do you have any tips or advice on their care?

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