“Survivorship Through the Lens” People’s Choice Photo Contest Winners Announced During Visit at the Christopher Farm & Gardens!

“Survivorship Through the Lens” People’s Choice Photo Contest Winners Announced During Visit at the Christopher Farm & Gardens!

It was another night of healing and beauty at the Christopher Farm & Gardens! We kicked things off with a “Survivorship Through the Lens” Photo Scavenger Hunt in which folks could win chances for some prizes. I’m not sure why I would be surprised by this... but many folks who participated in the scavenger hunt found all 22 photos scattered throughout the property (and a chance to win a few prizes)!

Then we gathered around a fire, passed the log to share a few comments and stories before announcing the winners of the 2019 “Survivorship Through the Lens” People’s Choice Photo Contest:

Cancer Survivor Division

Overall People’s Choice TOP PHOTO

Atlhea Smith: Dragonfly Wing

A Closer Look (Close-Up Photopgraphy)

Beverly Leonard: Pink Star Burst

The Big Picture (Landscape Photography)

Sharon Pentek: Rocky Road

Photo & Reflection:

Kathy Burch: Days Gone By Reflection

Photogratude (Photo Expressing Gratitude)

Jane Berg: Orange Flower

Co-Survivor Division

Overall People’s Choice TOP PHOTO

Edson Smith: It’s a Bug’s Life

A Closer Look (Close-Up Photography)

Paul Borucki: Remember Your Strengths When You Get the Blues

The Big Picture (Landscape Photography)

Edson Smith: Staying on Track

Photo & Reflection:

Edson Smith: Staying on Track

Photogratude (Photo Expressing Gratitude)

Cletus Leonard: Honor

Eventually, the fire died down and darkness set in and folks started to head home while a few adventurous survivors backpacked to a quiet area of the Christopher property. A short one-mile hike led us to a peaceful grove of trees nestled on the edge of the Lake Michigan shoreline bluff where we set up for the night. Then, in the dark of night, we headed out on a hike and enjoyed the many sights, sounds and smells of nighttime in the great outdoors. We did, however, avoid experiencing the tastes of the great outdoors despite the abundance of different mushroom species as none of us were particularly confident in our foraging skills!

After our hike we sat high on the bluff looking out over Lake Michigan until it was time for sleep. I opted not to use the rainfly of my hammock tent under the clear sky so I could see the stars and watch the partial moon move across the night sky. Then around 3AM I was awakened by drops of water on my face. At first, I was puzzled, as I looked up and saw a clear sky with hundreds of stars and the partial moon shining brightly. A slight east breeze was blowing an evening fog inland and the moisture was collecting in the trees above and dripping down on me! It wasn’t enough to get me out of my hammock... and I went back to sleep.

Up before sunrise we enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa as the sun eventually peeked over the low-hanging fog.

Then we ventured out for a morning hike along the same trails for a chance to see what we weren’t able to see in the darkness of the night before!

I’m already looking forward to our next visit to the Christopher Farm & Gardens for another dose of natural healing!

In the meantime, consider joining us for the upcoming “Hiking Along the Cancer Journey” featuring day hikes and overnight backpacking (see related article!

Participant Comments:

“No matter how many times we have visited the gardens - there is always something new to discover. It may not be a new exhibit, but a newly blooming flower, an insect or bird that graces the area, the opportunity to sit and take in the beauty, or just to relax after an especially difficult day. This place is truly special and a much appreciated experience. Thank you to all those involved in these special days.” - Althea

“Thanks for a lovely evening at CF&G!” – Cindy Becker (above photo submitted)

“Our visits to Christopher Farm & Gardens seem to usually happen within two days after chemo. This is great timing, because a slow stroll through the gardens is a time of renewal and reflection for me. Sitting by a stream is incredibly refreshing. I like watching the ducks going about their business. We also enjoyed the enthusiastic doggy escort. I really enjoyed finding Goldilocks' Cabin and reading the warning about bears! Time around the campfire is also a very supportive gathering. Thank you to Mr. Christopher and to Erika for providing this healing experience.” – Bob Hartig

“I had a blast camping out at the CF&G Friday night. Our hike through the little forest in both the darkness and daylight was magical and brought out the little girl in me (I hope the Smurfs enjoy their fairy garden!). I slept like a log as the waves of Lake Michigan lulled me to sleep. We are so very blessed that Mr. Christopher shares his beautiful property with us all!!” - Leah Heusterberg

“This place is truly a slice of heaven! It was awesome to sit and watch the stars and I really enjoyed the night hike through the mushroom forest! – Beth Stockdale

Watch this Local Cancer Community Update for our next visit to the CF&G – quite possibly a “Survivors on Snowhoes” outing! 😊

Newsletter Sign-up