Dazzling Daylilies

It would be difficult to imagine how our garden could have looked any more colorful once the irises and poppies were done for the year, but we were pleasantly surprised when the daylilies passed all expectations.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Getting Away

Another timely choice of theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge from our guest hosts this week, Rusha and Bert, who would like to see our take on Getting Away. We haven’t been far afield for some time but we did manage to get away on a trip to Wisconsin this past weekend. It’s amazing how many activities you can pack into a single day when the moving force is a three-year old.

Our youngest granddaughter started the proceedings with a demonstration of her ballet skills. I think she has quite an interesting technique.

Next she showed us how to have fun at the beach. Her choice of venue on this occasion was Bradford Beach, just north of Milwaukee, and I was able to get one or two interesting shots while we looked for shells and feathers, including one of the historic water tower nearby and an impromptu exercise class that had been conveniently set up next to the bar. I had to admire their enthusiasm and I joined them in spirit if not in body.

Our final stop of the day was at the Milwaukee Zoo, where we got some useful tips on feeding the goats. In between trying to stop our tour guide from climbing into all the animal enclosures I did manage to snag some shots of a Cinereous Vulture, one of three, who demonstrated clearly why it was unable to make it in the wild.

Also in the same enclosure were a couple of Southern Ground Hornbills. I’m not sure if this was part of a courting ritual but one of them seemed intent on impressing its partner with a dead rodent. She clearly wasn’t interested so he hopped nearer to the fence to show us. I could imagine him thinking, “What’s not to like?! as he waved his trophy around, looking for some sign of appreciation..

A little further on we came across two grizzlies, one of which appeared to be playing a game of hide and seek.

The last shot of the day was of a peacock chick. I’d never seen one before so I was quite pleased to be able to capture this image.

After all that, our tour guide was showing signs of fatigue and it wasn’t too long before she was fast asleep in the back of the car as we made our way home. I was feeling quite exhausted too and although it was great to get away and see the family, I have to take issue with that old saying about a change being as good as a rest.

Square Trees In Illinois

Looking for Square Trees for Becky’s Square Tree Photo Challenge, I found these in the photo files. If you are familiar with Illinois you may recognize some of these places. Images were captured in and around:- Arlington Heights, Batavia, Cairo, Des Plaines, Elgin, Long Grove, Marion, Mount Prospect, Oakbrook, Rockford, South Barrington, Starved Rock, West Chicago and Wheaton.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – On The Water

This week, John, our guest host, is asking us to go On The Water for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I can’t swim so I never feel very comfortable in or on the water. However, I do occasionally venture out, usually on a pontoon boat, which is how I captured the first two images, one with the Yacht Club in Des Plaines and the other on an excursion around one of Wisconsin’s many lakes.

Needless to say, the next few subjects are totally at home in the water. Images captured at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford and Crabtree Nature Center in South Barrington.

Square Trees At Spring Valley

Becky’s Square Photo Challenge is back and this month the topic is Trees. By their very nature, trees are not that easy to capture in a square picture, Most of the tree images in my photo files don’t fit the bill, they’re either too tall or too wide but, by including a bit of scenery or on the odd occasion some wildlife or zooming up close, I think I’ve found a few shots that may work. So to kick off my entries for the Square Trees Photo Challenge, here are some trees at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – One Photo Two Ways

This week, Tina would like to see One Photo Two Ways. Very often, after I’ve been on a photo shoot, I look to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge for a way to share the resulting images. This may not be exactly what Tina was asking for, but it’s my take on looking at a scene in two different ways. These images were captured on a recent visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden. I’ve taken so many pictures there over the years, that I’m always hoping to find a new way to look at the many familiar views.

In the Heritage garden, some flowers really stand out on their own, but they are only part of an overall display that also stands out in the Garden.

The Circle Garden is one of my favorite spots to sit and enjoy a break so the second shot was taken from a nearby bench.

The English Walled Garden is another favorite place at the Botanic Garden for photographers and artists alike. You can just see an artist painting a picture in the first shot. I got a little closer with the second image to try and get a glimpse of her work.

In the next image, it would appear that this busy volunteer was toiling away in the garden on her own, when in actual fact there were two others working with her. Usually I do my best to leave people out of the picture but on this occasion they just seem to fit in so well.

The Rose Garden has an abundance of beautiful blooms but it’s difficult to capture everything in one shot so I usually take individual pictures of the roses and put them into a collage.

On Evening Island, the bells ring out the hours so that you can hear them from quite a distance. The Carillon is only a small part of the overall landscape but the bells really make themselves known.

Two more views from the English Walled garden.