One Word Photo Challenge – Elephant

We’re out looking for elephants for the One Word Photo Challenge set for us by Jennifer Nichole Wells. They’re not easy to find these days, at least not in our neck of the woods. I can’t remember the last time I saw a real live elephant. There hasn’t been one at Brookfield Zoo in who knows how long, although when I spoke to someone who works there, last year, she did say that they were hoping eventually to bring them back to the zoo if and when funds permit.

owpc-elephant-2

One of the last elephants to reside at Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.  I can still remember going for elephant rides at the London Zoo when I was a kid and watching the elephants at the circus, neither of which you can do now, which in some respects, especially from the viewpoint of the elephants, is a good thing. I don’t think I’ll ever be lucky enough to see elephants in their natural surroundings.

owpc-elephant-2

Instead, I must look elsewhere for suitable images, such as these beautifully carved elephant heads at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois.

owpc-elephant-4

And this statue of an elephant in Irwin Gardens, Columbus, Indiana.

For more on Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2017/02/14/one-word-photo-challenge-elephant/

Travel Theme – Eyes

It’s been a while since I participated in Ailsa’s Travel Theme photo challenge but this week’s subject really caught my eye.  For more on Ailsa’s Travel Theme at Where’s My Backpack go to https://wheresmybackpack.com/2017/02/12/travel-theme-eyes/

ttc-eyes-1

I’ve got my eye on you; a frog sunning himself on a rock at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in Iowa.

ttc-eyes-2

Soft kitty; our daughter’s cat Sugar with her odd-colored eyes is enjoying her new surroundings in Utah. She was always used to apartment living in Chicago and has now become accustomed to the joys of roaming about in the garden.

ttc-eyes-3

A bald eagle giving us the eye at Brookfield Zoo.

ttc-eyes-4

Just for fun; a dinosaur skeleton at the Natural History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I gave him the eye!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow

The subject for The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post is shadow and, while I have plenty of pictures that have shadows incidental to the overall image, I don’t seem to have taken many where the shadow was the focal point. This was the best I could manage.  For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge, which this week was set for us by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/shadow-2017/

wpc-shadows-1

A toad contemplates its shadow at a local nature center.

wpc-shadows-6

Two barns, one at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the other at Old World Wisconsin, patterned by shadows from nearby trees.

wpc-shadows-2

Littlest grandson keeping a close eye on his shadow during an early April walk at Spring Valley.

wpc-shadows-4

The ‘pergola effect’ shown here at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, the gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville SC and the Rose Garden at Cantigny in Wheaton, Illinois.

wpc-shadows-5d

Trees in autumn cast long shadows at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.

Macro Moments – Week 30 – Birds

This is my first attempt at Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge.  The subject this week is birds and, strangely, although I suffer from a life-long fear of birds, I love to take pictures of them (from a safe distance, of course.)  Many of my bird shots are taken through either the kitchen or living room window and recently I was able to capture some pictures of a hawk that had just made a kill out in the garden – I cropped the picture to leave out the gory parts.  For more on Susan’s Macro Moments Challenge go to https://musinwithsusan.com/2017/02/08/macro-moments-challenge-week-30/

macro-moment-birds

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Crawling and Flying

Cee is certainly putting us through our paces as she has us crawling and flying for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge.  For some, like this great blue heron taking off into the sunrise just outside Mackinac City, flying comes naturally…..

cffc-flying-1

while most of us need a little help, like this plane coming in for a landing at O’Hare Airport in Chicago………

cffc-flying-2

And others just launch themselves down a hill and hope for the best, like this ski jumper in Fox River Grove.

cffc-flying-3

Crawling takes a bit of practice, as our granddaughter demonstrates.  How quickly they grow up!  Now she’s swimming, bike riding and doing gymnastics.

cffc-crawling-2

And here’s something we found crawling up the wall at the Northern Great Lakes Visitors Center in Ashland, Wisconsin.

cffc-crawling-1

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/02/07/cees-fun-foto-challenge-crawling-or-flying/

Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitude

Solitude.  Even when you’re not alone you can feel a sense of solitude, as I’m beginning to discover as I get older.  I always find this picture of my mother, sitting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, rather poignant.  Although she lived with us and was very rarely on her own, I knew that she felt lonely.  Most of her contemporaries had already died and she was far away from a place that she had known as home for almost seventy years.  When she passed away a few years ago, she left me with my own kind of solitude, taking with her shared memories of people, places and events that no one else but me remembers.

wpc-solitude-1

Sometimes, even when you’re standing right next to a crowd of people, you can feel like you’re the only person on earth.

wpc-solitude-2

Arches Nation Park in Utah.

wpc-solitude-3

The Badlands in South Dakota.

For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/solitude/

One Word Photo Challenge – Elder

Jennifer has chosen ‘elder’ as the subject for this week’s One Word Photo Challenge.  Merriam-Webster’s definition of the noun elder is ‘One having authority by virtue of age and experience’ and, according to Wikipedia, American Indian elders are revered as repositories of cultural and philosophical knowledge. With extraordinary grace, energy and pride, these members of the American Indian Community have set a fine example by keeping their culture alive and meaningful for a new generation.

owpc-elder-1

owpc-elder-3

owpc-elder-2

owpc-elder-4

These images were taken at the American Indian Center’s 63rd Annual Chicago Powwow last year. For more on the One Word Photo Challenge go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2017/01/31/one-word-photo-challenge-elder/