Tongues

When I posted a few giraffe pictures recently for Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge, fellow blogger, Scillagrace, pointed out that I had omitted to include any which show the giraffe’s prodigious tongue.  Going back to the photo files I managed to find a few that give only an idea of just how long it really is.  A giraffe’s prehensile tongue can measure anything up to 18 to 20 inches in length. Very useful for reaching those tasty leaves on the topmost branches of a tree in the wild but at the zoo the food is put within easy reach so there’s not much call for any kind of strenuous tongue activity.

 

 

OWPC – Giraffe

The One Word Photo Challenge from Jennifer Nichole Wells this week is Giraffe.  These are such graceful creatures and Brookfield Zoo offers an excellent opportunity for capturing some nice shots.

Measuring up.

I love you, Mommy!

 

Tree smooching.

For more on Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge go to This Week’s Challenges: June 11 – 17 (OWPC & WW)

 

A Photo A Week – Moving Waters

Nancy Merrill has suggested Moving Waters as the theme for her Photo A Week Challenge this week and, looking through the archives, I realized I had quite a few images that might fit the bill.

Pictured above, Copper Falls State Park near Mellen in northern Wisconsin.

A fish ladder on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise, Michigan.

The fountains at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois.  A refreshing sight on a hot day.

For more on Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge go to A Photo a Week: Moving Waters

Poppies, Butterflies and A Corpse Flower

It’s been a few weeks since my last visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden and in that time most of the usual spring flowers have come and gone.  I missed the tulips, tree blossoms and the azaleas in the Japanese Garden but fortunately was just in time to see the annual, colorful display of Iceland poppies on the hill just outside the English Walled Garden.

There was much activity throughout the Garden as preparations are being made for this year’s theme which is ‘Brazil in the Garden’ so it wasn’t really a good time for taking pictures and I headed over to the Butterflies and Blooms exhibit which has returned to the newly renovated Regenstein Learning Campus.  Here too, things were only just beginning to get going but I did manage to capture a couple of nice butterfly shots.

But undoubtedly the stars of the show and what most people had come to the Garden to see that day were not just one but two rare Corpse Flowers nicknamed ‘The Titan Twins’ that were on display in the greenhouse.

 

April Showers Bring………

………more showers but also May flowers.  Despite moaning about the miserable weather we’ve experienced so far this spring in the Chicago area, I have to admit that our garden has never looked so lush and vibrant.  Many of the plants that I thought might not do as well this year, for one reason or another, have really pulled out all the stops, especially the iris.

The peonies never disappoint and somehow the frequent downpours of rain only seem to make them smell all the sweeter.

 

In fact, everything in the garden is thriving, from tulips to allium and the Japanese anemone.  A feast for all the senses and a promise of things to come in the summer.

And always lurking in the background, my arch nemesis, the rabbit, looking the picture of innocence.  One false move, rabbit, and you’re for the high jump!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Gardens

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Gardens and do I have the garden pictures!!  Wherever we go on our travels we always look out for a pleasant public garden in which to spend some time and over the years we have found a multitude of gorgeous places.  Rather than overload the post with too many images, I’ve narrowed it down to just a few of the more memorable gardens that we’ve visited.

Closest to home is the Chicago Botanic Garden and probably my most favorite spot to sit and look at the flowers is the Circle Garden.

The Frederik Meijer Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides a delightful blend of art and nature.

Although the reason we went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis was chiefly to see the Chinese Lantern Festival, we went back again to take in everything else that the garden had to offer and it was spectacular!

Another place that really impressed us was the garden at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The perfume in the rose garden was heavenly!

Green Bay Botanical Garden in Wisconsin is another one of my favorites.  We have spent many hours wandering around here looking at all the beautiful flowers and plants.

Back to Illinois and the gardens at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.  Immaculately kept, these gardens are a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

Also in Illinois, Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford is a little different in that it doesn’t have a huge display of flowers but makes up for it with tranquil settings amid lush greenery.  Make sure you visit the waterfall and perhaps feed the koi fish swimming in the pool.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge visit https://ceenphotography.com/2017/05/23/cees-fun-foto-challenge-gardens/

Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

This week’s Photo Challenge, set for us by Ben Huberman at The Daily Post, is Heritage.   One thing that we all share in common, no matter whether we are young, old, rich or poor, is the living world around us.  It is largely up to us to determine how we pass that heritage on to the next generation.  All these wonderful gifts of nature will only thrive if we continue to take good care them but sadly it seems there is an irresponsible element that puts money and big business before the well-being of the environment.  We can only hope that wiser heads will prevail.

The Heritage Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, dedicated to Carolus Linnaeus who established binomial nomenclature as the recognized method of naming plants, is modeled after Europe’s first botanical garden in Padua, Italy.

At the center of the garden is a fountain surrounded by raised flower beds that contain medicinal plants from around the world.

A gentle flow of water cascades over shallow steps that lead to three aquatic pools containing water lilies, lotus and other water plants.

Circling the perimeter of the garden seven flower beds display plants according to their geographic origin while fourteen addition beds are used to display plants grouped according to scientific classification.

These pictures were taken over a period of years and at different times of the year, additional displays in the Heritage Garden changing according to the season.

For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/heritage/