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Water, Water Everywhere – At Gooseberry Falls

I’m not sure if I’ve participated in this challenge before but I thought Jez’s WWE photo challenge would be a good opportunity for me to share some pictures that I took up at Gooseberry Falls, about an hour’s drive north of Duluth in Minnesota, last month. The Falls are easy to access and consist of three levels, upper, middle and lower falls.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Designed By Nature

This week, Patti is looking at Shapes and Designs as the theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I suspect that, much like snowflakes and humans, no two creatures of any one species are exactly the same. We are all different. Every one of us unique in our own way, according to nature’s design.

Photographing Public Art – In Elk Grove

This week, Marsha is hosting the Photographing Public Art Challenge and has found some interesting works of art in Mesa, Arizona.

Almost everywhere you go in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, you’ll see ‘elk’ art. Earlier this year we happened to be driving down Oakton Street, past Elk Grove Technology Park, a new state-of-the-art industrial facility and noticed some interesting sculptures dotted about the grounds, so we stopped to take a closer look.

Meanwhile, over at the Busse Woods Forest Preserve in Elk Grove, you can see the real thing. The elk herd has been re-established and they are looking fit and well.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Colors Of Autumn

This week, Amy is looking at the Colors of Autumn as our topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I wanted to share pictures that I had taken recently rather than delving back into the photo files to come up with images that have probably been used several times already, but it’s a little too early for fall color in our neck of the woods just yet. However, we were up in Minnesota on the second day of Autumn last week when we stopped off at the Silver Creek Cliff Overlook, part of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail. There were traces of autumn hues in the trees and the many different colors of rocks on the cliff face combined with a blue sky mirrored in the waters of Lake Superior made a very colorful scene.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Artificial Light

I have quite a lot of catching up to do as we’ve been out of town for the past week but luckily I have a whole new batch of images in the photo files to work with, so here goes! Ann-Christine was looking at Artificial Light when she hosted the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge recently. For me, one of the most challenging situations in relation to photography is taking pictures in artificial light. Add to that the difficulties of capturing images of continually moving subjects in water and behind glass and that is definitely one big challenge. The first day of our trip to Duluth in Minnesota was a rainy one, so we spent the afternoon at the Great Lakes Aquarium.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Going Wide

This week, Patti is asking us to Go Wide for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. So often we focus on a single item and fail to take a step back to look at the bigger picture. When we visited the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford recently, I felt as though there were some shots that just couldn’t hold everything that I wanted to include. I don’t own a wide angle lens for the Canon EOS so I tried using the camera on my Galaxy phone and the results were quite pleasing.

Sinnissippi Gardens in Rockford lies on the banks of the Rock River. Usually when I take a picture of a river, I like to do so at an angle, so the phone camera came in useful for this shot too, as well as some wider-angle pictures of the gardens and lagoon.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Looking Up/Down

This week, our guest host, Sofia, asks us to Look Up and Down for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. We did quite a bit of looking up when we visited the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, the other day. There was some artwork that required us to look up and we also had to look up to see the waterfall gushing underneath the bridge. As we were leaving the Gardens we looked up to see someone trimming one of the very tall trees.

From the Japanese Gardens we went down the road to Sinnissippi Gardens where we looked down at plants growing in the conservatory and fish swimming in a pool, while outside we looked down at a pair of swans who in turn appeared to be looking down at some ducks.

Last week, I posted my entry for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge on another blog site, one that I rarely use, so you may want to follow this link and hop on over there to see my thoughts and pictures on the theme of Walking.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Your Inspiration

This week, Patti looks for our take on Inspiration for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I recently spent some time with the lions at Brookfield Zoo and looking through the resulting images, I was inspired to write this little poem.

With thoughtful gaze and stealthy stride,

Behold the monarch of his pride,

Awaits the dawn with stoic grace

And measures out the time and place,

A kingdom of a lesser space.

What long forgotten freedom lies

Within the memory of these eyes?

To rule again, his roar imparts,

The plains of home from which life starts.

Your realm lies here, within our hearts.

Following the sad and untimely death of their two lions, Isis and Zenda, in 2020, Brookfield Zoo acquired two 4 year-old male African lions, brothers named Titus and Brutus, from Utah’s Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. It certainly is interesting to see how they are adjusting to their new home.

Brookfield Zoo is a participating institution in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ African Lion Species Survival Plan. African lions are listed as ‘vulnerable’ according to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, due to hunting and loss of habitat.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Postcards

This week, our guest host, Ana, is looking for Postcards for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. In this age of texting, emails and social media, I’m guessing that postcards are rarely used now, which is kind of sad. I remember as a child, sneaking a peak at the naughty postcards for sale on the pier or promenade at the various seaside resorts that we stayed at, usually depicting a very large lady with a little, hen-pecked husband and featuring some rather saucy innuendoes.

Later, before I got into photography, I would buy postcards that showed the places I’d visited, more for my own use as mementoes, not bothering to send them to anyone as I usually got home before the postcards arrived, thanks to the third-class postal delivery. Also, what could you really write about on such a small space except, “Lovely weather! Wish you were here.”

The postcard that had the biggest impact on my life came addressed to my husband from his girlfriend which was one of the reasons he became my ex-husband; the moral of this story being, ‘Never commit to a postcard what you wouldn’t want everyone, including the postman, to see.’

Here are a few postcards from my recent visit to Cantigny Park in Wheaton. “Lovely weather! Wish you were here.”

Square Trees At The Morton Arboretum

What more fitting place for my final entry in Becky’s Square Tree Photo Challenge than at the Morton Arboretum. I close this post, as I very often do, with a picture of my dear mum. She was always up for any jaunt that I might suggest and I know she really enjoyed our visits to the Arboretum. Thank you, Becky, for this wonderful challenge.