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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
I had intended to include Lombard in my Square Trees in Illinois post but I thought Lilacia Park deserved a spot of its own for Becky’s Square Tree Photo Challenge.
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.
As you might guess, I couldn’t let Becky’s Square Trees Photo Challenge go by without sharing a few images from the Chicago Botanic Garden.