A Hot Day In A Cool Garden

Tuesday probably wasn’t the most comfortable day to be walking around outside, temperatures were in the high 80’s and humidity way up there, but the rain had finally cleared out and I wanted to see the Butterfly Exhibit at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

While I was waiting for the exhibit to open, I wandered over to a part of the garden that I have never visited before. This area is primarily for kids. They have a learning center there and a play area. The Cove is a platform by the lake where they can study life along the water’s edge and a group from summer camp were looking for frogs.

Back to the butterflies. Butterflies and Blooms is a really cool opportunity for people to see rather more exotic butterflies than the ones we usually get in our own gardens. There are also some beautiful flowers to enjoy.

After more than an hour of walking round and round the butterfly enclosure, I decided to head over to the English Walled Garden for a little shade and a drink of water.

By this time I had used up just about all of my energy and decided to make one more stop, at the Circle Garden before heading for the exit.

I think this little bird had the right idea. He, at least, was keeping cool on this very hot day.

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.

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.