Tag Archive | butterflies

Weekly Photo Challenge – Ooh, Shiny!

Did I ever tell you the story about this rabbit that I knew?  Well there was this rabbit and one day he decided that he was going to………….oh look, isn’t that a heron over there!

Beautiful birds!  It reminds me of the time I saw one when I was staying in……………Oh for goodness sake? What a racket! You can’t hear yourself think!  Here’s another plane coming in for a landing!

Anyway, what was I saying?  Oh yes, about that rabbit……………..look at those butterflies.  I’ll just see if I can get a picture now the breeze has dropped.

So this rabbit………….watch out! Don’t step on that frog. Wow! That was a close thing!

Now where was I? Oh yes. The rabbit decides that he’s going to…………….I thought I could hear a church bell ringing!  Yes, over there.

Perhaps we could just go in and have a look…………..no, wait a minute. Let’s see those horses in the field over there.

So, getting back to the story about this rabbit…………….I wonder what these flowers are called.

Well, this rabbit takes a chance and hops across……………….ooh, shiny!

It doesn’t take much to distract me.  For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Ooh, Shiny!

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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.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Spring/Wood

After the recent spate of b/w photography it’s nice to get back to some colorful images with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge which this week focuses on spring/wood.  The photo files are bursting at the seams with spring pics but I thought I would keep to three different venues that have provided some great opportunities for photographing this seasonal subject.

 

What better place to start our spring tour than in the woods at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. These pictures were taken last year but it won’t be long before the daffodils are blooming among the trees once again.

Our next stop is at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois.  A wonderful place to visit at any time of year, the Garden looks especially pretty in its spring colors.

On a more rustic note, our last port of call is at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/03/28/cees-fun-foto-challenge-spring-wood/

Butterflies

Just a few of the butterflies and moths that we saw at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s ‘Butterflies & Blooms’ exhibit this year. Our grandchildren love visiting this place and are amazingly cautious as they walk along the paths, careful not to step on any of the butterflies that land there.

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I wish I could tell you the names of these beauties but as usual I’m too busy taking pictures to read the signs.  The exhibit is closed now but I imagine it will be open again next year when the weather warms up.  Something to look forward to over the coming winter months.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rare

Ben’s choice of topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge on The Daily Post this week is Rare.  I rarely take pictures of anything that’s rare but I thought these might possibly qualify.  Over the years we have often found caterpillars and butterfly eggs in the garden and kept them safe in an old fish tank until they made their miraculous metamorphosis into beautiful swallowtail butterflies, after which, we released them back into the garden to repeat the cycle.  In all that time it was only on the very rare occasion that I was able to capture the moment of change on camera.

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

 

North Carolina Arboretum

As a prelude to our planned visit to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville last week, we decided to make a side-trip to nearby North Carolina Arboretum.

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Set in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the facility, which is part of the University of North Carolina, was officially designated as an arboretum in 1989, although the idea for an arboretum near Biltmore was originally conceived by famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted in 1898.

The arboretum also includes a beautiful botanic garden and since we only had a limited amount of time to look around, we concentrated our efforts on this area.

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To view the Quilt Garden to its best advantage you have to stand on the stone overlook. From there you can easily see the patterns laid out in the flower beds, butterflies being the motif at the time of our visit.

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On the far side of the garden is Blue Ridge Court which features a pool and a splendid statue of Frederick Law Olmsted, known as the father of American landscape architecture, sculpted by artist Zenos Frudakis, which was unveiled just two months before our visit.

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The Baker Exhibit Center includes a greenhouse and indoor display area. Outside, in the gardens, bees and butterflies are definitely encouraged to stop by.

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There was a certain amount of restructuring going on in the garden area and parts of it were inaccessible to visitors but there was still quite a lot to see.

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I may have been tempted to wander further afield, down one of the many trails in the arboretum, but after I spotted this sign I figured enough was enough!

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Time To Reflect – Snippets From Utah

In previous posts I’ve spoken about the grandeur and majesty of the Utah landscapes and about the limited amount of time we had to spend at each of the places that we visited.  It was difficult not to get caught up in trying to capture the bigger picture and, going through all the photographs (almost 3,000) that I took during our trip, I can see there were very few times when I actually stopped to take a closer look at things. However, there were one or two instances when I was able to slow down, take a breath and get into something more like macro mode.

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One of the things that really fascinated me about Utah was the way everything seemed to be fashioned into such tortuous shapes by the forces of nature. Rocks and vegetation alike have, over the years, been molded by the elements into things of weird and wonderful beauty.

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This was much in evidence in Arches National Park as I hiked along the paths to Skyline and Landscape Arches.  Watch where you walk if you step off the trail. There are lots of these clumps of cactus waiting to snag your ankles.

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On our way to visit Park City we stopped off at Guardsman Pass to take in the scenery. The leaves on the aspen trees were just starting to change color and a butterfly landed conveniently close by as I stood by the side of the road taking pictures of some gigantic seed heads.

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On the only rainy day during our visit to Salt Lake City we visited the Natural History Museum, an extremely interesting place packed with some really bizarre characters.

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I hope if we do get the chance to go back that I will have the luxury of more time to take a closer look at all the wonderful things that Utah has to show us.