Butterflies at the Chicago Botanic Garden are my second entry for the July Blues squares. Still trying to catch up with posts and emails. Our youngest grandson is visiting this week so posts and replies may be a bit sporadic but I will get to them all eventually. I am, however, making every effort to keep up with all the excellent blogs that I follow on WordPress.
This week, Amy has chosen something Unique as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours with the butterflies at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and, rather like snowflakes, it seems as though every one is slightly different. And they feel like snowflakes too, whispering past my arms and neck, giving me those butterfly kisses just like my mother used to brush against my cheeks with her eyelashes when I was a child.
And there is definitely some butterfly hanky panky going on in here. What I at first take to be one very large, oddly-shaped butterfly turns out to be two having a good time in the afternoon sun. And there are more of them at it a little further along the path.
I wonder if it’s the rotting fruit that is driving them sex mad? There seems to be a constant flow of visitors to these colorful trays of tempting delicacies, including a butterfly that looks strangely like an autumn leaf.
Whatever the reason, the butterflies are extremely active, the air is full of them fluttering around. It’s a strange thing but although moths usually send me running for the exits or screaming for assistance in the house, butterflies are welcome to land on my shoulder or, like this one, catch a ride on my camera bag.
Each one of these little gems is a unique creation of nature, living a brief, gaudy life, distributing butterfly kisses and filling the hearts of young and old alike, with joy.
It’s early June and time for the second wave of color in our garden. I’ve also included a swallowtail butterfly, one of twelve that hatched out recently. We found the caterpillars in November and brought them inside to overwinter in the sun room. It’s amazing how they know when it’s safe to emerge given that they’re not in their natural environment. Still lots more flowers to come.
Pick almost any adjective that you would care to mention and you could probably pair it with ‘nature.’ Nature can be many things; spectacular, colorful, harsh, unforgiving, picturesque and so much more. This week Ann-Christine has chosen Delicate as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and that can most definitely be applied to nature.
This week, Nancy Merrill is looking at depth of field as the subject for the Photo A Week Challenge. I have no clue how I get the results that I do. As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t know an f-stop from a truck stop, but somehow the camera seems to know what I want and every once in a while it cooperates. You say you want bokeh. Okay.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Depth of Field.
This week it’s All About Nature on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge. Due to family commitments, I haven’t been able to spend much time doing photography lately (although I’ve tried to keep up with all your wonderful posts and pictures) so here are a few shots that I took earlier this year at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Como Park Zoo in Minnesota.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to It’s All About Nature.
Nancy’s choice of subject for this week’s Photo A Week Challenge is Things With Wings so to kick things off, I brought back my feathered friend from the Chicago River for another appearance. I took so many shots with different poses and angles that I don’t think I’ve ever had to use the same picture twice.
Some beautiful wings at the Chicago Botanic Garden butterfly exhibit. A must-see at the Garden every summer.
Taking a stroll around our own back garden earlier this year, it was good to see plenty of bees buzzing around, and as usual there were grasshoppers galore.
For more on Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Things with Wings.
This week, Ann-Christine asks if it’s better to blend in or stand out in a crowd. Frog and Toad evidently feel it’s a good idea to blend in with their surroundings. They know their lives may depend on it, the frog in a pond at Spring Valley Nature Center and the toad crouching on a dry river bed in Lafayette, Indiana.
The monarch butterfly, however, enjoys flaunting its gaudy patterns in the open and doesn’t seem too concerned about standing out in a crowd. These two, in downtown Chicago and at the Morton Arboretum couldn’t resist showing off their true colors.
So is it better to blend in or stand out? The next picture was taken in our garden and shows another creature who likes to remain inconspicuous among the leaves, a praying mantis, and its hapless victim, a monarch butterfly. So I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to Blending In – or Standing Out?
It was a gloriously warm, sunny day at the end of summer when we went in search of Trolls at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. These trolls weren’t the nasty kind that invade the internet but the ones that hide in the woods. As you will see, we found six of them and saw some other interesting sights along the way.
It would appear that these trolls are not exactly friendly creatures as we soon realized when we came across this car crushed beneath a huge boulder. The perpetrator, a character named Rocky Bardur, was standing just a few yards away.
We came across a whole host of monarch butterflies among the flowers outside the visitor center after which we managed to creep up on troll number two, Sneaky Socks Alexa, who was waiting to spring a deadly trap.
Further along the path, a heron seemed to be pointing the way to Joe the Guardian who was standing on a hill overlooking the expressway.
I must say that going on this Troll Hunt encouraged us to take paths that we have never trodden before, giving us the opportunity to see familiar scenes from a different perspective.
I’m not sure if troll number four found us or we found her. Furry Ema certainly looked like she was up to no good.
Walking across Daffodil Glade, we saw a tree that looked as though a troll had breathed on it. And it wasn’t too long before we came across number five, Niels Bragger, lurking in the woods.
Little Arturs was easy to spot. He was taking a break in Bobolink Meadow. These 15 to 60 foot giants were created from recycled wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, and he has done a fantastic job! The Arboretum hopes to keep them on display through to 2019 depending on how they weather. It will be interesting to see how they stand up to a Chicago-style winter..