This week, Ann-Christine has chosen Hideaway as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. My hideaway may seem strange to many but this is my take on it. Being rather an introvert by nature, I feel more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it and photography seemed like an ideal hobby for me to pursue. I like the feeling of invisibility that it gives me while looking through the viewfinder, as though I’m the only person in the place. So that’s my hideaway, wherever I happen to be, behind the camera, which in this instance was Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
This week, Patti encourages us to share a Quiet Moment for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I like to get to places early in the morning before the crowds arrive. That way, I can take uninterrupted shots of the bigger picture and concentrate on individual subjects later in the day. So it was when I visited Cantigny Park recently, as I enjoyed few quiet moments, contemplating the various views in the gardens.
Hooray!! Cantigny Park in Wheaton opened up to the public again this week. I arrived there early in the morning yesterday, ahead of all those who, like me, were longing for somewhere other than their own gardens to visit. What a treat! We all managed to get around while keeping a safe distance and there were plenty of Seats available.
This week, Ann-Christine has chosen Trees as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and there is certainly no shortage of those in my photo files, so in order to select a few for this post I decided to look at the images and choose some of those where I thought the trees added the finishing touch, the icing on the cake, so to speak. These were taken at Cantigny Park, Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum in Illinois and one in Utah.
This week, Tina Schell at Travels and Trifles has chosen Shadows as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. There were surprisingly few of these in the photo files, or at least ones that I thought added anything to the overall picture. There were some, however, that I thought might just fit the bill. I selected the first shot, taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden, as I rather liked how the tree’s shadows led the way over the bridge as though reaching out to its counterpart on the other side.
Shadow symmetry by the McGinley Pavilion at The Chicago Botanic Garden.
Shadows standing out in the snow at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and on the path under a pergola at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
Biltmore Mansion casts a large shadow over the landscape in Asheville, North Carolina.
This week, Tina has selected Curves as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge so here is my interpretation of the theme. As you can probably tell, my mind is on warmer days to come. These gorgeous roses were growing at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, and Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to CURVES.
The subject for Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge is Reflection and I seem to have captured one or two at Cantigny Park in Wheaton without even realizing it. Quite often, I’m not fully aware of everything that’s in the picture when I take the shot so sometimes it’s nice when something unexpected shows up, especially when I can use it for a photo challenge.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Reflection.
I couldn’t let Becky’s September Squares go by without submitting a few pink flower pictures so I’ll get it out of my system now and do it all in one go. Two from the Chicago Botanic Garden, two from my garden and one from Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
For more on Becky’s Square in September Photo Challenge go to Hello September!
Had I not visited their website beforehand, I might have been disappointed when we arrived at Cantigny Park in Wheaton to find that most of the formal gardens were closed for renovation. As it was, I was prepared and, rather than being let down, was interested to see just what improvements they had already made. The ongoing project named New Leaf includes alterations to the First Division Museum, formal gardens, the McCormick house, parking lots and picnic area but, because they seemed to be working mostly in one part of the park, there were still plenty of places to enjoy on a sunny day.
Luckily the Rose Garden was still intact and even though the sprinklers were going at full blast I was able to get close enough to capture a couple of images.
The Pergola that runs parallel to the Rose Garden was decorated with beautiful hanging baskets and, beside this, the ground beneath the trees in the Allee was covered with masses of fallen chestnuts. Seeing this always reminds me of when we used to collect ‘conkers’ when we were children. I’m sure that game went the way of the Dodo.
The Idea Garden was looking at its best with a mix of vegetables and colorful flowers including some gorgeous dahlias.
There was a nice show of Brazilian sage in the Idea Garden which was attracting the bees and also a hummingbird which obligingly landed on a nearby shrub.
The flowers weren’t the only colorful things in the garden. I’m not sure what the armchair thing was all about but there were several scattered about the Park. As usual, I was too eager to start taking pictures to read the sign and have not, subsequently, been able to find out anything about them. If anyone knows, I’d be happy to hear from you.
I look forward to returning to Cantigny next year. It’s hard to imagine how it could look any more impressive than it already does, but it will be interesting to see what improvements they have made.
For more on Cantigny Park visit http://www.cantigny.org/