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.
This week, Cee is looking for flowing water for her Black & White Photo Challenge. A couple of months ago we took a trip to Minnesota to visit, among other places, Minnehaha Falls. It was a very dull, wet day when we were there so we probably didn’t see them at their best. I think, in this instance, the black/white treatment does them and the resulting flow of water more justice than the original color shots.
Closer to home, here are a couple of images from my visit to the Air & Water Show in downtown Chicago. Walking back from the lakefront, I took in Buckingham Fountain and a slightly less well-known fountain outside the Chicago Art Institute.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Flowing Water.
This week, Cee is looking for birds for her Black & White Photo Challenge. We saw plenty of birds while we were in Texas! In fact, while we were in San Antonio, one of the biggest challenges for me was visiting the Riverwalk which was lined with birds. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know about my life-long fear of birds and the problems that I have, dealing with them in everyday situations. After the first few minutes of dodging pigeons along the pathway I was almost tempted to give it up and return to street level but with the help of my husband, who walked ahead of me, as a kind of anti-bird bodyguard, I managed to stay the course for quite a distance and I was glad that I did. There is so much to love about the Riverwalk!
However, it’s not all fun and games on the river. This young bird (heron?) was standing alone on the banks of the Riverwalk. He was quite unconcerned that we were so close. I guess he must have become used to people walking by and the boats packed with tourists going up and down the river. I’m no bird expert so I couldn’t really tell how old he was but I hoped that he was capable of taking care of himself as, when we walked back on the other side of the river, we spotted an adult heron floating dead in the water just opposite to where he was standing.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Birds
The squirrels in Texas are very bold, let me tell you! I didn’t need a long lens for this shot, in fact I was half-inclined to take a step back, as this feisty little critter gave every indication that he was about to run straight up my leg!
Back to the alphabet for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge which this week features the letters K and L. Many of the images that I’ve used for this challenge were taken some years ago and it’s been interesting for me to wander through the old photo files to see just what kind of things caught my eye back in the day.
A Komodo Dragon named Faust, on display at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago in 2006.
This picture of a kangaroo was taken so long ago I can’t remember where I saw it. Possibly Brookfield Zoo.
A more recent picture, of a koi fish, was taken at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
The king of the jungle, a lion at Brookfield Zoo gazes out at an admiring crowd, sizing us up perhaps as a possible source of lunch. He looks very lazy but I’m sure he was ready to leap into action if the need arose.
A lamb at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.
A rather alarming llama appearing to get somewhat confrontational at Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm in South Barrington.
I really had to go out on a limb for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week. Keeping to my chosen theme, animals, bugs and birds, I struggled to find anything in the photo files that started with the letters I or J especially the letter I, so I hope you will pardon me if I have jumped to any conclusions in identifying the following. Hopefully, anyone more knowledgeable about bird and animal species can correct me.
Could this be a glossy ibis? I captured the image many years ago in an avian sanctuary at Cypress Gardens in Florida. Unfortunately the b/w treatment has taken away all distinguishing colors but the original picture shows that the bird was grey with an iridescent sheen to the feathers. There was also a red strip on the upper part of the bill. If you have followed my blog for any amount of time you will be wondering why I was in a cage full of birds. Despite my life-long fear of our feathered friends, the opportunity to get some close-up shots of so many beautiful creatures prompted me, in a moment of insanity, to plunge in, so to speak. My husband accompanied me (someone had to be there to carry me out if I fainted!) and we crept around trying not to disturb the inhabitants. I was terrified!!! I only managed to take a few shots before my courage completely deserted me and had to be led out with my eyes shut.
The animals pictured above are, I’m fairly sure, Siberian ibex. This was a shot that I took on slide film many, many years ago at Brookfield Zoo when they had a high, rocky enclosure know as IbexIsland. It was demolished in 2008 to make room for the new bear exhibit. I don’t know what happened to the ibex.
Jellyfish, pictured at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
A junco and blue jay in our garden. These shots were taken with a long lens from the safety of our living-room window.
The letters for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week are G or H and, keeping to my chosen theme of nature and more specifically animals, bugs and the like, I didn’t have too hard a time coming up with the goods.
The patterns on this giraffe make for great camouflage among the leaves at Brookfield Zoo.
Despite being stripped of his brilliant color by the b/w treatment of this image, a greedy goldfinch in our garden still makes a good subject for the letter G.
A giant grasshopper; at least it appears that way thanks to this close encounter at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
A hopeful hen looking for food and a handsome horse waiting to do a little light work at the Volkening Heritage Farm in Spring Valley Nature Center, Schaumburg.
A hungry hawk making short work of a hapless sparrow.
This picture of a huge hippo was taken back in the day when Brookfield Zoo still kept a number of large mammals. Somehow the whole zoo-going experience just hasn’t been the same without these giants.