Whatever you are celebrating this holiday season, I wish you all good health, happiness and peace for 2018.
I only ever went camping once and that was enough to tell me that I didn’t like it. Add to that the fact that neither of us is as spry as we once were and you can see why we rarely take the road less traveled. Easy access is what we’re looking for these days. However, even though we rarely get off the beaten track, there are still times when, no matter where we are, we experience that brief moment when everything seems serene and peaceful, as though we were the only people there to enjoy the view. Let me give you a few examples.
We certainly weren’t the only people who decided to take the Snowy Range Scenic Byway in Wyoming one day in October a couple of years ago but, pulling off into a convenient parking area along the way, we took a brief walk and were soon in a beautiful spot that offered a calming respite from a tiring day of driving.
After traveling through Wyoming we ended up in Utah where we were visiting our daughter and her husband. They love hiking! Rather rashly I agreed to accompany them on a ramble up to Cecret Lake near Alta and was rewarded by some fantastic scenery. We passed a steady stream of people hiking back down the trail who kept telling us it was well worth the effort and every once in a while, when I was able to stop, take a deep breath and look around, I was inclined to agree.
The day we visited Antelope Island in Utah there were storms in the area. One had already passed through and another was on its way which probably explains why there weren’t that many people about. The island seemed to be taking it all in its stride, very calm and serene.
On our drive out of Utah we stopped at several scenic overlooks along the way and always managed to time these breaks to coincide with a jolly bus-load of tourists whose exuberance and laughter became a familiar sound as we climbed out of the car at each stop. I loved it! I got caught up in their enthusiasm and when they left, the place seemed deserted. We were left to take in the magnificent view in silence. Until the next stop.
Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota was a popular spot on the day we decided to take a drive through there. Parking spaces along the highway were at a premium as everyone caught a glimpse of the same stunning views, all scrambling to capture an image before moving on to the next turn in the road. But despite the press of eager photographers, this was one of those places that made you feel like you were the only one there.
4 am at Lake Dalecarlia in Lowell, Indiana. I wanted to make sure I caught the sunrise and got up way too early. Everyone else in the house was still sleeping so I grabbed the camera and crept outside.
And finally, The Chicago Botanic Garden. I don’t know how many thousands of people visit this place every year but be in the right place at the right time and it can feel like you are the only one who has discovered this tranquil paradise.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Serene
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is asking for a word that includes the letter O and, with winter on our doorstep, I took a look back at an event held earlier this year at the Chicago Botanic Garden that has me looking forward to the next orchid show which will be held February 10 – March 25, 2018.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter O – Needs to have the letter O anywhere in the word
The subject for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Transformation and, going through the photo files, I find that I can do no better than to show the transformation that years, seasons and even time of day can bring to one of my most favorite places to visit, the Chicago Botanic Garden. I’ve chosen three specific areas to demonstrate these transformations; The Japanese Garden, along the Esplanade and inside the English Walled Garden.
For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Transformation
The subject for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge requires two E’s in the title this week, so trees seemed like a good fit. These images were captured at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum in Spring and Autumn (my favorite time of year.)
“He who plants a tree
Plants a joy;
Plants a comfort that will never cloy;
Every day a fresh reality,
Beautiful and strong,
To whose shelter throng
Creatures blithe with song.
If thou couldst but know, thou happy tree,
Of the bliss that shall inhabit thee.”
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter E – Needs to have two E’s in the topic word
There’s always something beautiful to see at the Chicago Botanic Garden no matter what time of year you go, but September always seems to have something special to offer. The roses have usually taken on a new lease on life and when I went to the Garden a few days ago they looked gorgeous.
The water lilies too, seemed at the peak of perfection.
While I was there, a well-meaning gentleman offered to give me some tips on photography but when I explained that I couldn’t tell an f-stop from a bus stop, never read the camera manual and didn’t usually like to fiddle around changing settings and such, he gave me up as a hopeless case. It was a kind thought, however, and I thanked him profusely.
This year’s theme, “Brazil in the Garden” provided visitors with plenty of unusual plants and flowers to enjoy, with Bromeliads, orange Canna lilies and Bismarck palms taking center stage.
Even the ducks seemed in a festive mood.
I was about to leave Evening Island when the great bells of the Carillon Tower clanged the two-o-clock hour.
Just time to visit the Plant Evaluation Garden before heading back home.
This week, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge kicks off a new series of alphabet challenges with a twist. Not only does the subject need to begin with an A but also a P. Apparently, appointments have appropriated most of my leisure time today so here are a couple of quick entries that I thought would be apposite. Apples and bees in an apiary at the Fruit and Vegetable Garden, part of the Chicago Botanic Garden.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter A – Needs to start with the Letters Ap