Nancy Merrill has chosen birds as the subject for this week’s Photo A Week Challenge and many of you will know that the only way I’ll take a picture of a bird is either from a safe distance or from behind a window or similar barrier. My life-long fear of birds has kept me at a distance from these beautiful creatures but it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them or enjoy capturing the occasional image. However, these birds were definitely not in a mood to be trifled with.
One angry bird! This swan did not appreciate an over-inquisitive visitor to the Chicago Botanic Garden getting too close to its young ones.
Never get between a hawk and its dinner. This angry bird evidently didn’t welcome anyone else getting near the plat du jour.
This bird, at Brookfield Zoo, was decidedly cheesed-off about something. It kept marching up and down and making a lot of noise and I, for one, wasn’t about to get in its way.
Also at Brookfield Zoo, this eagle obviously considered it an invasion of his privacy when I used the long lens to get some candid shots.
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.
This week’s Photo Challenge, set for us by Ben Huberman at The Daily Post, is Heritage. One thing that we all share in common, no matter whether we are young, old, rich or poor, is the living world around us. It is largely up to us to determine how we pass that heritage on to the next generation. All these wonderful gifts of nature will only thrive if we continue to take good care them but sadly it seems there is an irresponsible element that puts money and big business before the well-being of the environment. We can only hope that wiser heads will prevail.
The Heritage Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, dedicated to Carolus Linnaeus who established binomial nomenclature as the recognized method of naming plants, is modeled after Europe’s first botanical garden in Padua, Italy.
At the center of the garden is a fountain surrounded by raised flower beds that contain medicinal plants from around the world.
A gentle flow of water cascades over shallow steps that lead to three aquatic pools containing water lilies, lotus and other water plants.
Circling the perimeter of the garden seven flower beds display plants according to their geographic origin while fourteen addition beds are used to display plants grouped according to scientific classification.
These pictures were taken over a period of years and at different times of the year, additional displays in the Heritage Garden changing according to the season.
For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/heritage/
Originally I had planned to use this picture for a different challenge but on second thoughts decided that it would be ideal for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge which this week is All One Color. Blending in and looking like part of the surroundings, this little frog at the Chicago Botanic Garden was quite happy to sit and watch as visitors to the garden wandered past.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/05/16/cees-fun-foto-challenge-all-one-color/
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.
Time again for what has become an annual ‘must see’ on my calendar of things to do; The Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show. Orchids are just one of Mother Nature’s miracles and no matter how many times I see them, I am in awe of their beauty. This year’s show was, if anything, even more amazing than those of previous years. Maybe I hit it just at the right time. If you leave it too late, the blooms are past their best. These were spectacular!
As usual, I felt like a kid in a candy store with so many gorgeous flowers to photograph. I heard one woman say, “It’s like a living postcard!” How right she was!
And, if I understood things correctly, there will be even more orchids to see at future shows as the Garden is planning to add new greenhouses, specifically for the purpose of raising its own orchids, as part of the Kris Jarantoski Campus Garden. Hooray!!
Solitude. Even when you’re not alone you can feel a sense of solitude, as I’m beginning to discover as I get older. I always find this picture of my mother, sitting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, rather poignant. Although she lived with us and was very rarely on her own, I knew that she felt lonely. Most of her contemporaries had already died and she was far away from a place that she had known as home for almost seventy years. When she passed away a few years ago, she left me with my own kind of solitude, taking with her shared memories of people, places and events that no one else but me remembers.
Sometimes, even when you’re standing right next to a crowd of people, you can feel like you’re the only person on earth.