Here is my second entry for Becky’s Spiky Squares photo challenge. One of the best places to study nature in the Chicago area during the winter months is the Field Museum and this has to be one of their earliest exhibits; those giant battling African elephants with their pointy tusks. We had a great family day out there on Saturday.
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, 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?
Here is just a sample of the wildlife that we see from our window here in the NW suburbs of Chicago. Not included are the deer that on the rare occasion take a stroll down our road, the skunk that lives under our front doorstep, coyotes that sometimes trot past the house after a night of hunting small animals, the many different varieties of birds that we see on a daily basis and an eight-legged possum, reported by my father, that turned out to be two of these creatures following very closely one after the other.
The term ‘wildlife‘ would seem to be something of a misnomer as all these creatures appear to have made themselves quite at home in our backyard.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Wildlife
The Chicago Bears may be a dismal disappointment (again) this year, but these Chicago bears are anything but. A firm favorite with visitors to both Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos, the Polar bears are always a big attraction and never fail to please their fans which is why I picked them for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge go to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter P – Needs to have at least 5 letters and start with P
Sometimes when you take a photo it’s hard to get a feel for the actual scale of things. It isn’t until you add something else to the picture that you get a better sense of just how large or how small that object really is. Normally the vehicle seen in the lower half of the first image might seem quite large but, seen against the immensity of the mountains in Utah, it appears no bigger than an ant scurrying across the landscape.
The same could be said for the buffalo seen here on Antelope Island in Utah.
The cars in the lower decks of Marina City in Chicago look like nothing more than children’s toys.
You will have to look closely at the left of this picture to make out the parasailer, dwarfed by the mighty Mackinac Bridge in Michigan. He makes even the boat seem huge.
A close-up of these two window cleaners in downtown Chicago wouldn’t necessarily give you any idea of the height at which they were working which is why I pulled the camera back to give a better view of where they really were.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge go to Scale
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.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/04/06/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-letters-k-or-l/