The theme for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge this week is Pink . These images were captured last year at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Cantigny Park in Wheaton. I can’t wait to get back out in the gardens!
This week, Tina says, “You Pick It” for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and my reply would be, “I pick flowers,” but only figuratively speaking. I rarely pick flowers to put in a vase. I’d much rather see them growing in the garden. So, that being the case, here is a bouquet of some of my favorite flower shots taken from way back in the photo archives.
Another opportunity to hideaway behind the camera presented itself recently on a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden. This is my favorite time of year at the Garden, the colors are so spectacular.
Speaking of hiding away, I wonder if you can spot the chipmunk in this picture, helping himself to a tasty snack. I had a hard time pinning him down, he moved around so quickly, but he stopped just long enough for me to snap this one.
Just prior to us cutting down the last of the sunflowers in the garden, the goldfinches went on a feeding frenzy. It was as if they knew that they’d better make the most of what was left. (Just as an aside, I dislike this new block editing thing intensely, but, like everything else, I expect I’ll get used to it.)
This week, Ann-Christine has given us a list of words from which to pick a subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Among them, Growing, Tangled and Exuberant seemed to describe the Chicago Botanic Garden very nicely. This was how it looked on my visit there yesterday.
This week, Amy is asking us to share some moments Under The Sun for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. If you do any kind of gardening, you know that there are no such things as lazy days. I have an old tee-shirt that I use for working in that says, “I garden, therefore I weed.” Isn’t that the truth! It’s never ending and, at this time of year, done mostly under the sun! But fortunately, with all the spring rain that we had, the plants have grown sufficiently to cover the weeds until I can get to them. And I will…. eventually. Along with the weeds, perennials continue to flourish beside annuals and biennials that reseed and pop up randomly around the garden. Cultivating, deadheading, trimming and re-planting are just a few of the jobs that keep me busy out in the garden.
And I am not the only one who has been active out there in the garden in the summer sunshine. The rabbit explosion has produced several litters of plant-munching bunnies. Luckily there has been enough foliage to go around so I don’t feel too bad when I see them eyeing the flower beds. The coneflowers have been attracting both bees and butterflies and recently there have been hundreds of little skippers too. The sunflowers have had their fair share of interest and it’s amusing to watch the squirrels trying to get at the seeds. They are very resourceful and use the garden furniture to their best advantage.
Just as the sun is starting to go down, I catch a glimpse of a mouse peeping out from under the leaves, and a wren making short work of some hapless insect that is almost as large as the little bird itself.
And when the sun has disappeared below the horizon, there is still plenty of activity in the garden. There’s often a distinct whiff of fox outside, first thing in the morning, and a neighbor has reported seeing a coyote surveying the property with an eye to finding a late night snack. Skunks and possums are also frequent visitors and can be heard scratching about on the stones beneath our bedroom windows at night.
There’s never a dull moment and whether I’m running about wielding a trowel or a camera, there’s little time to sit back and enjoy those lazy days of summer under the sun.
This week, Amy is kicking off a month of seasons with Summer for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. What would summer be without a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden.
In my own garden, summer means dragonflies, flowers and butterflies. Heavy rains and fierce winds knocked a lot of plants down yesterday, so I will be spending some time in the garden propping things back up.
And finally, I had to include this scene, captured as we took an early evening boat ride around the lake on the 4th of July. It seemed so typical of a summer day with everyone, even the dogs, enjoying the sun and taking time to sit back and relax.
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, our Lens-Artists guest host, Cee, has challenged us to come up with some Single Flower images. It was a happy coincidence that I had planned to do a garden update post, so it was just a question of picking out the pictures that featured a single bloom, in order to participate.
The weather has certainly been responsible for the lush growth and abundance of flowers in our garden so far this year. The peonies put on a spectacular show. It’s too bad their blooms don’t last longer.
There were plenty of irises, bearded and Siberian, which managed to survive some fairly strong winds and heavy downpours of rain, with the aid of some strategically placed supporting stakes.
Poppies, both oriental and the random Shirley poppies that seem to pop up all over the garden, have added some eye-catching color to the mix.
Even the smaller, less showy flowers such as love-in-a-mist and coreopsis have outdone themselves this year. And the first daylily has finally put in an appearance.
These are just a few of the flowers that are in our garden right now, with many more to come. Thank you, Cee, for giving me the opportunity to share them.