Tag Archive | gardens

April Showers Bring………

………more showers but also May flowers.  Despite moaning about the miserable weather we’ve experienced so far this spring in the Chicago area, I have to admit that our garden has never looked so lush and vibrant.  Many of the plants that I thought might not do as well this year, for one reason or another, have really pulled out all the stops, especially the iris.

The peonies never disappoint and somehow the frequent downpours of rain only seem to make them smell all the sweeter.

 

In fact, everything in the garden is thriving, from tulips to allium and the Japanese anemone.  A feast for all the senses and a promise of things to come in the summer.

And always lurking in the background, my arch nemesis, the rabbit, looking the picture of innocence.  One false move, rabbit, and you’re for the high jump!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Gardens

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Gardens and do I have the garden pictures!!  Wherever we go on our travels we always look out for a pleasant public garden in which to spend some time and over the years we have found a multitude of gorgeous places.  Rather than overload the post with too many images, I’ve narrowed it down to just a few of the more memorable gardens that we’ve visited.

Closest to home is the Chicago Botanic Garden and probably my most favorite spot to sit and look at the flowers is the Circle Garden.

The Frederik Meijer Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides a delightful blend of art and nature.

Although the reason we went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis was chiefly to see the Chinese Lantern Festival, we went back again to take in everything else that the garden had to offer and it was spectacular!

Another place that really impressed us was the garden at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The perfume in the rose garden was heavenly!

Green Bay Botanical Garden in Wisconsin is another one of my favorites.  We have spent many hours wandering around here looking at all the beautiful flowers and plants.

Back to Illinois and the gardens at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.  Immaculately kept, these gardens are a must-see for anyone visiting the area.

Also in Illinois, Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford is a little different in that it doesn’t have a huge display of flowers but makes up for it with tranquil settings amid lush greenery.  Make sure you visit the waterfall and perhaps feed the koi fish swimming in the pool.

For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge visit https://ceenphotography.com/2017/05/23/cees-fun-foto-challenge-gardens/

Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

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/

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – All One Color

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/

Consolation

Because of ongoing health problems I missed seeing some of my most favorite things this spring including the daffodils at Morton Arboretum, tulips at Cantigny, spring blossoms at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the lilacs in Lombard. However, the flowers in our garden provided some consolation. They seem to manage pretty well without too much help from me and hopefully I can get out there before the weeds take over. We’ve had a lot of rain recently and when the sun finally did put in an appearance I managed to get a few shots of some familiar faces.

A colorful display of tulips and some mud-spattered daffodils as well as a few  other springtime flowers helped to brighten the day.

 

A white-crowned sparrow and my arch-nemesis the rabbit also paid us a visit.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Letters G or H

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.

For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/03/23/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-letters-g-or-h/

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow

The subject for The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post is shadow and, while I have plenty of pictures that have shadows incidental to the overall image, I don’t seem to have taken many where the shadow was the focal point. This was the best I could manage.  For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge, which this week was set for us by Cheri Lucas Rowlands, go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/shadow-2017/

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A toad contemplates its shadow at a local nature center.

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Two barns, one at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the other at Old World Wisconsin, patterned by shadows from nearby trees.

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Littlest grandson keeping a close eye on his shadow during an early April walk at Spring Valley.

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The ‘pergola effect’ shown here at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, the gardens at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville SC and the Rose Garden at Cantigny in Wheaton, Illinois.

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Trees in autumn cast long shadows at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.