Our garden has been alive with dragonflies this summer and some of them have even stayed still long enough for me to get a shot.
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.
Despite the fact that the weather has been freezing one minute and tropical in nature the next, I did manage to capture some Spring things in the garden with the camera. Because of all the rain, everything is looking very lush and green with flowers bursting out all over.
In fact, everything has been growing so well that even the rabbit can’t keep up. We have had what amounts to a bunny explosion here, of late, but thankfully there have been enough weeds to keep them occupied while my lilies and other tasty bits have continued to flourish unmolested.
On the butterfly front, We had a disappointing outcome to the dozen or so Swallowtail pupa that we kept overwinter, when all but one produced nothing but very mean looking parasitic wasps which were evidently the result of the parent wasp laying its eggs in the caterpillars in the fall. I had all but given up hope when the final Swallowtail emerged from its papery parcel and, after sufficient time to dry off, was released it into the garden. What happened to it after that, I cannot say, but it reminds me of a little anecdote regarding a moth.
When our daughter and her husband lived in Texas they spotted a moth that had fallen into the swimming pool. It was making a gallant effort to extricate itself without much success. They were fully clothed at the time (the kids, not the moth) so they couldn’t dive in to assist it but being the tender-hearted people that they are, they searched for the net that was used to scoop out unwanted debris and after much faffing about, finally managed to haul the moth in and laid it gently on the deck to dry whereupon a bird promptly flew down and ate it.
I hope our Swallowtail managed to survive at least long enough to have a look around. We have caught fleeting glimpses of other butterflies in the garden and received a more prolonged visit from a monarch that appeared to be enjoying the chives by the back door as did a rather large bee which put up with me sticking the camera in its face for only so long before it became irate and chased me off.
Usually at our house, at this time of year, you’ll hear the cry go up, “Ducks are in!” For nearly thirty years, we have played host to passing mallard ducks that are making their way to the pond at our local park. They’ll return several times and one year they even made a nest behind one of our shrubs. Unfortunately something ate the eggs, but the following year they returned, this time with ducklings in tow. They appear to feel right at home, helping themselves to the bird seed that I put out, sometimes marching up and down on the roof or paddling in the little ground-level birdbath. They normally arrive first thing in the morning and twice this week I’ve looked out of the window and seen them actually standing on the door mat. They’ll be knocking on the door next.
Strangely enough, ducks are one of the very few species of bird of which I am not afraid. I can’t explain it other than the fact that they don’t do a lot of fluttering, which accounts for the clarity of these pictures as I was standing outside right next to them, rather than taking a hazy shot through a window which is how I get a lot of my bird pictures.
However, it was a different story with this baby robin. The neighborhood probably heard me scream when, going around the garden with the camera and taking pictures of the flowers, I realized that I was within touching distance of this little guy who just sat there looking puzzled as I shrieked and fell backwards into the irises. I ran back into the house to get a longer lens and took this picture from a safe distance.
This week, Ann-Christine has chosen Morning as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Things have settled down into a fairly dull routine here which is why I’m looking forward to being able to get out and about again. The Chicago Botanic Garden is probably the first place I’ll visit once the lockdown is eventually lifted and it’s reasonably safe to venture out, preferably first thing in the morning before the crowds get there. I have a feeling there will be quite a few of us with the same idea. Have a good morning and stay safe, everyone.
This week, Patti has chosen Simplicity as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Where I would normally, at this time of year, be enjoying lawns studded with colorful crocus at the Chicago Botanic Garden or photographing woods glowing with golden daffodils at the Morton Arboretum, I am now content with a few simple flowers in my own garden. They bring an enormous amount of pleasure at a point when even the sight of a bee going about its everyday business makes me want to jump up and down with joy.
Ann-Christine has certainly given us something to think about this week with her choice of subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Out of chaos comes the promise of Spring. It’s not much, but it gives us hope for the future. Like the flowers, may we rise again from the grip of winter and the troubles that beset this poor old world of ours. Stay safe, everyone. Better days ahead.
This week, Cee has asked us to point our cameras upwards for her Fun Foto Challenge. While I was at the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden a couple of weeks ago, I made the most of every opportunity and took pictures from all angles including upwards, and orchids weren’t the only things I captured.
Another entry for Becky’s Square Light Photo Challenge. This time it’s firelight. The image was captured at the Flower and Garden Show on Navy Pier in Chicago some years ago.