Tag Archive | Illinois

A Photo A Week – Moving Waters

Nancy Merrill has suggested Moving Waters as the theme for her Photo A Week Challenge this week and, looking through the archives, I realized I had quite a few images that might fit the bill.

Pictured above, Copper Falls State Park near Mellen in northern Wisconsin.

A fish ladder on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise, Michigan.

The fountains at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois.  A refreshing sight on a hot day.

For more on Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge go to A Photo a Week: Moving Waters

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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/

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Letters I or J

I really had to go out on a limb for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week.  Keeping to my chosen theme, animals, bugs and birds, I struggled to find anything in the photo files that started with the letters I or J especially the letter I, so I hope you will pardon me if I have jumped to any conclusions in identifying the following. Hopefully, anyone more knowledgeable about bird and animal species can correct me.

Could this be a glossy ibis?  I captured the image many years ago in an avian sanctuary at Cypress Gardens in Florida.  Unfortunately the b/w treatment has taken away all distinguishing colors but the original picture shows that the bird was grey with an iridescent sheen to the feathers.  There was also a red strip on the upper part of the bill.   If you have followed my blog for any amount of time you will be wondering why I was in a cage full of birds.  Despite my life-long fear of our feathered friends, the opportunity to get some close-up shots of so many beautiful creatures prompted me, in a moment of insanity, to plunge in, so to speak.  My husband accompanied me (someone had to be there to carry me out if I fainted!) and we crept around trying not to disturb the inhabitants.  I was terrified!!!  I only managed to take a few shots before my courage completely deserted me and had to be led out with my eyes shut.

The animals pictured above are, I’m fairly sure, Siberian ibex.  This was a shot that I took on slide film many, many years ago at Brookfield Zoo when they had a high, rocky enclosure know as Ibex Island. It was demolished in 2008 to make room for the new bear exhibit. I don’t know what happened to the ibex.

Jellyfish, pictured at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

junco and blue jay in our garden. These shots were taken with a long lens from the safety of our living-room window.

For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2017/03/30/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-letters-i-or-j/

 

 

Nature of the Dance – Jingle Dress

During the American Indian Center’s 63rd Annual Chicago Powwow held earlier this year at Busse Woods in Elk Grove, Illinois, I was able to capture some images of the dances performed in competition there.  The costumes were stunning and the dancing energetic and graceful. One of the more musical categories was the Jingle Dress dance.

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The Jingle Dress dance originated with the Ojibwa Nation in the early 1900’s and is thought to have healing powers.  The dresses are decorated with rolled snuff can lids which create the delightful bell-like sound as the dancer twists and turns. She also carries a feather fan and sometimes a beaded purse and wears beaded leggings and moccasins.

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The story behind the Jingle Dress Dance goes something like this: A father, whose young daughter was very ill, had a dream in which he was shown how to make a jingle dress and also instructed about a dance that was part of the healing ritual.  When he awoke he made the dress for his daughter and showed her how to do the dance. Despite the fact that she was so ill, she performed the dance wearing the jingle dress and the more she danced, the better she became until she was completely recovered.

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To see more pictures from the Powwow go to Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest

Weekly Photo Challenge – Local

For this week’s Photo Challenge on The Daily Post, Jen has asked us for something local (as in home.)  I have written several posts on one of my other blogs, Incidentally, at http://skfjrifnd.wordpress.com/ about the towns and villages in the Chicago area.  I wish I could think of here as home but that term will always be reserved for dear old England, so for now I will just share a few images of my favorite places to visit that are within an hour’s drive of our house.  I suppose they could be considered local.

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The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe; one of the most worthwhile annual subscriptions that I’ve ever kept up has been to this place.

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Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg; always a pleasant walk and a good opportunity to do some nature photography as well as visit the farm animals.

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Millennium Park in downtown Chicago;  despite all the bad things that I read about Chicago these days, I still enjoy the occasional visit, especially to Millennium Park where there are so many good things to see.

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Morton Arboretum in Lisle;  I have to visit this place at least twice a year, in the Spring to see the daffodils and in the Autumn for the fall color.

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Arlington Park racetrack in Arlington Heights; always a favorite venue during the summer months and a fun day out even if I don’t always pick the winner.

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Brookfield Zoo;  We’ve been taking children and now grandchildren to the zoo for more than forty years. The big cats are always popular. “Here kitty.  Nice kitty.”

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BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett; one of the most beautiful buildings in our area and such a peaceful place.

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Lilacia Park in Lombard; I never miss the Lilac Festival. It was always one of my mother’s favorite parks.  For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/local/