Tag Archive | Indiana

Weekly Photo Challenge – Serene

I only ever went camping once and that was enough to tell me that I didn’t like it.  Add to that the fact that neither of us is as spry as we once were and you can see why we rarely take the road less traveled.  Easy access is what we’re looking for these days.  However, even though we rarely get off the beaten track, there are still times when, no matter where we are, we experience that brief moment when everything seems serene and peaceful, as though we were the only people there to enjoy the view. Let me give you a few examples.

We certainly weren’t the only people who decided to take the Snowy Range Scenic Byway in Wyoming one day in October a couple of years ago but, pulling off into a convenient parking area along the way, we took a brief walk and were soon in a beautiful spot that offered a calming respite from a tiring day of driving.

After traveling through Wyoming we ended up in Utah where we were visiting our daughter and her husband.  They love hiking!  Rather rashly I agreed to accompany them on a ramble up to Cecret Lake near Alta and was rewarded by some fantastic scenery.  We passed a steady stream of people hiking back down the trail who kept telling us it was well worth the effort and every once in a while, when I was able to stop, take a deep breath and look around, I was inclined to agree.

The day we visited Antelope Island in Utah there were storms in the area. One had already passed through and another was on its way which probably explains why there weren’t that many people about.  The island seemed to be taking it all in its stride, very calm and serene.

On our drive out of Utah we stopped at several scenic overlooks along the way and always managed to time these breaks to coincide with a jolly bus-load of tourists whose exuberance and laughter became a familiar sound as we climbed out of the car at each stop.  I loved it! I got caught up in their enthusiasm and when they left, the place seemed deserted.  We were left to take in the magnificent view in silence. Until the next stop.

Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota was a popular spot on the day we decided to take a drive through there. Parking spaces along the highway were at a premium as everyone caught a glimpse of the same stunning views, all scrambling to capture an image before moving on to the next turn in the road. But despite the press of eager photographers, this was one of those places that made you feel like you were the only one there.

4 am at Lake Dalecarlia in Lowell, Indiana. I wanted to make sure I caught the sunrise and got up way too early.  Everyone else in the house was still sleeping so I grabbed the camera and crept outside.

And finally, The Chicago Botanic Garden.  I don’t know how many thousands of people visit this place every year but be in the right place at the right time and it can feel like you are the only one who has discovered this tranquil paradise.

For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Serene

 

Advertisements

The Wren and I

Those of you who have read some of my earlier posts will know that for me, sitting outside is something of a risky business. Being outdoors means being around birds and it seems that the older I get, the worse my phobia becomes, which is unfortunate, to say the least, when one of my favorite pastimes is nature photography.  However, during the first visit to our daughter’s new house on Lake Dalecarlia in Indiana, I took a chance and made myself comfortable out on the deck, the only birds visible being a group of female mallards and a heron basking in the sun on the boat dock (strangely, larger birds don’t seem to bother me quite so much.)

I was just settling in for a restful afternoon when I began to hear a persistent shrieking and chattering. Whatever it was didn’t sound happy and, before too long, the source of this noise became apparent.  A wren landed on the railing of the deck, hopped back and forth and took off again.  The process was repeated several times and, although I was somewhat apprehensive, I found this performance mildly entertaining and, with camera always at the ready, managed to get a few shots.

Then things got a little more unsettling.  The bird abandoned its stance on the railing and flew down onto the deck, making a quick tour around the table legs.  And I stood up, preparatory to beating a hasty retreat, which is why the following image was rather blurred.  It drives me crazy when people tell me, “Oh it’s much more afraid of you, than you are of it!”  Not so, dear reader!  When it comes to birds this is never the case and my screams have been known to be heard from one end of the street to the other when I’ve been caught by surprise by a sparrow or chickadee whilst out in the garden.  And this particular, pesky little ball of feathers was not afraid of anything. This wren was a wren on a mission and I was torn between my fears and a desire to record what was happening.

I edged closer to the steps which gave me a clear escape to the garden below and followed the wren’s progress as it scuttled behind the chair that I had so recently vacated.  Once again, it took off only to reappear a few minutes later on the roof.  It edged closer and closer to where I had been sitting and finally flew down. And to where?  I direct your attention back to the first picture and the planter hanging at the left of the image.  The wren was greeted by much enthusiastic chirping as it disappeared into the greenery.  I had been sitting just below its nest.

I informed the rest of our party what was going on and, while the others dined al fresco that evening, I watched from behind the window as the wren made several passes above their heads and perched on nearby fencing and furniture while generally making itself at home.  It made me wonder just who was hosting whom.  I hope to see the wren again, on future visits. At least next time I’ll know what to expect.

OWPC – Heron

Perfect timing!  The subject for Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge this week is heron.  Traveling down to Indianapolis for our grandson’s wedding last week, we stopped at Lake Dalecarlia for a couple of days and were greeted by a heron that visited the family’s boat dock every morning and evening. It followed the same pattern each day, landing on one side of the boathouse and strolling around to the other side to take off again.  For more on Jennifer Nichole Wells One Word Photo Challenge go to This Week’s Challenges: July 9 – 15 (OWPC & WW)

One Word Photo Challenge – Elephant

We’re out looking for elephants for the One Word Photo Challenge set for us by Jennifer Nichole Wells. They’re not easy to find these days, at least not in our neck of the woods. I can’t remember the last time I saw a real live elephant. There hasn’t been one at Brookfield Zoo in who knows how long, although when I spoke to someone who works there, last year, she did say that they were hoping eventually to bring them back to the zoo if and when funds permit.

owpc-elephant-2

One of the last elephants to reside at Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.  I can still remember going for elephant rides at the London Zoo when I was a kid and watching the elephants at the circus, neither of which you can do now, which in some respects, especially from the viewpoint of the elephants, is a good thing. I don’t think I’ll ever be lucky enough to see elephants in their natural surroundings.

owpc-elephant-2

Instead, I must look elsewhere for suitable images, such as these beautifully carved elephant heads at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois.

owpc-elephant-4

And this statue of an elephant in Irwin Gardens, Columbus, Indiana.

For more on Jennifer’s One Word Photo Challenge go to https://jennifernicholewells.com/2017/02/14/one-word-photo-challenge-elephant/