This week, Amy has chosen the Colors of April as the theme for our Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Here in our garden I mostly associate April with pink, blue and yellow although there are one or two other colors that appear here and there.
NB. Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting quite as regularly and have been rather slow to respond to visits and comments, for which I apologize. For the past month or so I have been suffering from what I can only describe as some kind of severe anxiety disorder which has left me struggling to keep up with correspondence and sometimes even the common normality of life. At this time of year, when I would typically be rushing to photograph daffodils at the Morton Arboretum, tulips at Cantigny Park and Lilacs in Lombard, I can’t even drive myself to the local grocery store. The process of constantly fighting to control how I feel has sometimes left me exhausted but on the few occasions when I’ve been able to whack up the enthusiasm to get out in the garden I have managed to capture a few of the colors that April means to me. Needless to say, this has hit me like a bolt out of the blue but with the amazing support of a very understanding family, things are slowly improving. Even though I may not be on here quite as often, I hope you will stick with me until things are back to full strength. Thank you for your patience.
This week, Beth has suggested a Change of Scenery as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Good idea! I was starting to get cabin fever a couple of weeks ago and was itching for a change of scenery (anything other than my own back yard) so even though there was still a little snow on the ground, I decided to take a trip up to the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The garden looks lovely in any season but I’m looking forward to the next visit when there should be some Spring flowers in bloom, providing a whole new change of scenery.
This week, Amy has suggested that we look at things in a Natural Light for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Many years ago, when I first started out with my Minolta film camera, I used very high speed film for most low light situations, which probably accounts for the grainy texture of many of my earlier pictures. This one was taken just after sunset at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Since then, I’ve tried to capture different kinds of natural light with the Canon Rebel including sunset over Lake Michigan from Mackinaw City and at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
And the softer light of sunrise, over Lake Huron from Mackinaw City and in Nebraska.
Late afternoon in Arches National Park in Utah and early morning in Custer State Park, South Dakota.
It seemed like the light changed every minute while we were on Antelope Island in Utah. There had been intermittent thunderstorms all day and another one rolled in just as we were leaving, but in between, the sun came out and lit up the landscape.
Sometimes I only have to step outside the front door to see a natural light show.
This week, Ann-Christine invites us to look at the Softer side of life for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. My first instinct was to go to the young; a baby’s cheek, a gentle calf’s eyes. Some years ago, I recall a baby rabbit jumping into my hands, light as a cotton ball and as soft as thistledown.
And, of course, speaking of the young makes one think of the soft, subtle shades of Spring.
And even the mellow days of Autumn have their softer side, when the silky milkweed seeds swirl skyward. (As you can see, I still have some S’s left from last week.)
This week, Patti has suggested that any subject starting with the letter S will serve splendidly for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. While strolling around our garden, we see all sorts of subjects starting with S including snapdragons, sedum, sunflowers, scabiosa, snowdrops and squill.
We have also spotted several species of birds, the most common of which is the sparrow, but the sora was a total surprise as it had evidently strayed well off-course.
In summer we see skippers and swallowtails sunning themselves.
And in the fall we may occasionally spot a squirrel snacking on some squash.
This week, Patti is looking for The Letter A for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Here are a few images that seemed to fit the bill. In order of appearance; antlers, argiope, ant-eater, apes and amphibian.
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.
This week, Amy is taking a view of Now and Then for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. These pictures are not that great but they help to illustrate my take on the theme. I have to confess, I was feeling rather blue yesterday at the thought of spending Thanksgiving Day on our own. Despite a Zoom meeting with the family in the morning, which just isn’t the same as actually being with them all, I was positively down in the dumps and, just about when we would normally be sitting down to dinner, I had a bit of a cry.
Then I looked out of the window. There, in the garden, were no less than fourteen mourning doves, all sitting comfortably outside the kitchen, waiting to be fed. It was just the number that would have been gathered around our table. What are the odds!! I’ve never seen that many doves at one time before and it lifted my spirits more than I can say.
Last week we were blessed with some exceptionally fine weather for November and everyone seemed to be enjoying the warmer temperatures. There also appeared to be some leg and wing stretching exercises in progress in preparation for those long winter days ahead. The first two images were captured at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg where there were a few mallard ducks, a couple of frogs that refused to be photographed and a lone turtle doing some calisthenics.
The creatures at Brookfield Zoo were certainly making the most of this late autumn reprieve and were soaking up the rays with evident pleasure.
Meanwhile, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, a tardy heron, who should probably have already been on his way south, stopped for a wash and brush up and gave his wings a bit of a stretch while an armada of geese sailed calmly by.
The sun may come out tomorrow but it probably won’t get much warmer and will definitely get a lot colder than this in the months to come.