It’s been a while since I’ve been able to Pull Up A Seat and sit down in any comfort outside, but the weather was just right the other day at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. There is no shortage of conveniently placed seating at the Arboretum. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to rest on the many trails, in the children’s play area, overlooking Lake Marmo or any one of the many other picturesque spots, you will be sure to find a sturdy bench, rocking chair or swinging seat.
Having recently visited the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, it was still very much on my mind when I saw Amy’s choice of subject for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. You can never have too much of a good thing but sometimes less is as good, or even better. So here is my take on Less is More.
Since there seemed to be quite a bit of rain in the forecast, I decided that Friday would probably be the best time to visit the Morton Arboretum in Lisle for my annual dose of daffodils and magnolias. It was sunny with reasonably mild temperatures but I could see the wind was going to be a bit of a problem. These conditions require some patience, waiting for things stop dancing about.
The place is packed! Probably because The Trolls are still on display and there happens to be a plant sale going on, plus the appealing sight of daffodils and magnolias in bloom has brought people out by the hundreds. The car park is almost full when I get there and I end up pulling in next to this guy, with the hope that my car doesn’t suffer the same fate.
The magnolias are, as usual, spectacular! It’s too bad that their blossoms don’t last longer. Timing is everything when visiting for the specific purpose of seeing something at the peak of blooming and some of the pink flowers are past their best but others are just gorgeous! I love magnolias and even bought our girls magnolia charms for their bracelets this Easter.
You never know what you’re going to come across when walking down a woodland trail at the Arboretum. And it’s rather creepy, sitting among the trees, listening to them creak and groan in the wind. Looking down, I can see evidence of branches that have come crashing to the ground and hope that I’ve picked a safe spot to take a rest. And while I’m gazing around I spot a bird that I don’t think I’ve seen before. Other than the usual cast of characters, robins, sparrows, cardinals and a few others that I recognize, I have no idea what this one is, so any suggestions as to its identity are welcome.
Over at Lake Marmo everything is basking in the sunshine. A turtle paddles by, while a goose enjoys a snooze on the bank and a gigantic fish peers back at me from the gloomy depths below the bridge by Hemlock Hill.
The Troll that overlooks Daffodil Glade is in for a rude awakening. There are almost as many visitors as there are daffodils. Lots of kids rushing about, trampling the flowers underfoot. Well, you’re only young once, and I guess the temptation is probably just too great to resist. How quickly things change! I’m glad I went to the Arboretum yesterday. It’s snowing today!
This week, Ann-Christine has chosen Creativity as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. I hope to be making my usual Spring visit to the Morton Arboretum tomorrow to see the daffodils and magnolias in bloom, but one of the many things to love about the Arboretum is that, not only do we get to enjoy the trees, flowers and wildlife there, but also some amazing artwork and splendid displays of creativity.
This week, Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is all about colors and more specifically, Blue & Yellow. Going through the photo files, the blues & yellows really stood out, making it easy to find these images taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Morton Arboretum, Wausau, Green Bay Botanical Garden, Como Park Zoo and my own garden.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, go to Blue and Yellow.
This week, Amy has chosen magical light as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. From sunrise to sunset and any time in-between there are opportunities for capturing a magical moment when the light seems just right. I’m not usually out and about that early in the morning but on one or two occasions I’ve managed to get some fairly decent shots as the sun came up such as when we were on the road in Nebraska or spending a few days in Mackinaw City.
Even when the weather conditions are less than perfect, there is still a chance that the light will provide some interesting pictures. The first image was taken at the Chicago Botanic Garden and the second in Custer State Park in South Dakota.
I always enjoy seeing the effect of light shining through the trees or through an overhead canopy of autumn leaves, as seen here at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle and River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois.
I rely heavily on luck more than judgement when taking pictures and it isn’t always easy to come up with suitable shots for these challenges which is why I had to reach way back in the archives for this shot taken at Navy Pier in Chicago. The sunset image was taken from the shores of Lake Michigan in Mackinaw City
I rarely take night shots but on this occasion the moonlight tempted me outside to capture this image. For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to #19: Magical Light.
This week, Ann-Christine asks if it’s better to blend in or stand out in a crowd. Frog and Toad evidently feel it’s a good idea to blend in with their surroundings. They know their lives may depend on it, the frog in a pond at Spring Valley Nature Center and the toad crouching on a dry river bed in Lafayette, Indiana.
The monarch butterfly, however, enjoys flaunting its gaudy patterns in the open and doesn’t seem too concerned about standing out in a crowd. These two, in downtown Chicago and at the Morton Arboretum couldn’t resist showing off their true colors.
So is it better to blend in or stand out? The next picture was taken in our garden and shows another creature who likes to remain inconspicuous among the leaves, a praying mantis, and its hapless victim, a monarch butterfly. So I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to Blending In – or Standing Out?