This week, Cee is looking for leaves or trees for her Fun Foto Challenge so here is my take on the subject. Like many people, my favorite time of year for viewing trees is in the Autumn when the colors are at their brightest. Although the Chicago Botanic Garden is not chiefly known for its variety of trees, there is still plenty of fall color to be seen.
One of my favorite times to visit Morton Arboretum in Lisle is in the Spring when the blossom is on the trees.
Another good place to see Autumn color is at local Forest Preserves such as Busse Woods in Schaumburg.
Looking at trees from a slightly different angle at River Trails Nature Center in Northbrook.
Trees are remarkably resilient, finding a foothold even in the most inhospitable of places such as this rock in The Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois.
Even in death, trees hold a certain fascination for me, telling their history through rings and roots.
Just in time, we were able to catch the last few days of this year’s sculpture exhibition, Origami in the Garden, at the Morton Arboretum last month. These beautiful metal sculptures, created by Kevin and Jennifer Box, are modelled after the art of Origami or paper folding and the Arboretum was the perfect backdrop for this amazing artwork.
Not only did we get to enjoy the art but also some nice autumn scenery, even if the colors weren’t as vibrant this year.
In order to replicate the Origami creations, each sculpture goes through a 35-step, 12-week process of casting in bronze, aluminum or steel.
The turtles are real, but the raptor is another of Kevin Box’s clever creations.
This piece, entitled Double Happiness, shows a pair of nesting cranes which often appear in art as the symbol of companionship and happiness in marriage.
These intricately designed birds appear to be flying away from Meadow Lake.
The subject for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge requires two E’s in the title this week, so trees seemed like a good fit. These images were captured at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum in Spring and Autumn (my favorite time of year.)
After the recent spate of b/w photography it’s nice to get back to some colorful images with Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge which this week focuses on spring/wood. The photo files are bursting at the seams with spring pics but I thought I would keep to three different venues that have provided some great opportunities for photographing this seasonal subject.
What better place to start our spring tour than in the woods at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. These pictures were taken last year but it won’t be long before the daffodils are blooming among the trees once again.
Our next stop is at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. A wonderful place to visit at any time of year, the Garden looks especially pretty in its spring colors.
On a more rustic note, our last port of call is at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Illinois.
You have to drive quite a distance from where we live before you can consider yourself ‘out in the country’ but visiting the Morton Arboretum in Lisle is a great way to get that country feeling especially in the fall when even a trip all the way up north doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll get those colorful autumn pictures.
One of my favorite spots is Lake Marmo, named after Margaret Morton. The lake is on the west side of the arboretum. Drive down the hill from Daffodil Glade and leave your car in one of the parking areas then take a walk around the lake. You’re sure to see something of interest such as waterfowl or frogs.
There are walking trails all over the arboretum but if you don’t feel that energetic you can just pull in to one of the parking areas and still get some nice shots.
I do enjoy walking, however, and like to get off the beaten track once in a while. Didn’t see too much in the way of wildlife this time. No coyotes, but I did spot a garter snake slithering away as I made my way across the grass.
Back on the east side of the arboretum, near the visitor center, is another lake, Meadow Lake, surrounded by colorful grasses, which makes a very pleasant walk especially when the weather is mild and sunny as it was when I was there last week.
It’s all about nature this week for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge and I am definitely ready for this one. When I first became interested in photography I spent most of my time taking pictures of wildlife and flowers and although I’ve broadened my horizons since then, I’m still looking out for those nature shots.
Pelicans on the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa.
A friendly frog in the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Iowa.
A lounging bison on Antelope Island on The Great Salt Lake, Utah.
A remnant of Autumn at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.