The weather was perfect for a walk around the Chicago Botanic Garden on the first full day of autumn this week. The air was alive with bees, dragonflies and hummingbirds and there were butterflies everywhere!
I can never walk past the water lilies without taking a few shots even though I have so many of them in the photo files already.
There was an absolute cloud of dragonflies darting about in the rose garden but, for as long as I stood there and waited, I never saw one land so I had to be content with taking pictures of the roses.
As I was walking through the English walled garden, I overheard one of the gardeners telling a tour group that it has been almost 30 years since this particular section of the Garden was opened. Wow! Has it been that long? I remember Mum and I visiting the Garden the day after Princess Margaret attended the dedication ceremony in 1991. It was always one of our favorite areas in the Garden. According to what I was hearing, it is due for some serious renovations so I imagine it will be inaccessible for a while, in the not-too-distant future.
As usual, the Circle Garden had a splendid array of flowers and I was surprised to see some kind of giant magnolia in bloom.
And then there were the hummingbirds. The Garden apparently knows just what the hummingbirds like. I’ve never seen so many in once place before! Everywhere in the garden they were flitting about, racing from flower to flower. The giant blue sage seemed to be favorite.
This abundance of hummingbirds was great in one respect but rather unnerving in another. Those of you who have read some of my previous posts will know that I am terrified of birds, especially small ones that do a lot of fluttering. I really had to steel myself to stand still while they flashed past me and several times I let out a shriek as they zoomed by. For a while, I was standing next to someone who appeared to be a professional photographer (he had all the fancy gear and looked like he knew what he was doing with it.) We got talking and I explained that I was getting rather aggravated with my camera as it seemed to be focusing on everything but the hummingbirds. He offered some words of encouragement, pointing out the birds that were resting on a nearby branch and therefore easier to capture.
I have to give this man credit. He was very patient with me, especially after I had explained to him about my fear of birds (he must have wondered why I kept inadvertently screaming) and when, after I told him that I didn’t think I could handle any more fluttering and would quit while I was ahead, he even offered to escort me to the end of the path to make sure I was alright. If by any small chance you are reading this, sir, I would like to offer my most sincere thanks. Not too many people understand how debilitating these phobias can be (I was almost on the point of collapse by this time.) I didn’t want to take up any more of his time, however, and made a run for it, dodging more of these little flying gems as I went. Eeeeek!