Here are a few more spiky cactus squares for Becky’s Photo Challenge, this time at The Domes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This week, Nancy Merrill is looking at depth of field as the subject for the Photo A Week Challenge. I have no clue how I get the results that I do. As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t know an f-stop from a truck stop, but somehow the camera seems to know what I want and every once in a while it cooperates. You say you want bokeh. Okay.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Depth of Field.
Better late than never! Nancy Merrill had her eye on the vanishing point for her Photo A Week Challenge and, going through the photo files, I came across a few images that I thought might work. The first two were taken at the San Antonio Botanical Garden and the third at a rest area somewhere in Texas. The fourth picture comes from the Dells of Eau Claire in Wisconsin.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Vanishing Point.
The subject for Nancy Merrill’s Photo A Week Challenge is Reflection and I seem to have captured one or two at Cantigny Park in Wheaton without even realizing it. Quite often, I’m not fully aware of everything that’s in the picture when I take the shot so sometimes it’s nice when something unexpected shows up, especially when I can use it for a photo challenge.
For more on Nancy’s Photo A Week Challenge go to Reflection.
The topic for the Weekly Photo Challenge is Liquid and comes fortuitously for me as you will see, later in this post. Water can have a very calming effect and, with everything that’s happening in the world today, we could all use a few moments of tranquility to reflect, which is why, instead of heaving seas, raging rivers and tumbling waterfalls, I’ve opted for more peaceful scenes. The first two images were captured in Snowy Range Pass, Wyoming.
The next two pictures were taken at Sylvan Lake and Palisades State Park, South Dakota, perfect places to sit and meditate.
Wisconsin also has some very scenic spots in which to enjoy some relaxation time.
These gently rippling waters lead me to an opportunity to share a link with you that I sincerely hope you will try. My eldest grandson, someone of whom I have written about in several of my previous posts has recently started a podcast called Exit The Echoes. I cannot say enough good things about this young man, who recently became a father for the first time, and I am more than happy to give this new venture a mention here on WordPress. The subject of his latest episode seemed to fit in so well with the pictures that I had in mind for this post, so please, if you can, spare a few minutes of your time to listen to Meditation: Ripples And Echoes and I’m sure you will enjoy his liquid tones.
These last two pictures were taken at Whitefish Point, Michigan and Council Grounds, Wisconsin.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Liquid
It was good to see the Chicago Botanic Garden awakening from its long winter sleep today. Stretching its arms and giving a bit of a yawn, it welcomed us back for another year of spectacular flowers and foliage. Everything was neat and tidy, all the winter debris cleared away and emerging tulip leaves promise a beautiful show on the Esplanade in a few weeks.
Over in the English Walled Garden, a robin watched me as I stopped to take a picture or two.
The waterfall is yet to begin its cascade down towards the lake but the birds were singing and you could almost hear Mother Nature rolling up her sleeves, spitting on her hands and murmuring, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
A stroll around the immaculately-kept Japanese Garden showed me that it won’t be too long before the azaleas are in bloom. All kinds of buds were showing on the branches of shrubs and trees.
If it’s true that “the earth laughs in flowers” then it was positively giggling like a giddy schoolgirl today as hundreds of brightly-colored crocus poked their heads out of the grass in front of the Carillon Tower.
Walking back through the Sensory Garden towards Spider Island, I was filled with anticipation, thinking about all the wonderful things that the garden will have to show us in the coming months now that it is finally awake.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Awakening
As I have had occasion to remark in previous posts, the wildlife in our neighborhood has a tendency to stand its ground when I go outside to take it to task for eating my best flowers or raiding the bird feeders. Nothing comes close to the cheek of the rabbit when we stare each other out over some tasty lily shoots, he looking as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and me shaking my fist and muttering curses. But the squirrel comes a close second. Neither of them have any fear and their audaciousness knows no bounds.
And you can add another critter to that list. A few weeks ago we spotted this fox in a garden a few doors down. I was a bit cheeky myself and ran round to the neighbor’s back yard to get a closer shot with the camera. I didn’t think he’d mind (the neighbor, not the fox.) But then, apparently, neither did the fox. He just sat there, chowing down on some tasty morsel and watching me as I draped myself over the fence. My presence bothered him not one iota.
For more on The Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Cheeky
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
The subject for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Transformation and, going through the photo files, I find that I can do no better than to show the transformation that years, seasons and even time of day can bring to one of my most favorite places to visit, the Chicago Botanic Garden. I’ve chosen three specific areas to demonstrate these transformations; The Japanese Garden, along the Esplanade and inside the English Walled Garden.
For more on the Weekly Photo Challenge at The Daily Post go to Transformation
Because it was Columbus Day, school was out and the weather was gorgeous, Spring Valley Nature Center was packed! The new recreation area was full of super-excited children, happy to have at least one more opportunity to play outside in shorts and sandals. I was pleased to see, too, that parents were encouraging their families to not only enjoy the slides and climbing frames but to go exploring the rest of the nature center. Great for them but not so good for someone who is hoping to do some wildlife photography. Screaming youngsters and timid woodland creatures unfortunately don’t make for a good mix. However, I had all day and waited patiently for the rare quiet moments when I was able to get a few shots.
Any day at Spring Valley is a good day.