This week, Amy has chosen Five Elements as the topic for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. There has clearly been too much rainy weather here of late, which is evidenced by the fact that I have had plenty of time to tiddle around on the computer and thus come up with my interpretation of the five elements, metal, wood, water, fire and earth.
This week, Patti has chosen water as the subject for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, but more specifically, as she implies in the title, she is looking for us to make a bit of a splash, maybe like these sparrows taking a bath in the fountain at the Chicago Botanic Garden or koi fish threshing about in a feeding frenzy at the Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford.
For the Polar bear it was not so much about making a splash as blowing bubbles, but you can always be sure of seeing lots of splashing at the Dolphin Show at Brookfield Zoo.
For larger birds, it isn’t always easy to perform a graceful takeoff or landing on water but they do their best. A cormorant takes of from the pond at Clearwater Park in Mount Prospect and a pelican settles down after making a splashdown on the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa.
For more on the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge go to #21 Splash!
This week, Cee is looking for flowing water for her Black & White Photo Challenge. A couple of months ago we took a trip to Minnesota to visit, among other places, Minnehaha Falls. It was a very dull, wet day when we were there so we probably didn’t see them at their best. I think, in this instance, the black/white treatment does them and the resulting flow of water more justice than the original color shots.
Closer to home, here are a couple of images from my visit to the Air & Water Show in downtown Chicago. Walking back from the lakefront, I took in Buckingham Fountain and a slightly less well-known fountain outside the Chicago Art Institute.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to Flowing Water.
Nancy Merrill is looking for water for her Photo A Week Challenge and luckily my trip to Elgin on Saturday morning resulted in some pictures of the Fox River. Who would think that this……….
could so quickly turn into this. The river by the Veterans Memorial Park and flowing over the dam by the Kimball street bridge.
For more on Nancy’s A Photo A Week Challenge go to Water.
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’s been a while since I last visited Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and there have been some changes which were noticeable as soon as I arrived. There is a new children’s playground complete with slides, climbing areas and waterfalls where the kids can have a great time. I just hope the parents don’t forego the opportunity of taking them around the rest of the facility to see all the wonderful things that nature has to offer, like flowers, animals, birds and other living, breathing things. There is also a new pond that has been created nearby although it appears to be a work in progress.
With all the rain we’ve had just lately it wasn’t surprising that the place looked so lush and green. I love walking around here! Apart from the forest preserves, this is the closest thing we have to ‘being in the country.’ I think it would be impossible to count all the different plants that flourish in Spring Valley.
The water in the lake was quite high and covered with water lilies which made ideal resting and hiding places for the frogs. Underneath the surface it was teeming with life as frogs, fish and turtles, in a frenzy of activity, made hundreds of little waves in the water.
I was pleased to see that the Kid’s Garden was flourishing, with plenty of flowers and vegetables on display. I think it’s so important to encourage children to take an interest in nature and that is just what the people at Spring Valley are doing so ably. After all, the future of our world and the environment is in the hands of generations to come. In these troubling times, it would be a sad thing indeed if we did not make the effort to teach them to understand and respect nature and each other.
The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Gardens and do I have the garden pictures!! Wherever we go on our travels we always look out for a pleasant public garden in which to spend some time and over the years we have found a multitude of gorgeous places. Rather than overload the post with too many images, I’ve narrowed it down to just a few of the more memorable gardens that we’ve visited.
Closest to home is the Chicago Botanic Garden and probably my most favorite spot to sit and look at the flowers is the Circle Garden.
The Frederik Meijer Sculpture Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan, provides a delightful blend of art and nature.
Although the reason we went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis was chiefly to see the Chinese Lantern Festival, we went back again to take in everything else that the garden had to offer and it was spectacular!
Another place that really impressed us was the garden at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The perfume in the rose garden was heavenly!
Green Bay Botanical Garden in Wisconsin is another one of my favorites. We have spent many hours wandering around here looking at all the beautiful flowers and plants.
Back to Illinois and the gardens at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Immaculately kept, these gardens are a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
Also in Illinois, Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford is a little different in that it doesn’t have a huge display of flowers but makes up for it with tranquil settings amid lush greenery. Make sure you visit the waterfall and perhaps feed the koi fish swimming in the pool.
For more on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge visit https://ceenphotography.com/2017/05/23/cees-fun-foto-challenge-gardens/
Since I have been busy working on Jennifer’s Halloween Challenge and because both Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge and The Weekly Photo Challenge set by Lignum Draco are very similar this week, I thought I would combine the two responses. For this purpose I’m using some images from a trip to Copper Falls in Wisconsin this past week. I can highly recommend a visit to this State Park.
For more on Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge go to https://ceenphotography.com/2016/10/06/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-liquid/
and for more on The Weekly Photo Challenge on The Daily Post go to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/h2o/
Driving home from Mackinac City, through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we stopped off at Whitefish Point to take a look at the lighthouse there. The oldest operating light on Lake Superior, it looks out over a history of troubled waters.
On the 10th November, 1975 the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a storm, 17 miles from Whitefish Bay, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. She was, and still is, the largest ship to have been lost in North America’s Great Lakes.
The beach at Whitefish point is littered with huge chunks of driftwood, like the bones of some gigantic creature cast up by the waves, but it’s hard to imagine, gazing out at the calm, clear waters of Lake Superior, that the weather could boil up to such an extent that a ship as big as the Fitzgerald could sink amidst 35ft waves. What really happened to the Fitzgerald remains a mystery; no distress signal was ever sent and the bodies of the crewmen were never recovered.
So the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald passed into legend and that’s where the song comes in. In 1976, Gordon Lightfoot came out with a catchy little number called The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (or Old Man Gerald, as my grandson refers to it) and it’s one of those songs that, once I get it into my head, I can’t stop playing it, over and over and over! So naturally, as I stood on the beach at Whitefish Point I started humming that song. (Very quietly because I wasn’t alone.)
There were dozens of us, either standing still, gazing out on the waters, or strolling up and down, looking for what, I don’t know. Some people were gathering pebbles in buckets, others were picking up shells, and the more serious-minded were plying metal detectors no doubt searching for buried treasure, while the seagulls sat soaking up the sun.
Every once in a while they let out a mournful cry (the seagulls, not the people) and it seemed like they were joining me in a chorus of ‘that song’ as they bobbed up and down on the water.
Oh no! There it goes again!
It was very peaceful. Not even the seagulls were awake, although there were the occasional signs of life over by the ferry boats that were preparing for the thousands of tourists that flock over to Mackinac Island every day during the summer.
A heron, that had been standing unseen just a few feet away from me, took wing and headed off in the direction of Bois Blanc Island……….
…….and was immediately replaced by a group of hungry ducks who, seeing some poor unsuspecting mug with a camera standing on the lake shore, decided that there might be food in the offing. Not likely! I obey the rules. The signs posted in the hotel lobby distinctly said “Do Not Feed The Birds!”
They paddled around for a while looking hopeful but once they realized that they weren’t going to get anything, they gave a few quacks that may have been rude remarks in ‘duck speak’ and made their way over the landing.
After standing around waiting for what seemed like forever, I finally got to see the sun rise over Lake Huron heralding a new day in beautiful Michigan.