Patterns and Textures in Nature, Part 2
Day 221 - 'Rita's Gold' Boston Fern
Interesting patterns on this fern in the Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 220 - Frost Patterns on the Window
It reached -15 today, so needless to say I stayed home where it was warm and cozy. This is my first attempt at photographing frost. Not many of our windows have frost but I hope to play with this a bit more tomorrow.
Day 219 - A Little Sunshine on a Snowy Day
Velvet Groundsel in the Semitropical Greenhouse. I think all of us in the Chicago area could use a little sunshine and warmth. Snowed all day here and tomorrow the temperature is supposed to dip to -15.
Day 218 - Tropical Beauties
With all the snow we've had it's nice to step inside the warm Tropical Greenhouse and see some flowers in bloom, even if you can still see the snow and icicles clinging to the outside glass of the greenhouse. I love the patterns and lines of this orchid.
Day 217 - Herb Garden in Snow
From my kitchen window I can see the remains of my summer herb garden. The oregano stands tall while everything else is buried in snow. Makes me hungry for a Greek salad right about now.
Day 216 - Remnants of a Summer Garden
Day 215 - Snow Patterns on New Year's Day
Happy New Year! We had a big snow storm today - lots and lots of beautiful snow! I stepped outside for a bit and captured the snow clinging to the bark of one of the oak trees in our yard.
Day 214 - Cactus Patterns
Goodbye to 2013...Hello to 2014!
Day 213 - Silver Snow Korean Fir
An eye-catching conifer in the Dwarf Conifer Garden.
Day 212 - Delicate
A Gardenia in bloom in the Semitropical Greenhouse. The smell of these flowers is divine!
Day 211 - Golden Grass in the Sunshine
Today it reached into the 50's and I headed to the Garden for a long walk to soak up some sun and get some exercise. I was dodging mud puddles as all the snow is melting but it was so wonderful to be outside. I thought this was a fitting image for today - the sun illuminating the grasses on Evening Island.
Day 210 - Little Stars
I have posted the Star of Bethlehem flower on a previous day but I have gone back to photograph this lovely plant many times. I just love the way this shot shows the perfect symmetry of the petals and stamens.
Day 209 - Leaves of the Purple Beech Tree
Today I was starved for some exercise and fresh air, especially after all the delicious food we've been cooking at our house for the holidays! The temperature pulled up into the low 30's and it was very comfortable for a long walk at the Garden. The purple beech keeps its leaves through the winter and I was absolutely mesmerized by the beauty of the leaves as they shimmered in the late afternoon sun and danced with the wind. I decided the best way to capture the sight was to focus on the edge of the leaf and let the rest fall out of focus.
Day 208 - Merry Christmas!
Day 207 - Perfect Patterns
Day 206 - Petals
Day 205 - Poinsettia Textures
I was never that enthralled with poinsettias until I started photographing them last year at the holidays. I became fascinated with all the color variations and the texture of the bracts (leaves). This poinsettia was taken at the Wonderland Express exhibit at CBG, which is filled with all sorts of beautiful poinsettias.
Day 204 - A Burst of Red
Another fun day of photographing at home with my store-bought bouquet. This time I pulled out a red Gerbera Daisy. What's fun is that photographing at home allows you to move the flower around and play with the light more. I love the way the window light from the right brings out the velvety texture of the petals on the left. Although I prefer to be outdoors photographing flowers in their natural setting, it's just not possible in Chicago in winter. This provides a nice alternative for us passionate flower photographers in the midst of winter.
Day 203 - A bit of Sunshine
A little sunshine on a rainy, dreary day. I bought a bouquet of flowers at Trader Joe's today and pulled out this sunny Gerbera Daisy from the bouquet to photograph. I set up a little studio with natural light coming from the window and a black backdrop. Fun!...this just might help me make it through the long winter.
Day 202 - A Peek Inside the Tiny Flower of the Echeveria
Day 201 - Flowering Bush Coleus
Part of the holiday displays in the Semitropical Greenhouse.
Day 200 - Prickly Cactus
After a long and beautiful walk in the snow at the Garden I ended up in the Greenhouses to warm up for a bit. Another prickly cactus in the Arid Greenhouse caught my eye. There seem to be endless subjects to photograph there.
Day 199 - Necklace Vine
Love this unusual succulent in the Arid Greenhouse.
Day 198 - Blood Red
A Caladium leaf at the Butterfly House in St. Louis. I didn't realize that Caladium had so many variations and patterns. I photographed a different variation of Caladium back on day 104.
Day 197 - Soft Beauty
Another tropical beauty from St. Louis Butterfly House. (Obviously, I am using several photos from the same day shoot at the Butterfly House. I was unable to shoot each day while away, as I normally try to do, because of graduation festivities, family time, ice and snow storm, etc.)
Day 196 - Hibiscus at St. Louis Butterfly House
Butterflies are not the only beautiful things at the St. Louis Butterfly House! The orchids and tropical flowers are gorgeous at this exhibit.
Day 195 - Blue Clipper - St. Louis Butterfly House
I've been away for a few days attending my daughter's nursing school graduation in Missouri. On my way home today I stopped at one of my favorite places - the St. Louis Butterfly House, part of the Missouri Botanical Garden. What a treat to be among the butterflies despite the snow on the ground and freezing temps outside! It was a sauna inside the tropical glass enclosure. I'll get caught up on missed posts tomorrow but for now enjoy this Blue Clipper, one of many types of butterflies in the Butterfly House.
Day 194 - 'Dancing Snow' Hydrangea
This is a compact dwarf hybrid hydrangea with star-shaped double blooms. It is also known as 'Wedding Gown' Hydrangea. Another beautiful addition to the holidays flowers in the Semitropical Greenhouse. I was fascinated with the touch of blue in the center of many of the flowers.
Day 193 - Star of Bethlehem
You can't miss these stunning plants that are part of the holiday plantings in the Semitropical Greenhouse. They line the walkway all throughout the greenhouse - perfect little star-shaped beauties.
Day 192 - Snow on Hawthorn Berries
A Washington Hawthorn in the Native Plant Garden. We got a nice snow yesterday but it was bitterly cold today even with the sun shining. I attempted a short walk but didn't last too long. Brrrrrrrr!
Day 191 - Silver Jade Plant
It's amazing what a macro lens can help you see. I did not even notice the tiny dot pattern on the edges of the silver jade plant in the Arid Greenhouse when I shot this. I was more focused on the vibrant colors of the plant's edge. When I got it up on my computer screen I was delighted to see the interesting pattern that popped out at me!
Day 190 - Poinsettia
Part of the holiday display in the Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 189 - Backlit Palm Leaf
Day 188 - Amaryllis Patterns
Pattern on the outer petal of an Amalfi Amaryllis. I keep going back to the Semitropical green house to photograph the beautiful holiday displays of amaryllis. Check out my lastest blog post for more photos of these beautiful flowers.
Day 187 - Tiny Flower of the Jade Plant
Foggy, wet, grey day. Thank goodness for those greenhouses!
Day 186 - Poinsettia Leaf
Day 185 - Repeating Patterns
I don't know the name of this succulent in the Arid Greenhouse but will stop by the Garden Plant Info desk to find out. I love the lines/patterns of this plant. If nothing else, this project has made me fall in love with the Arid Greenhouse and all its fascinating plants. (p.s. I was later able to identify this plant as a Queen Victoria Agave).
Day 184 - Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana
A dainty holiday flower in the Arid Greenhouse.
Day 183 - Crabapple Berries
In the spring the crabapple trees bless us with beautiful flowers but in the late fall and winter they provide color and food for the birds. Today marks the half way point in this project. Time is flying by and I continue to enjoy and learn from this daily exercise.
Day 182 - Amalfi Amaryllis
The Semi-Tropical Greenhouse is filled with displays of these beautiful pink Amalfi Amaryllis for the holidays.
Day 181 - Happy Thanksgiving!
May your day be filled with family, friends, food and fun! I am thankful for all the many blessings in my life and for all the wonderful people I have met through my photography.
Day 180 - Cactus Patterns
Day 179 - Crown of Thorns
Another beauty in the Arid Greenhouse. The Crown of Thorns belongs to the same genus as poinsettias. The yellow cyathia (the actual flower) is enclosed by reddish/pink bracts (leaves).
Day 178 - Ready or Not, Here I Come
I've gone back several times to see the Royal Paintbrush plant I photographed last week to see if they had opened more. They are a little more open than they were last week but I was particularly fascinated with this one. It looks like a face with hands covering the eyes as if playing hide and seek!
Day 177 - Tree Trunk Pattern
Thanks to my daughter for pointing out this interesting texture/pattern in the Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 176 - More sticky situations
I continue to be amazed at how much there is to discover in the Arid Greenhouse. Every time I stop in, I find many new things that catch my eye. It is full of patterns and textures.
Day 175 - Ouch!
This cactus looks like it could do some damage.
Day 174 - Chinese Astilbe
Another plant that adds color and texture to the winter landscape.
Day 173 - Shrubby Whitevein
A colorful leaf in the Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 172 - Ruffles
Day 171 - Hydrangea
Hydrangeas are beautiful in summer but I especially love the way they look in fall and winter. I always leave mine up all winter to add some texture and interest to my Garden in the winter. Glad to see that CBG leaves their many hydrangeas in place as well. These are in the English Walled Garden.
Day 170 - Curving Lines of the Cactus
Day 169 - Faded Beauty
A quick walk before the rain started. I found this faded beauty still lingering in the Rose Garden.
Day 168 - Royal Paint Brush
Look what's blooming in the Arid Greenhouse! I've been watching this plant for a couple of days as it slowly begins to open. Will definitely be back to capture it fully open.
Day 167 - Tiny Cactus Flower - 'Whitey' Cactus
Day 166 - 'White Heart' Flamingo Flower
Another day in the Greenhouses - this time the Tropical Greenhouse (yes, the one where your camera lens always fogs up, but at least it's warm inside). I was pretty excited when I realized what a cool pattern this Flamingo Flower had on its spadex (the purple spike) and I love the leathery texture and curved lines of the spathe.
Day 165 - Winter is Upon Us
Yesterday afternoon we got our first snow of the winter and it was enough to cover the ground and stick around for a day. I took a nice walk at the Garden today - the sun was shining but it was crisp and cold and the snow had not melted in many areas. Not sure I'm ready for this but here we go...long winter ahead! Good thing I got my bulbs planted and gardens prepared for winter.
Day 164 - A Thorny Situation
Ouch! An artichoke agave in the Arid Greenhouse.
Day 163 - Coneflower Pods
The purple petals of my coneflowers have long ago fallen off but I leave the seed pods in the garden through the winter to provide food for the birds.
Day 162 - Echeveria
I know I should be saving the greenhouses for those frigid winter days but I'm kind of hooked on photographing succulents. I find something new every time I'm there. Unlike "fuzzy wuzzy" of a few days back, this echeveria has a very smooth and shiny leaf.
Day 161 - Fiery Spike
Appropriate name for this stunning plant blooming in the Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 160 - Tree with a Personality
You can't miss this one when you walk along the path in the Japanese Garden. This tree has stories to tell.
Day 159 - Fuzzy Wuzzy
This has to be my favorite texture so far! A form of very fuzzy echeveria in the Arid Greenhouse. This plant is low to the ground so you don't see its fuzziness until you get down closer. It was a rainy, cold day outside but the greenhouses were warm and dry.
Day 158 - Patterns of a Pine Cone
Day 157 - Japanese Maple
The leaves of my favorite maple in the Japanese Garden finally turned red!
Day 156 - Thread Leaf Agave
Fascinating agave in the Arid Greenhouse. Can't believe I had never noticed this plant before!
Day 155 - Staghorn Sumac
In the Native Plant Garden. The colors at CBG right now are breathtaking! Don't wait long - they'll be gone before you know it!
Day 154 - Maple Leaf Patterns
A walk today in Somme Woods.
Day 153 - Spider Mum
A rainy Halloween but there are always things to photograph indoors. This spider mum was part of a beautiful display in Regenstein Center.
Day 152 - Pompom Garden Mums
Still going strong, these mums in the English Walled Garden are one of only a few blooms left.
Day 151 - Grand Lady With Her Fur
Who knew I'd start being fascinated with dying flowers. The crazy good thing about this project is that it helps me to look at things I never looked at before. A year ago I would have walked right past these flowers, not thinking them a photograph-worthy subject. These flowers, like dying people, have stories to share before they go. This grand lady (who may just be the beautiful white anemone I photographed for my post on day 131) seems to be wrapping her fur around her neck to prepare for winter. I never noticed that the anemones have such a furry textured petal underneath.
Day 150 - Seed Clusters of the Blackberry Lily Plant
OK...now I get it! Back on day 58 of this project I posted a photo of a blackberry lily, a small leopard-patterned lily I found in the Dwarf Conifer Garden in the summer. I thought the name must have come from the deep reddish-purple color of the patterns on the lily, but now I see that the plant produces a beautiful seed cluster in the fall. After the flowers fall off, the plant produces a seed pod that, when ripe, opens to reveal a cluster of blackberry-like berries.
Day 149 - Last Dance
Day 148 - Fernleaf Maple
So far there have not been an abundance of colorful leaves to photograph this fall, but this fernleaf maple in the Japanese Garden sure has a colorful stem and I love the fan-like pattern of the leaves.
Day 147 - Cactus Patterns
Day 146 - Dainty Flowers
I was captivated by the beauty of these dainty little flowers and the way they draped over the succulent. I will return to the Arid Greenhouse to find out the plant's name.
Day 145 - Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
I knew the day would come but it was still a sad sight for me. The frost and cold temps of last night meant the end of the flowers. I walked from garden to garden - the dahlias, the zinnias, so many of the remaining flowers were limp and brown. So sad!
Day 144 - Golden Eye Beggar's Tick
A sweet little aster in the Daisy Garden of the English Walled Garden. I'm so drawn to the simple pattern of this flower.
Day 143 - Jindai Tatarian Aster
Asters are another sign of fall and they are all over the Garden in many different varieties. I especially love these Jindai Tatarian asters growing on Evening Island near the bridge to the Science Center. They are at least 4 feet tall. Today was the first day I donned my winter coat, a hat and mittens at the Garden. It was chilly and quite windy today!
Day 142 - Tiny Flower
Tiny flower of a succulent in the Arid Greenhouse.
Day 141 - Getting ready for Halloween
...and have you bought your Halloween candy yet?
Day 140 - Another Day in the Woods
Today friend Maria and I spent time in search of fall color, interesting fungus and all sorts of signs of fall in McDonald Woods at CBG. We noticed many trees that were cut down, most likely ash trees damaged by emerald ash borer. I suspect this damage is the work of the emerald ash borer larvae that tunnel their way up and down the trunk eating between the bark and sapwood. This damages the tree's ability to take in water and nutrients, eventually killing the tree. Interesting serpentine patterns but such a sad fate for so many of our local trees.
Day 139 - Fungus on a Fallen Tree
Call me weird but I'm always scouting out the fungus in the woods. This was particularly colorful and interesting.
Day 138 - A Walk in Harm's Woods
Today Maria and I took a walk in Harm's Woods. It was a chilly day but at least the rain stayed away. The colors are slowly but surely changing and it was fun to explore the woods and photograph the emerging colors. I loved the contrast between the decaying fallen tree trunk and the vibrant maple leaf.
Day 137 - 'Scarlet Belle' Pitcher Plant
Rainy, rainy day here so I headed to the greenhouses to photograph. This colorful patterned pitcher plant is in the Semi-Tropical Greenhouse. Pitcher plants, like venus fly traps, are carnivorous plants that trap unsuspecting insects that come their way.
Day 136 - Dahlias Are Still in Bloom
As long as the dahlias are still in bloom and beautiful as ever, I'm going to keep photographing them. The early morning dew with our chilly mornings has made them irresistible.
Day 135 - Orchid at the Illinois Orchid Show
This weekend the Illinois Orchid Show was going on at CBG and they allowed photographers to come in this morning to photograph the orchids before they opened to the public. I have never been a fan of photographing orchids because the lighting is often difficult indoors but I thought I'd give it a try and it turned out to be fun. I was fascinated by the vibrant colors and velvety texture of this particular orchid. Thanks to my photo friend, Vandana, who drove all the way from Bloomington to photograph at the Garden with me this weekend. We had a great time!
Day 134 - Winterberry
Spent a wonderful day at Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, a treat well-worth the drive and early morning rising to get there by 8:00 a.m. The field trip was sponsored by the Morton Arboretum and included a guided tour through the gardens that provided wonderful details about the history and reasons behind the designs of the garden. Long after the leaves have fallen off the winterberry tree the bright red berries remain to provide food for wildlife in the winter.
Day 133 - Ozawa Onion
A fall flowering bulb in the allium family.
Day 132 - Mars Dahlia
While many flowers are beginning to wither, the Mars Dahlias are abundant and at their best in the Daisy Garden within the English Walled Garden. They are a favorite flower of mine - the scarlet velvet-like petals that curl in at the tips to give it a star pattern, the smaller inner petals nestled within the larger petals and the brilliant yellow of the center.
Day 131 - White Japanese Anemone
Such simple but beautiful flowers, Japanese Anemones are blooming all over the Garden right now. I found these delicate white ones in the Enabling Garden. I love the soft texture of the petals.
Day 130 Maple Leaf
Day 129 - Monarch in the Circle Garden
I thought the butterflies were all gone. I hadn't seen one in over a week. I was passing through the Circle Garden late this afternoon and spotted a couple of monarchs feeding on the zinnias and dahlias. Well, of course I had to stay awhile and photograph them...and, of course I had to post one!
Day 128 - Prairie Flame Shining Sumac
This would have been easy to miss. Sumac is not a particularly "pretty" tree, but that pop of red drew me closer and just look at how beautiful the colors and patterns are on the leaves up close!
Day 127 - It's Pumpkin Time!
Check out the pile of pumpkins and gourds at CBG!
Day 126 - Swiss Chard, Take Two
I know I posted a photo of Swiss Chard several weeks ago but I spent some time in the Fruit and Vegetable Garden today and I'm just so drawn to the patterns and colors. It seems to be growing everywhere along with kale and cabbage. The Fruit and Vegetable Garden is literally a feast for the eyes right now and don't miss the giant pumpkins - they were just put into place today!
Day 125 - Blue Potato Vine
It's not a potato plant, although a cousin of the tuberous potato - just a plant with beautifully-patterned petals and vibrant colors. It certainly caught my eye in the Heritage Garden.
Day 124 - Small White Asters
I used to walk right by the Native Plant Garden at CBG and didn't fully appreciate the beauty of this garden until a year ago. After spending the better part of a year photographing the plants in that garden for the cell phone app project, I now have a deeper appreciation and awareness of what grows in there in each season of the year. These tiny white asters are one of the plants blooming in that garden right now - another example of a plant that needs to be appreciated up close. It's easy to miss this tiny beauty.
Day 123 - Softness
For the past 6 months I have been experimenting more and more with shooting nature in a dreamy, soft-focus, wide aperture kind of way. It is a way of shooting that allows more creativity and it is very freeing. For this project I have tended to shoot my subjects so that everything is very sharp and the entire image is in focus, feeling that it better conveys the patterns and textures I am presenting. Every once in awhile I need to shake myself out of that and shoot very soft. Yesterday and today I have been on a "dahlia mission" because even though they are still blooming and beautiful at the Garden, they will not be around much longer. The dahlia is a flower that is a wonderful subject for softer focus; it really conveys the essence of the flower. This summer I have greatly enjoyed the wealth of gorgeous dahlias at the Garden.
Day 122 - Paperbark Maple
Today I was exploring the Japanese Garden for some new ideas for this project and remembered one of my absolute favorite trees in that area - the Paperbark Maple. Tree bark offers us some of the most interesting textures and patterns in nature. This bark is so unique with it's thin papery layers and vibrant colors.
Day 121 - Swirling
Mums everywhere! Whirling, twirling, swirling color!
Day 120 - Colorful Kale
A colorful addition to the fall display in the Sensory Garden.
Day 119 - Autumn Crocus
In the spring the appearance of crocuses, one of the first flowers to bloom, means that spring has finally arrived. In the fall they are a reminder that winter is not far off. Even though commonly known as Autumn Crocuses these fall-blooming corms are not really crocus but are called Colchicum. I have passed this bed of flowers nestled amidst the ground cover at the north end of the Bulb Garden all week. Today I finally knelt down to take a closer look. I was stunned to see the beautiful checkerboard-like patterns on the petals of this delicate flower. They are gorgeous indeed!
Day 118 - Last Rose of Summer
Not many roses left at the Garden. I'm lamenting the fact that I didn't shoot many roses this summer. Ah well, there is always next year!
Day 117 - Green Giant Arborvitae
I found this towering arborvitae in the Rose Garden today. It is an evergreen that is part of the cypress family and is commonly used in yards as a privacy screen. Although the tree is not particularly interesting to photograph from afar, I find the structure and vibrant green of the leaves with the reddish color of the limbs so fascinating and beautiful up close.
To visit the first part of this 365 project, days 1 - 116, please follow this link: http://annebelmont.zenfolio.com/365-project---textures-and-patterns-in-nature