Patterns and Textures in Nature, Part 3
Day 319 - Ring Around the Rosie
Cactus in bloom in the Arid Greenhouse.
Day 318 - Frozen Buttercup
The Persian Buttercups did not fare well with our sudden change of weather. We awoke this morning to two inches of snow and many of the flowers at CBG were rather sad-looking. Most of the snow has already melted and the temps will pull up again tomorrow but many of the less hardy flowers will not recover.
Day 317 - 'Mache Orange' Persian Buttercup
The Garden just planted a beautiful bed of Ranunculus or Persian Buttercups a few days ago in the Heritage Garden.
Day 316 - A Peek Inside
Day 315 - Tree Bark Patterns
Would love to know what type of tree this is. The bark starts out looking like a birch but as the tree grows and ages, it changes and the white bark becomes rough and grey. When the tree leafs out I might be able to identify it.
Day 314 - Giant Snowdrop
Found a patch of lovely Giant Snowdrops in the Pullman Garden at CBG - a little known but treasure of a garden, which unfortunately will be torn out soon to make way for new greenhouses. I love how this close up shows the shimmering texture and patterns of the snowdrop.
Day 313 - Marching into Spring
I love the way this line of crocuses in the Heritage Garden is "marching" into spring. I'm having such fun photographing crocuses in various places around the Garden. With temps in the 60's and lots of warm sunshine, they are happy flowers and so are the bees.
Day 312 - Crocuses of Evening Island
The blanket of crocuses on Evening Island are beginning to fill the grassy hillside with purple, yellow and white. My favorite are the purple ones with beautiful patterning.
Day 311 - Sweet Crocuses
These delicate little crocuses just opened today in the Heritage Garden.
Day 310 - Snowdrops Warmed by the Sun
Unlike the tightly closed snowdrops of a several days ago, this little entwined pair in the Bulb Garden were wide open on this warm sunny day. Enjoyed a beautiful walk at the Garden today with my family.
Day 309 - Busy At Work
So good to see the bees out doing their job! The awakening of life continues!
Day 308 - After the Watering
Day 307 - Snowdrops
Like little drops of milk, the snowdrops are tightly closed and shivering in the cold and wind. When the sun warms them they will open like little bells. I adore these sweet little signs of spring. They bring such hope for the renewal of life that lays ahead.
Day 306 - Dwarf Iris
Another early sign of spring - the dwarf irises are starting to pop out of the ground in the Sensory Garden Woods. I love the pattern on the petals, a "nectar guide" or kind of landing strip to draw bees and other nectar gathering insects into the flower to the nectar and pollen.
Day 305 - Winter Aconite
Another harbinger of spring, winter aconite is in bloom at the Garden. I found this patch in the Landscape Garden.
Day 304 - A Tulip for Katie
My sweet Katie is home for a week, so this one's for you, Katie! I know you love tulips!
Day 303 - Spring Has Arrived!
Today it reached into the 60's - sunny and warm at last! I took a long, blissful walk at the Garden and found the first crocuses emerging from the ground and reaching for the sun. There are only a few blooming at Garden today, but tomorrow may beckon more from the ground with temps expected in the 60's again. What a sight for winter-weary eyes! Snowdrops and Winter Aconite have also bloomed.
Day 302 - Essence of a Calla Lily
Day 301 - Lantana
A bit of sunshine in the Semi Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 300 - Spring Tulip
Made another visit to the Spring Flower Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory. Nothing like a day among the flowers...pure happiness!
Day 299 - Ranunculus Beauty
I had to post another shot from Lincoln Park Conservatory, considering there is still nothing much to shoot outside. Ranunculus or Persian Buttercup is one of my favorite spring flowers. I love how they unfold - reminds me of the shutter of a camera opening. I'm going back to the Conservatory tomorrow to photograph more spring blooms. Hey, tomorrow is day 300 of this project! Only 65 days to go!
Day 298 - Spring...please?
Despite the dusting of snow we woke up to this morning, it looked like spring inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory. I made a visit to the Spring Flower Show on my way into the city. It was warm and sunny and full of beautiful spring blooms inside, including this happy little daffodil.
Day 297 - Decaying Oak Leaf Basket Fern
Day 296 - New Orchid Blooms
I get such pleasure watching this orchid on my kitchen window sill keep blooming. It was just calling me to take it down and take a few portraits.
Day 295 - Can't Get Enough of those Anemones!
Back to the Garden today for the opening of the Garden Photographic Society's 'Nature in View' exhibit and to shoot with a wonderful group of photo friends. Thank you Don, Chris, Gary and John for an awesome morning and to Julie, my newest photo friend, for coming to Garden to see the exhibit. The Garden is a wonderful place to share photography with friends. I couldn't resist going back to shoot more anemone portraits.
Day 294 - Mona Lisa Deep Blue Poppy Anemone
These beautiful anemones are part of a display in the reflecting pool in Regenstein Center. I enjoyed photographing them today in a variety of ways but felt this softer focus image conveyed the feeling of spring. Happy spring! It indeed is feeling more like spring here!
Day 293 - Unfurling Fern
Such a perfect pattern in nature. Found this one in the Semitropical Greenhouse.
Day 292 - Orange Form Ice Plant
I love how the Arid Greenhouse provides such bright color throughout the winter. Many of the various ice plants are in bloom right now.
Day 291 - Wild Iris
These sweet little irises are blooming in the Semi Tropical Greenhouse.
Day 290 - Flying Fairies
Despite the cold I took a walk at the Garden to soak up some sunshine and look for signs of spring. I popped in the Greenhouses to see the progress on the Orchid Show teardown. The show ended yesterday. There are only a few orchids left and among them one of my favorites. These sweet little orchids remind me of flying fairies.
Day 289 - A River Runs Through It
Day 288 - Ruffles
Who can resist ruffles like these?! So pretty in pink!
Day 287 - Cattleya Orchid from Below
Day 286 - Tiny Uncurling Fern
Day 285 - Morning Watering
Day 284 - Lady Slipper Buds
Back to Hausermann's Orchids to shoot and I was fortunate to spot this pot with double buds. They are so graceful and lovely the way they bend to open.
Day 283 - Natal Lily
Another type of Natal Lily now in bloom in the Arid Greenhouse.
Day 282 - Back Lit Leaf
This large leaf in the Tropical Greenhouse was back lit with the morning sun, accentuating its beautiful patterns.
Day 281 - Tiny Orchids
These are among my favorite orchids at the Orchid Show at CBG. They are tiny - only a little over an inch across. I love their colors and patterning.
Day 280 - Tropical Beauty - Canary Tree Mallow
I found this Canary Tree Mallow in the Tropical Greenhouse and was drawn to the papery texture of its petals and the simple pattern of the flower. Fitting for a day when the temps finally pulled up into the 40's and the sun began to melt all our snow.
Day 279 - What Do You See?
One of the most interesting of patterns on an orchid. You will often hear people projecting human or animal characteristics on the faces of these orchids. To me she looks like an angel sitting with a wide skirt.
Day 278 - Soft Ruffle of an Orchid
This is a Dendrobium orchid called an Angel Moon 'Love Letter.'
Day 277 - Another Orchid Beauty
Hope you aren't tiring of orchids because they are what I'm shooting these days while the Orchid Show is going on and we are eagerly awaiting any tiny sign that spring may be close. Usually this time of year I'm outside scouting snowdrops and other early signs of spring but we are far from anything popping up through the frozen ground until all this snow melts and the temps rise a bit. Meanwhile, enjoy all the beautiful patterns and textures that these lovely and exotic flowers provide. I'm really enjoying photographing them!
Day 276 - Blue Vanda Orchid
This is truly one of the most stunning orchids I've seen!
Day 275 - Lady Slipper
Just love the patterns and curve of the upper petal of the Lady Slipper.
Day 274 - Natal Lily
While photographing orchids I stopped in the Arid Greenhouse to see if the Natal Lilies had finally bloomed. They were indeed in full bloom and bathed in sunlight. Normally photographing flowers in full sun does not work but I used a wide open aperture and positioned myself so the flowers were backlit by the sun. They appear to be blazing with color and light - a welcome bit of warmth on this cold day.
Day 273 - Budding Amaryllis
We have another amaryllis about to bloom, this one belongs to my daughter. It hadn't bloomed since she received it for Christmas several years ago and took it to her college apartment. Within months of coming home to our sunny window, it is ready to bloom.
Day 272 - Pink Beauty
Back to the Orchid Show today for my class!
Day 271 - Vibrant Orchid
Visited the Orchid Show again today. This tiny orchid was in a room with very little light. I used my ring flash and it worked well to darken the background and illuminate the flower. I love the vibrant color and patterning of this little beauty.
Day 270 - Shell
A break from orchids...(but there will be more to come, I'm warning you - I'm going back to the exhibit tomorrow and Friday). I've always loved shells. I have a large collection of them from various vacations through the years. After photographing a number from my collection I have really come to appreciate the variety of patterns, shapes, lines and colors shells have. Such exquisite little treasures from the sea!
Day 269 - Orchid, Take 2
Wanted to try some new shots of my newly bloomed orchid. It opened a little further today making it easier to shoot the petals. I set the orchid next to a door and the soft side lighting really revealed the sparkly texture of the petals. This was shot at f29 to get every part of the flower in focus.
Day 268 - Softness
We received an orchid as a gift a year ago. After all the flowers fell off I continued to water it and fertilize it in hopes that it would bloom again. Lo and behold a month ago a series of buds appeared and today the first opened. I had fun experimenting with all sorts of different ways to photograph the bloom, including this very soft focus shot with only the one curly tendril tip in focus.
Day 267 - Orchid Show Beauties
Another beauty from the Orchid Show. I am taking a two session class called "Photographing Orchids" at CBG and we were allowed to carefully positon some backdrops during our photographing.
Day 266 - Polka Dots and Ruffles
I finally had a chance to visit the Orchid Show at CBG. It is truly magnificent and a must-see at the Garden. I look forward to many more visits before it closes on March 16th. I love the polka dots and ruffled edges of this colorful Lady Slipper.
Day 265 - Pop of Color
Day 264 - A Hint of Spring
There's something about this image that makes me hopeful for spring. Today was the first day in a long time that it warmed up enough to begin to melt the mounds of snow. The sun was shining and it is beginning to feel like maybe there is an end to this LONG winter in sight.
Day 263 - Coral
More patterns from the sea.
Day 262 - Shell Patterns
Yet another winter storm has me wishing even harder for summer and the beach. Shells have some of the most beautiful patterns in nature - not only the spiral pattern of the shell, but its leopard-like markings.
Day 261 - Orchid Close-Up
Another beautifully patterned orchid.
Day 260 - Tropical Tree Trunk Patterns
Day 259 - Valentine's Day Orchid
Happy Valentine's Day! Thought this colorful orchid was a fitting tribute to the day.
Day 258 - Golden Barrel Cactus
Referred to as the "Elder Statesman" in the Arid Greenhouse, this Golden Barrel Cactus and its offspring have been around for 20 years.
Day 257 - Another Amaryllis from the CBG Cafe
I know...it's another amaryllis. Hey, there's not a lot to shoot while we wait for the Orchid Show to open and it's just too ridiculously cold to be outside looking for subjects. Cabin fever has officially set in. Spring, when are you coming?...or can you at least get the temps above zero!
Day 256 - Orchid Portrait from Behind
A new angle on the orchid I purchased at Hausermann's a couple of weeks back. It has such an elegant and beautiful back side. Getting excited for the big Orchid Show to open at the Garden. Hope to be there early next week!
Day 255 - More Rock Patterns
Day 254 - Echinopsis
This cactus produces the most beautiful flowers. Last June, on day 2 of this project, I posted a photo of the vibrant red/orange flower that only blooms for a couple of days.
Day 253 - Tiny Threesome
The pots of red kalanchoe in the Arid Greenhouse during the holiday season have been replaced by another variety of kalanchoe of a peachy color. I just love the line of this colorful threesome.
Day 252 - Aloe Vera
This is a giant aloe vera in the Arid Greenhouse. I just love the strength and stature of this plant and have been pondering a good composition of it for a long time. It has gorgeous lines and subtle colors. I'll keep trying different approaches to photographing it but this was the first image that I felt captured the strong lines of the plant.
Day 251 - Flower of the Echeveria
One of my favorite textures that I've encountered during this project is a fuzzy variation of echeveria. I nicknamed it "Fuzzy Wuzzy." I look at it every time I go to the Arid Greenhouse and it is now in bloom. Those bright colors will warm up even the coldest of winter days!
Day 250 - More Little Visitors
Five days ago I photographed the lady bug nestled among the natal lily buds in the Arid Greenhouse. I didn't notice other lady bugs at the time but this time I noticed them all over the greenhouse, even crawling on the spiny cactus. I'm not sure if they are uninvited visitors or perhaps they were introduced to eat smaller pests like aphids or spider mites in an effort to avoid the use of pesticides. Interesting! This little critter was crawling all over the royal paintbrush plant. Love the edges of the leaves!
Day 249 - Set in Stone
Something a little different today. I was noticing that the Arid Greenhouse has some interesting rocks in various places in the greenhouse - beautiful colors, patterns and textures.
Day 248 - Opening Amaryllis
What joy can come from a 50% off after-the-holiday amaryllis! Luckily, my amaryllis, which was sitting on my kitchen window sill, escaped the flood of water that came through our kitchen ceiling when the pipe broke. Today one of the buds is fully open and I was able to photograph it with some gorgeous window light. The side lighting really brought out the beautiful texture and detail of this lovely flower. It really is all about the light, isn't it?! I know I've posted a lot of amaryllis shots over the past months but they are irresistable and readily available this time of year.
Day 247 - Hanging Baskets of Orchids
In preparation for the Orchid Show opening on February 15th, the Garden has installed magnificent hanging baskets of orchids over the reflecting pool in Krehbiel Gallery in Regenstein. They are extremely hard to photograph because of their high placement and having to shoot upward into the overhead skylights. I intend to go back and try some different strategies.
Day 246 - Amaryllis in the Garden Cafe
I've been escaping to the Garden each day to get out of the house. We had a burst radiator pipe two days ago, sending water pouring through the kitchen ceiling. Our house is topsy turvy with workers and big noisy machines drying out the damage and beginning the extensive renovation to repair the damage. The good thing is we'll have freshly painted walls and refinished floors to reward us for the aggravation of going through it. The Garden has been my one place of peace and sanity. I went today to take a long walk during the snow storm - the Garden was beautiful and serene with a fresh blanket of snow. I stopped in the cafe for some soup and was delighted to find beautiful pots of amaryllis to cheer me up...and, of course, to be photographed.
Day 245 - Well Hello Little Lady Bug
Spent some time in the Arid Greenhouse today. It is the only greenhouse open right now while they set up for the big Orchid Show. I always look forward to seeing the Natal Lilies in the greenhouse bloom each winter in February. I bent down to inspect the buds of the lily and saw this little lady bug nestled among the buds.
Day 244 - Shell Close-Up
Day 243 - Red Velvet
After the holidays I bought an amaryllis kit at Target for 50% off and thought it would be fun to watch it bloom and to photograph it. The bud is just opening today and the beautiful red velvety petals beginning to unfold.
Day 242 - Orchid Close Up
Day 241 - Doris Longwing Butterfly
A bitterly cold day here in Chicago; in fact schools all over the area were closed. I stayed home and worked on a wealth of shots from last week, including this beautifully patterned Doris Longwing from the Butterfly Haven.
Day 240 - Orchid Bud Opening
Today the bud on my orchid is opening (compare to yesterday's post) and given our frigid temps over the next few days, I won't be venturing out to shoot much and will rely on things I can shoot at home or perhaps even post a few more photos from last week's plethora of photographs. Winter, please be over!
Day 239 - Orchid from Hausermann's
This is the orchid I bought while photographing at Hausermann's. Today I set it near a glass door with my black backdrop draped over a chair. This was one of my favorite shots. I love this portion of the orchid (it's huge and has many unopened buds you can't see in this shot) with a closed bud, a partially opening bud and fully open flowers.
Day 238 - Yellow Cracker Butterfly
I spent this frigid and windy morning in the warmth of the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. A delightful morning photographing a great variety of butterflies. This Yellow Cracker is one of my favorites. The Yellow Cracker can be found in the rainforests of Central and South America and is named for the crackling sound the males make when taking off, possibly part of the courtship dance or a way to mark territory and keep other males away.
Day 237 - Lady Slipper Bud
Just had to post another from my visit to Hausermann's. This elegant bud will open into a lady slipper. I just love the beautiful lines and the texture of the stem.
Day 236 - Lady Slipper #2
I'm on a roll with orchids! Today my friend Tony took me to Hausermann's, a huge orchid seller southwest of Chicago. It is an amazing place and the staff so kind about letting photographers come in and photograph the wealth of orchids - 1000's and 1000's of orchids. Tony and I set up a little "studio" in a quiet corner, complete with black backdrop and we had a great time photographing all sorts of orchids. I bought one to bring home so you'll be seeing some portraits of my new beauty in the coming days.
Day 235 - Flowering Bromeliad
Maybe this colorful bloom of the bromeliad will brighten this cold winter day.
Day 234 - Orchid
It's so nice to know that even in the midst of winter there are always orchids to photograph and they are so rich with patterns and texture. This one was just begging for a portrait and, lucky for me, the light was perfect to bring out the texture of the petals.
Day 233 - Tropical Leaf Patterns
I don't know the name of this tropical leaf but I was instantly drawn to its texture and patterns. It has a leathery quality that makes it seem like the skin of a reptile.
Day 232 - Intertwined Textures
Day 231 - Amaryllis Buds
Back to the Garden today to shoot the amaryllis with friends Tony and Maria. The buds are as fascinating and fun to photograph as the flowers.
Day 230 - Red Beauty
The Garden has added some new varieties of amaryllis to the Semitropical Greenhouse. I love the rich color and beautiful texture of the petals of this red one.
Day 229 - Lady Slipper Orchid
Today I went to Lincoln Park Conservatory with my friend Tony. We had a great time shooting orchids and this was one of my favorites. Orchids are difficult to shoot and I hope to get lots of practice over the next couple months with the big orchid show coming to CBG.
Day 228 - Hydrangea Flower
Just experimenting with the light box. Tiny dried hydrangea flower photographed on the light box and converted to black and white.
Day 227 - Touch of Spring
The sun came out and the temps pulled up into the mid 40's. I headed to the Garden to take in some sunshine - it felt wonderful to be outside! Toward the end of my walk, I ducked into Regenstein to see if there was anything new. I was greeted by lovely pots of purple mums in the reflecting pool.
Day 226 - Leaf Abstract
Day 225 - Longing for the Beach
This cold weather has me longing for a trip south but pulling out my shell collection was about the best I could do for now. I think shells have some of the most beautiful patterns you can find in nature.
Day 224 - Whitey Cactus
Gave the Greenhouses a visit today in hopes of finding something new after the holidays but they are still in transition. The greenhouses will be closing in two weeks to prepare for the opening of the big orchid show in February. I better get busy and plan some new places to shoot!
Day 223 - Sand Dollar
I had great fun today photographing all sorts of things on my new light box. The patterns of the sand dollar really stand out with the light shining beneath. I have all sorts of projects planned for my new "toy."
Day 222 - Graceful Beauty
I nearly missed this beautiful hibiscus in the Tropical Greenhouse. I happened to look up and there she was like a graceful, whorling dancer bending to greet me. The vein-like patterns of the petals are so prominent and sculptural. I loved being able to photograph the flower from this vantage point since the inside of the flower with its reproductive structures are most often the subject of photographs.