365 Project - Textures and Patterns in Nature

 

After years of thinking about doing a 365 project, I’ve finally committed to doing it!  When it comes to photography, I’m always looking for ways to challenge myself and help myself grow in new ways.  Photographers that I know that have done photo-a-day projects all say they have been rewarding and that the project forced them to think outside the box and look at the world a little differently.  So, starting on June 1st 2013, I’ll be posting a photo each day.  My project will be focused on capturing the patterns and textures of nature up close.  The project is divided into four pages, accessible through the drop down menu. Each page starts with the most current and moves backwards in time.

"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."  ~Henry Miller

 


Day 116 - Who's Been Nibbling on the Cabbage Leaf?
 

Cabbage Leaf - Day 116Cabbage Leaf - Day 116 The colorful cabbage displays in the Enabling Garden have had some unwanted visitors and this particular leaf certainly caught my eye.  I was fascinated by the complimentary colors of the purple cabbage and the glowing yellow mum display behind it.  Today on my walk at the Garden I was trying hard to keep my mind and eyes open for different types of patterns in nature. That's what this year-long exercise is all about, after all.  I don't always promise a "beautiful" photo but hope they are always interesting in some way and ignite people to look closely at what nature offers us.  Now if only I knew who's been nibbling on the cabbage!


 

Day 115 - Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf - Day 115Maple Leaf - Day 115 One of my favorite maple trees at the Garden - near Spider Island - is just beginning to change.


 

Day 114 - Mum's the Word

Mum's the Word - Day 114Mum's the Word - Day 114

You know when mums starting appearing, it's really Fall.  Happy first day of Fall!


 

Day 113 - A Leaf in the Sand

Leaf in the Sand - Day 113Leaf in the Sand - Day 113


 

Day 112 - Leaf of the Glory Bush

Leaf of the Glory Bush - Day 112Leaf of the Glory Bush - Day 112 These tall and beautiful plants with a show of purple flowers have such an interesting leaf.  I have tried on several occasions to get a good photo of the texture and patterns on this leaf and finally had success.


 

Day 111 - Hints of Fall

Hints of Fall - Day 111Hints of Fall - Day 111 Lots of rain today.  After the rain let up I headed to the beach with photo friends, Maria and Donna.  They were working on a project photographing water for a class at the Garden and I combed the beach and wooded park for patterns and textures.  Came across this maple with a few red leaves.  Everyday it feels a little more like Fall.


 

Day 110 - Dahlia after the Rain

Dahlia with Raindrops - day 110Dahlia with Raindrops - day 110 I didn't plan to post a flower today.  I went to the Garden late this afternoon and arrived during a light rain.  It cleared quickly and it was great shooting.  I came home with all sorts of goodies but this one just called to me to post.  I tried to get a good shot of this dahlia over the weekend because I really liked the pop of dark red in the inner petals around the center.  The raindrops, of course, were the icing on the cake.


 

Day 109 - Busy as a Bee

Busy as a Bee - Day 109Busy as a Bee - Day 109 Fall is upon us and the bees are busy gathering the last bit of pollen from the zinnias before the Fall gardens are installed.  Likewise the Garden staff are busy as bees planting new displays.  Mums are everywhere, a definite sign of Fall.


 

Day 108 - Victoria Lily Pad

Victoria Lily Pad - Day 108Victoria Lily Pad - Day 108 These giant lily pads in the Heritage Garden have such interesting textures.  The pad is thorny on the underside and rim to protect it from predators.  The plant produces beautiful flowers that are white when they open the first night.  A beetle enters the flower and is held captive inside at night to pollinate the flower.  It opens on the second night a pink/purple color and releases the beetle to carry pollen to another lily flower. 


 

Day 107 - Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars - Day 107Seeing Stars - Day 107 It poured all day here and I was a bit under the weather myself...so I'm posting a photo from earlier in the week.


 

Day 106 - Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard - Day 106Swiss Chard - Day 106

Photographed in the Fruit and Vegetable Garden at CBG.


 

Day 105 - Italian White Cucumber Leaf Sunflower

Sunflower - Day 105Sunflower - Day 105

How's that for a name.  Love the buttery yellow color of this sunflower and all the beautiful lines in the petals.


 

Day 104 - Colorful Caladium Leaf

Caladium - Day 104

 

Found this in the Tropical Greenhouse, lining the walkway.


 

Day 103 - Monarch on Zinnia

Monarch on Zinnia - Day 103

 

Today was my lucky day! I went to the Garden after the rain stopped and not only did I see lots of monarchs fluttering about the Circle Garden, but they were feeding on my favorite patch of zinnias!  Butterflies and zinnias in one photo is hitting the jackpot in my eyes!  I must have taken 300 images and, although I haven't even looked at most of them, I was really excited when I saw this one.  Good day!


 

Day 102 - White Lined Sphinx Moth

Hummingbird Moth - Day 102

 

I kept hearing and reading about the white lined sphinx moths (also known as hawk or hummingbird moths) at the Garden this past week.  Apparently there are quite a lot of them flying about the Garden and nobody is quite sure why the population is so large this year.  They are easy to mistake for a hummingbird as they are about the same size.  I was walking through the Circle Garden this morning on my way to a cooler spot in the shade (it was in the mid 90's here today) and I happened to see one as it whirred by me.  200+ images later it disappeared into the bushes to rest.  This is a hard critter to catch, as those wings beat a gazzillion times a second and they dart from flower to flower feeding, not to mention the windy conditions today.  They are not, however, afraid of humans so you can get pretty close and fire away.  I cranked up my shutter speed to try to freeze the action and was able to get a few decent photos.  The proboscis is usually as long as the moth's body. Fascinating to watch!


  

Day 101 - Zinnia Close-Up

Zinnia Close-Up - Day 101

 

Another zinnia, I know.  Can't resist shooting these beauties while they are still around.  I love the way this close-up really accentuates the patterns in the center of the flower.


 

Day 100 - Horn of Plenty, Take 2

Horn of Plenty - Day 100

 

Day 100!  Figure if I've made it this far, I can do the full 365 but finding things to photograph in the winter will be the real challenge.  I was able to get a shot of the Horn Of Plenty flower when it was fully open.  Five days ago I posted a photo of the flower closed tightly with such an interesting pattern.


 

Day 99 - Grass in Sunlight

Grass in Sunlight - Day 99

 

Experimenting with some interesting filter effects in the new Topaz ReStyle.


 

Day 98 - Bloodflower

Bloodflower - Day 98

Two days ago I posted a picture of the seeds from the 'Silky Scarlet' Bloodflower.  This is the flower of that same plant. When I got home and saw this image on my computer screen I was so taken with the vibrant colors, not only of the flower itself but whatever caused the gorgeous blue blur in the background.  I must go back and investigate this bed of flowers more carefully and see where that blue came from!


 

Day 97 - Upside Down Zinnia

Upside Down Zinnia - Day 97

I know what you're saying..."There she goes again, photographing the back or under side of flowers!"  Sorry but it's a fascination I have, especially with zinnias.  The patterns underneath are beautiful and look at the way the patterns on the petals just pop.  This zinnia in the Circle Garden was bent over making it easy to photograph but I have been known to photograph the underside of flowers by lying on the ground.


 

Day 96 - Ready to Fly

Ready to Fly - Day 96

The seed pods filled with seeds have opened on the 'Silky Scarlet' Bloodflower, a bright red and yellow flower in the milkweed family that the butterflies love.  Captured these this morning in the Enabling Garden.


 

Day 95 - Horn of Plenty

Horn of Plenty - Day 95

I stumbled across this flower along the upper walkway of the Sensory Garden.  I had never seen it before and was fascinated with the beautiful pattern the flower makes in its closed state.  Perhaps I'll catch it open in the coming days and can post a picture.


 

Day 94 - Zinnia at Sunset

Zinnia at Sunset - Day 94

I took an early evening walk at the Garden hoping to miss the Labor Day crowds.  No such luck - it was still very busy at the Garden.  It was a beautiful evening - cool and the light was gorgeous.  I just wanted to savor the zinnias in the Circle Garden because I know it is only a matter of days before the summer gardens will be pulled up and the fall gardens will be installed. Summer will soon be behind us and even though I love fall, I am never eager to let go of summer.


 

Day 93 - Northern Sea Oats

Northern Sea Oats - Day 93

Have always loved this ornamental grass.  It grows in the the Sensory Garden Woods and I love to photograph it as the sun sets in the west and back lights the oats.  It will turn a lovely reddish brown during the fall.


 

Day 92 - Yellow Tiger Swallowtail in My Garden

Yellow Tiger Swallowtail - Day 92

The butterflies continue to visit my butterfly garden.  I was worried that I would miss all the action while I was away on vacation but in the days since I have been home I have had visitors each day. Makes me happy!


 

Day 91 - Another Sunflower on the Ranch

Sunflower - Day 91

So many sunflowers on the ranch - just couldn't resist a frontal view of one, as well.


 

Day 90 - Geranium Leaves

Geranium Leaves - Day 90

Another pattern that caught my eye while at the ranch.


 

Day 89 - Succulent on the Ranch

Cactus - Day 89

Found this succulent in a pot next to the vegetable garden on the ranch. Added a little drama with contrast and saturation.


 

Day 88 - Sunflower in the Garden, Babcocks Hole Ranch, Colorado

Sunflower on the Ranch - Day 88

Every year I visit my dear and longtime friend who lives on Babcocks Hole Ranch, a 2,000 acre ranch surrounded by national forest with views of Pike's Peak and the surrounding mountains.  I have taken 1000's of photographs of the ranch, most of which are landscape shots of the breathtaking vistas, portraits of the many ranch animals and all the interesting collectables at the ranch. My friend is an artist and her home is filled with exquisite and interesting treasures.  This visit I tried to focus on some of the natural details for this project.  Her vegetable garden was filled with many sunflowers and this one caught my eye.


 

Day 87 - Flowers on Canyon Road, Santa Fe

Canyon Road Flowers - Day 87

For most of this project I have tried to focus my efforts on capturing nature's patterns and textures up-close, but sometimes you just have to step back and see how nature interacts with the environment it grows in.  I fell in love with this beautiful display of flowers but how could one not include the adobe wall and turquoise windows.  Canyon Road in Santa Fe is lined with charming adobe structures which house art galleries.  Many of the galleries have beautiful gardens or flower displays.


 

Day 86 - My Head in the Clouds

Most of my time in Santa Fe, I had my head tilted upward observing the clouds, the sky, the light.  It is truly magical.  The clouds are ever-changing and forming new patterns, so at Tent Rocks National Park the sky could look different at every turn, not to mention the fascinating rock formations and patterns of the canyon walls.


 

Day 85 - Tent Rocks National Park

Tent Rocks is one of my favorite spots to hike in the world.  This was my second visit to this National Park and once again it left me breathless with its beauty.  It's the combination of the New Mexico blue sky and cloud formations and the gorgeous rock spires that make this a magical, spiritual place. These sedimentary rock formations are the result of volcanic activity and wind and water erosion.  This photo was taken near the top where you can peer down into the canyon with a spectacular view of the mountains in the background and that unforgettable sky.  The first time I went to New Mexico I quickly understood why people say the sky and clouds are different in New Mexico.  It is no wonder so many artists, Georgia O'Keefe being my favorite, have found their home there.  It is a very special place indeed!


 

Day 84 - Flowers at the Market

Farmer's Market Flowers - Day 84

Just loved the way these perfect dahlias were displayed in mason jars at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market.


 

Day 83 - A Feast for the Eyes

Feast for the Eyes - Day 83

The Santa Fe Farmer's Market is hands down the best farmer's market I have ever been to.  The colors, the varieties of produce and the way it was artfully displayed just left me awestruck.  Being on vacation, I couldn't really buy produce but I came home with some mighty fine Chimayo chili powder and lots of wonderful photographs.


 

Day 82 - Monarch on Milkweed

Monarch on Milkweed - Day 82

The day I left for vacation my butterfly garden was buzzing with activity.  Butterflies had finally arrived - unfortunately just in time for my leaving.  As my husband packed my luggage into the car to take me to the airport, I grabbed my camera and took a few photos of the monarchs and swallowtails feeding on the milkweed and butterfly bushes.  I will slowly but surely get caught up with my posts from the time I was gone.  I came home with 1000+ photos to sort through.  It was a fabulous and fun trip to Colorado and New Mexico with a group of girlfriends and I'll be posting a few of the shots I captured during all our adventures.


 

Day 81 - Tree Rings

Tree Rings - Day 81

I'll be away on vacation for the next week or so.  I won't be posting images but I will certainly be taking them and will get them up as soon as I'm back from my trip.


 

Day 80 - Lotus Seed Pod

Lotus Seed Pod - Day 80

One of the more interesting seed pods in nature.


 

Day 79 - A Miracle of Nature

Monarch Butterfly - Day 79

All summer I have been waiting and watching for monarchs in my butterfly garden full of milkweed.  Early in the summer I spied a monarch caterpillar but since then I have seen no butterflies.  They have been strangely absent from all gardens and it has been so discouraging for those of us concerned about the monarchs.  Today, lo and behold, I spotted a monarch in the garden and when I looked closer, realized she was laying her eggs on the milkweed!  I watched her for over an hour, tirelessly going from leaf to leaf and extending her abdomen to deposit the egg on the underside of the leaf.  It was so exciting to watch!  She never stopped to feed and wasn't bothered by my presence.  She was definitely on a mission.  I checked on her from time to time and at last check she was still laying eggs...5 hours later!  In this photograph you can see the extended abdomen with the egg at the tip.  Let's hope there are lots of beautiful caterpillars eating my milkweed soon!


 

Day 78 - Hollyhock Close-Up

Hollyhock - Day 78


 

Day 77 - Kale

Kale - Day 77

Took a quick walk at the Garden this afternoon and was determined to find something different to photograph for today's post.  I was about to leave when I noticed the colorful kale growing among the flowers in the beds in front of the Visitor's Center.  I shot the leaves in all sorts of different ways thinking I would like the ones with the sliver of focus on the ruffled ends, the veins falling out of focus.  I ended up liking just the opposite, mostly because of the way the soft light danced on the edges of the leaves.  It was a fun experiment!


 

Day 76 - Lotus Close-up

I went to the Garden mid-morning while there was some nice cloud cover, hoping it would last so I could photograph the water lilies and lotus.  I was able to get some nice shots before the sun re-emerged.  The tricky thing about photographing water lilies and lotus is that you have to wait until they open mid-morning but the light is often too harsh at that point unless you have some cloud cover.  While I was photographing this lotus, I met two avid photographers, Kathy and Cora.  Kathy recognized me because she follows my website!  What fun!  Thanks for following me, Kathy! I hope we meet again at the Garden. Loved talking to you both!


 

Day 75 - Purple Coneflowers

Purple Coneflowers - Day 75

Just playing today - having fun getting to know some of the filters in my Nik Color Efex Pro software.


 

Day 74 - Emperor Swallowtail

Emperor Swallowtail - Day 74

Spent the morning chasing butterflies and came home with 300 images of some beautiful new additions to the Butterflies and Blooms exhibit.  The patterning on this Emperor Swallowtail is simply gorgeous! The exhibit is winding down now - only two weeks more and it closes for the summer.


 

Day 73 - Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace - Day 73

One of my favorite patterns in nature...and to think it's considered a weed!


 

Day 72 - Dahlia Close-Up

Dahlia Close-Up _ Day 72


 

Day 71 - A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods - Day 71

Spent the morning at Daniel Wright Woods and Half Day Forest Preserve with photo friend Don and his adorable dog, Brody.  We found all kinds of cool stuff to photograph, including these mushrooms along the woodland path.


 

Day 70 - Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes - Day 70

 

 

Those who know me, know that I am often more fascinated with the back or underside of a flower than I am with the flower itself.  This dahlia was turned around in the flower bed, just calling my name to notice it.  Look at the lines and patterns, the graceful curve of the stem.  How could you not be fascinated?!


 

Day 69 - Persian Shield Plant with Aphid

Persian Shield Plant with Aphid - Day 69

My photo club had a photo walk at the Garden this evening.  I was fascinated with the texture and colors of the leaves of the Persian Shield plant.  This tiny aphid happened to walk into my frame and stay long enough for a few pictures.


 

Day 68 - Candy Corn

Candy Corn - Day 68

The patterns on this rudbeckia remind me of candy corn! Must be that sweet tooth of mine!


 

Day 67 - Dahlia with Raindrops

Dahlia with Raindrops - Day 67

Arrived at the Garden this morning at 6:30 a.m. in the middle of a rain storm.  Waited it out for a few minutes and was rewarded with a morning of great shooting, raindrops on flowers included.


 

Day 66 - Canna Lily Leaf

Canna Lily Leaf - Day 66

 


 

Day 65 - Daylily Abstract

Day Lily - Day 65

I love daylilies and they are all over the Garden right now.  It is challenging to get a good composition of a daylily.  I decided to shoot this one with a wide open aperture and just capture the essence of the flower, focusing on only one stamen.


 

Day 64 - Nasturtium Leaves

Nasturtiam Leaves - Day 64


 

Day 63 - Ornamental Grass

Ornamental Grass - Day 63

Enabling Garden at CBG


 

Day 62 - Green Jay

Green Jay - Day 62

The funny thing about butterflies is that the front of their wings and the back of their wings are usually completely different patterns making it very confusing to identify them.  I posted a photo of a Green Jay with wings open on Day 11 of this project.  This is the Green Jay with wings closed. 


 

Day 61 -  Tour of Rick Bayless' City Garden

Rick Bayless Garden - Day 61

First, I am hesitant to post a photo taken with my iPhone...I'm not good at cell phone photography...at all...but my phone was the only camera I had with me during this amazing excursion sponsored by Chicago Botanic Garden.  A group of us visited Rick Bayless' organic city garden at his private residence in Bucktown and were treated to a talk by his personal gardener.  Bayless owns 3 city lots and he has used every possible square inch of yard space, including roof tops and containers, to plant gardens that supply his famous restaurants with a significant portion of the produce they use.  It was amazing to see this beautiful space; this photo represents only a small portion of the gardens.  After the tour and talk we were transported downtown to Frontera Grill for a fantastic lunch with an appearance by Bayless himself. A great day!  


 

Day 60 - Atlas Moth Close-up

Atlas Moth Close-up - Day 60

 

Checking out what's new at Butterflies and Blooms at CBG this morning.  Another Atlas Moth has emerged, a female, just hanging out in the evergreen tree waiting for a mate.  I love the antennae! She will only live for a week or two, so if you haven't seen an Atlas Moth at the exhibit, now is the time to go!


 

Day 59 - Underneath the Day Lily

Day Lily - Day 59

I love the way the soft light filters through and allows you to see the texture and lines of the flower.


 

Day 58 - Blackberry Lily

Blackberry Lily - Day 58

Back to my beloved Garden today.  I found these Blackberry Lilies in the Conifer Garden.  I was fascinated by their patterns and bold color and the fact that they are only about 2 inches in width.


 

Day 57 - Young Buck with Velvety Antlers

Young Buck in Woods at Lake Crescent - Day 57

I do not consider myself a good wildlife photographer but I just loved the velvety antlers on this young buck.  This was captured on an early morning walk in the woods around Lake Crescent.  We later overheard the Ranger saying that the velvet antlers on bucks are extremely sensitive and they are not likely to use them aggressively at this stage.  Good thing because I was pretty close.


 

Day 56 - Cedar Tree in Woods at Lake Crescent

Cedar in Woods at Lake Crescent - Day 56


 

Day 55 - Moss-Covered Tree

Moss Covered Tree in Hoh Rainforest - Day 55

Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, Washington.


 

Day 54 - Spores on the Underside of a Fern

Spores on Fern - Day 54

Ferns reproduce by releasing spores that form in neat rows on the undersides of their fronds.  This fern was in the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park, Washington.


 

Day 53 - Passion Flower

Passion Flower - Day 53

My sister Jennifer has a lovely garden in her Seattle yard.  As a teacher, she loves working in her garden during the summer months when she is off from school.  She has so many beautiful plants and flowers and this passion flower is certainly one of the most beautiful.


 

Day 52 - Fern in Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park, Washington

Fern - Day 52

The large and abundant ferns on the forest floor of the Hoh Rainforest had me awe-struck.  The forest primeval.


 

Day 51 - Bark of the Madrona Tree

Bark of the Madrona Tree - Day 51

I had never seen a Madrona tree until this trip to the N.W. They are stunning and the bark so colorful.


 

Day 50 - Fields of Lavender

Lavendar - Day 50

On our way to Olympic National Park we stopped at a lavender farm in Sequim, WA.  This is a scene I shall not soon forget...the smell of the lavender, the patterns of rows and rows of lavender with a backdrop of cypress trees in the distance, the warm sun on our backs and the buzzing of the bees.  It was a perfect day!


 

Day 49 - Heart on Johns Island

Heart - Day 49

I just returned from a fabulous vacation in the Northwest - visiting family in Seattle, exploring Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands. We were visiting some close friends of my sister and brother-in-law on this tiny island among the San Juan Islands. Fred and Marita, both photographers, are among a handful of people who live on this island.  I came across this piece of art someone had carefully assembled on a picnic table as we hiked from the boat in the bay to their house on the opposite side of the island.  A good pattern to depict how I felt about this very special week in the NW!  Through the next few days I'll catch up on the posts I missed during vacation.  I have plenty of patterns and textures to post after being in this beautiful part of the world!


 

Day 48 - Soft as a Lamb's Ear

Lamb's Ear - Day 48

One of my favorite textures...meant to be touched!  I'll be off the grid for a week or so.  I'll be taking photos for my project each and every day but won't get them posted until I'm back to my computer. 


 

Day 47 - Gooseneck Loosestrife

Gooseneck Loosestrife - Day 47

Always loved the tiny flowers and lovely curve of this plant.  Found this in the Sensory Garden Woods.


 

Day 46 - A Fall-Like Leaf in July

Fall-Like Leaf - Day 46

This crabapple leaf had fallen onto the arm of a bench under the tree.  It's color and pattern caught my eye and reminded me that Fall will be here before we know it and we must savor the days of summer.


 

Day 45 - Ginkgo Leaf with Water Drops

Ginkgo Leaf - Day 45

One of my favorite leaves!


 

Day 44 - Round and Round and Round We Go...

Round We Go...Day 44

 

Back to the Garden today for an early morning visit and some more photographing of the beautiful 'Apple Blossom' dahlia in the Bulb Garden.


 

Day 43 -  Water Lily

Water Lily - Day 43

The water lilies in the Heritage Garden are in bloom.  Of course the flowers are beautiful but have you ever noticed the wonderful patterns on the leaf of the water lilies?


 

Day 42 - Dew Drops on Hibiscus

Dew Drops on Hibiscus - Day 42

I spent the last two mornings photographing at the Garden with my photo club friend, Tony.  In usual Tony style we had to meet at 6 a.m. The bonus for rising so early is a peaceful, quiet Garden, fabulous light and flowers loaded with dew drops.  Found this beauty in the Heritage Garden.


 

Day 41 - A Furry Ruffle

A Furry Ruffle - Day 41

How about that for a texture!  Such an odd and interesting plant - Bombay Bordeaux Cockscomb - in the Sensory Garden.


 

Day 40 - Lupines in the English Walled Garden

Lupines in the English Walled Garden - Day 40


 

Day 39 - Great Yellow Mormon

Great Yellow Mormon - Day 39

Isn't she a beauty?!  Spent the morning at the butterfly exhibit checking out and photographing all the new arrivals.  So many beautiful and unusual butterflies right now but this was one of my favorites today.


 

Day 38 - Zinnia in the Circle Garden

Zinnia in the Circle Garden - Day 38

Just can't help myself when it comes to photographing zinnias.  I'm so drawn to the interesting centers in these flowers.


 

Day 37 - Fern

Fern - Day 37


 

Day 36 - Polka Dots

Polka Dots - Day 36

A lily blooming in my home garden.


 

Day 35 - Swan Family

Swan Family - Day 35

The resident swans at CBG had babies this spring and the youngsters are getting bigger. Their feathers are so downy and soft-looking.  The family swam under the walkway of the water lily garden to feed among the water lilies but mama swan was a bit hesitant to lead her children back under the low walkway into open water.  Mama and the young ones are turned looking at daddy swan, who confidently swam under the bridge.  Mama eventually got up her nerve and followed with the young ones.  Fun to watch!


 

Day 34 - Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th! - Day 34

This center of this clematis reminds me of fireworks.  I hope your 4th was filled with fun, family, food and, of course, fireworks!


 

Day 33 - Waiting for Butterflies

Waiting for Butterflies - Day 33

Asclepias tuberosa, or butterfly milkweed, has bloomed in my butterfly garden.  Just waiting for the butterflies to arrive to partake of its nectar! These tiny flowers are beautiful and fascinating up-close and they are an important food source for the monarchs. The monarch population is plummeting, partly due to the use of genetically modified corn and soybean crops planted throughout the mid west.  The use of herbicide-tolerant crops has wiped out all the milkweed that grew among the crops and fed the butterflies as they migrate north.  This makes it all the more important for us to develop small gardens of milkweed for the butterflies.  I'm trying to do my part! 


 

Day 32 - Owl Butterfly Wing Close-up

Owl Butterfly Pattern - Day 32

 


 

Day 31 - 'Rustic Orange' Coleus

Rustic Orange Coleus - Day 31

Love all the patterns, the texture and the color of this coleus plant!


 

Day 30 - Man-Made Patterns Within Nature - People's Gas Pavilion in Lincoln Park

Man-Made Patterns within Nature - Day 30

Surrounded by a beautiful native plant garden is this wonderful pavilion at the south end of Lincoln Park.  This shot was coincidentally taken at exactly 12 a.m. this morning at the end of an awesome photo walk organized for the Google+ 2-year anniversary.  A group of about 60 photographers shot from North Avenue Beach up to Fullerton Beach, into Lincoln Park and ended with delicious pancakes!  A small group of us decided we weren't done and continued to shoot until they kicked us out of the park sometime after midnight.


 

Day 29 - Colorful Leaf Patterns

Leaf Patterns - Day 29

Came upon these colorful leaves in a display in Regenstein Center at CBG.


 

Day 28 - Eye See You!

Eye See You - Day 28

I have always been fascinated with the "eyes" on the Whitespire Birch trees in the Sensory Garden Woods.


 

Day 27 - Sunshine

Sunshine - Day 27

Rudbeckia from the Garden


 

Day 26 - Tree Bark with Moss and Lichens

Tree Bark - Day 26

During a break in all the rain we have had the past 24 hours, I ventured into the yard looking for something to photograph rather than trying to get to the Garden today.  I started looking at the moss and lichens growing on several of our trees and I was amazed at how pretty and colorful it is.


 

Day 25 - Golden Helicon Butterfly

Golden Helicon Butterfly - Day 25

The butterflies and I were dodging raindrops at the exhibit this morning but I managed to get some great shots before it really started pouring.  I love the patterning on this Golden Helicon butterfly but I was more enthralled with the textures of the flower.


 

Day 24 - All the Colors of the Rainbow - A Perfect Pattern in Nature

All the Colors of the Rainbow - Day 24

OK...I cheated!  This was actually taken last night, not today, but a rainbow is too perfect an example of a pattern in nature; I just wasn't willing to let this one go without posting.  I was at the Garden last night when a brief storm blew in about 6:30 p.m.  The sun came out and a rainbow appeared for a few minutes.  It was actually a double rainbow, which I didn't realize until I processed this shot.  You can see the very, very faint lines of a second rainbow coming out of the top of the bell tower.  Rainbows are magical!


 

Day 23 - Super Moon over Lake Michigan

Super Moon - Day 23

What a beautiful evening!  It was a long wait for the moon to finally appear through the clouds over the lake at 9 p.m., but well worth it!


 

Day 22 - "If You Plant It, He Will Come!"

If You Plant It, He Will Come - Day 22

My butterfly garden is my "field of dreams."  Last year we planted swamp milkweed in hopes that the monarchs would lay eggs and we would see these caterpillars.  Yesterday I saw my first one and today he was back, chomping away and getting fatter! Imagine being happy when a critter is eating your plants...and at a record pace!  Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed because it makes them poisonous to predators.  They certainly are beautiful with their striped pattern.


 

Day 21 - Soft Ruffles

Soft Ruffles - Day 21

Nothing like a stormy, rainy first day of summer!  I did, however, manage to get major weeding done in my garden before the storms hit and even a few photos of my beautiful peonies.  Most of my peonies are long gone but two bushes bloomed later than the others and are beautiful right now. We'll see how they held up in this rain.


 

Day 20 - Early Morning Watering

Early Morning Watering - Day 20

Sunburst patterns on water drops.


 

 

Day 19 - Zinnia Time

Zinnia Time - Day 19

Zinnias make me happy; they are a signal that summer is finally here.  I love their bright colors and the interesting patterns within.


 

Day 18 - Ruffles

Ruffles - Day 18

'Red Glow' Echeveria.  The wind was wreaking havoc on my plans to photograph until sunset tonight.  When all else fails, the greenhouses are a great place to find subjects and this one was in the Arid Greenhouse.


 

Day 17 - Carpet of Moss

Carpet of Moss - Day 17

Bright sun and heat today sent me looking for shaded areas to photograph.  I've always been fascinated with moss and decided to shoot this with a wide open aperture for just a sliver of focus.


 

Day 16 - Fireworks

Fireworks - Day 16

Fireworks for Father's Day!  Meadow Rue in the Heritage Garden.


 

Day 15 - Underneath the Allium

Underneath the Allium - Day 15

Despite some sprinkles, I had a great day of shooting at CBG. Came home with 300 images, but I knew right away this was the one for my post today.  I often find the undersides of flowers as interesting as their tops.


 

Day 14 - Fern

Fern - Day 14

Shot this in the Heritage Garden at CBG.  I have always loved the purple stem of this particular fern but you have to get in close to see it.


 

Day 13 - Gerbera Daisy with Raindrops

Gerbera Daisy - Day 13

Love the patterns on this Gerbera Daisy.  We got a good rain last night but thankfully not the terrible storms predicted. 


 

Day 12 - Seeing Stars

Stars-of-Persia - Day 12

Stars-of-Persia


 

Day 11 - Green Jay Butterfly

Green Jay Butterfly - Day 11

Given that I spent two hours photographing butterflies at Butterflies and Blooms at CBG this morning I had no choice but to post a butterfly today, right?!  Hope you won't get tired of butterflies by the end of the summer! I know I won't!  This is a Green Jay and I thought it was a wonderful example of patterns on a butterfly.


 

Day 10 - Leaf Patterns of Color and Light

Leaf Patterns of Color and Light - Day 10

Was having fun photographing this Desert Cabbage in the Sensory Garden with a shallow depth of field.  Thanks, Maria and Jan, for a fun day of shooting together.


 

Day 9 - Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day - Day 9

I laughed out loud when I came across this flower in the Landscape Garden at CBG today.  If Phyllis Diller were to have a flower named after her, this would have to be it!


 

Day 8 - Pattern on Pattern on Pattern

Pattern on Pattern on Pattern - Day 8

I thought it was so cool that there was a star pattern on top of the wood's ring pattern but I didn't even see the pill bug until I put it up on my computer screen - another pattern!

 


 

Day 7 - Jellyfish at the Shedd Aquarium

Jellies at the Shedd Aquarium - Day 7

If you haven't been to the Shedd Aquarium to see the Jellies, it's a must-see! I've tried two times to get into the exhibit with my family, only to give up faced with 2 hour waits in the freezing cold.  It took the brilliant strategy of friends Tony and Chris to get us in at 9 a.m. sharp today with no line!


 

Day 6 - Common Horsetail

Common Horsetail - Day 6

Botanic Garden - 7 a.m. - managed to get a few photos before the rain picked up.


 

Day 5 - Atlas Moth

Atlas Moth - Day 5

Holy cow!  This thing is huge!  This is one of the most awesome things I have ever seen.  The butterfly specialist at CBG e-mailed me early this morning to come see this moth that had just emerged.  The Atlas moth from Southeast Asia only lives for 1-2 weeks.  Its sole purpose once it emerges from the cocoon is to mate.  It has no mouth parts so it will not feed, but rather lives off its stored fat.


 

Day 4 - Letting Go

Letting Go - Day 4

Back to the greenhouse today to get a last look at those cactus flowers.  They only last a few days.  I found this succulent, an artichoke agave, and was really drawn in with this part of the plant.  Despite its thorns and sharpness, there is something tender about this image to me.  It's like a parent letting go of a child, letting it unfold and grow on it's own, but with the "imprint" of all the parent has taught.  That's what this image evoked for me - perhaps you see something different?


 

Day 3 - Blue Tiger Butterfly

Blue Tiger Butterfly - Day 3

What better place to look for patterns and textures than with butterflies.  Today I was in the butterfly exhibit at CBG, helping the butterfly specialist document some new species that just emerged.  This little guy was just released and because his wings were still drying he was happy to sit still and be photographed.


 

Day 2 - Cactus Flower

Cactus Flower - Day 2

OK, OK...I did not intend to post another flower today but the rain forced me into the greenhouses today and this is what I found.  How could I resist?!  I was photographing the cacti yesterday and no blooms had opened...today they were full of gorgeous blooms.


 

Day 1 - On Fire

On Fire - Day 1

I think "On Fire" is a fitting image to express my excitement about starting this project.  This is a Gerbera daisy I found this morning in the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. A great example of both texture and pattern.