Spring Flowers in the Garden

As soon as it is reasonably warm enough to walk safely and comfortably, I like to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden at least once a week. I am lucky to have this amazing public garden practically in my back yard — it’s only about a 35-minute drive and as a member I get unlimited entry.

With the promise of a perfect day and glorious spring flowers in bloom, I headed up to the CGB with my camera, set on manual mode. I was determined to get some practice using manual rather than program or automatic modes.


I saw a beautiful yellow finch in the parking lot, but this was the only bird that I captured in the park.

I saw a beautiful yellow finch in the parking lot, but this was the only bird that I captured in the park.

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Water Lilies Part Deux

Since I shared the beautiful and intricate lily pads this week, I thought I should also share some photos I took earlier this summer of the blossoms.

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It has been a fun summer for glorious flowers. I’ve enjoyed my walks at the Chicago Botanic Gardens; it’s good for my body and good for my soul.

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Flower Stories: Iris and Peonies

A while back, I told you the story of my neighbor’s beautiful Bridal Veil Spirea.

GotMyReservations Bridal Veil Spirea 1

That was then…

I’ve also told you about how Oksana’s beautiful garden has been plundered and pretty much ruined by the flippers who are renovating her house.

GotMyReservations Bridal Veil Spirea

This is now — a desecration of a beautiful shrub.

The good news is that like all shrubs, this one will come back next year if no one disturbs it. Let’s hope my new neighbors — if we ever have new neighbors — will understand something about pruning shrubs and let it be. Continue reading

Backyard Photo Visit

My dear friends from church invited me over for coffee and a visit to their garden this morning. Obviously, I took my camera along to see what new and interesting images I could collect. With a little cropping, my trusty Canon Rebel T3i worked its magic again.

George wanted me to take a photo of this chenille plant. 

We fussed around with the lighting until I got something interesting.

I worked on getting the movement of the water frozen in time.

And then I tried to get the reflections of the trees in the water.

The flowers are a little worse for wear from the heat, but still beautiful.

Despite all of our requests, that bumblebee would not stop moving!

Love the sentiment, love the friends. Peace out for today!

Flower Stories: Columbine

The genus name for columbine (Aquilegia) is derived from the Latin word aquila, because of the columbine flower’s resemblance to an eagle’s claw. The common name, columbine, comes from the flower’s resemblance to a cluster of five doves; columba means dove in Latin. It is a woodland plant that prefers moist roots and some shade, but  is hardy even in poor soil and sun. The columbine thrives in northern climates in the United States.

I don’t see either a dove or an eagle’s claw, but I love to see the columbine in the spring. This photo was taken at a local nursery and enhanced with the Lomo-ish effect on Picasa.