L-APC: Spots and Dots

Spots and Dots is the creative topic for Leya’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

flowers (2 orchids at Chicago Botanic Gardens, sunflower at Cantigny Park-Robert McCormick estate, Wheaton, Illinois)

animals (Tanzania)

art: sculpture (dalmations in Sao Paulo, Brazil; abstract sculpture in St. Charles, Illinois; giant pumpkin somewhere in Japan – this photo was a screenshot; Chinese lion at Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Illinois)

museum art (tapestry, light display)

Leda Catunda, Onca pintada No. 1, 1984, (at museum in Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Exhibit at Museu do Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

public art

Lightscape light show installations for the holiday season, (Chicago Botanic Gardens, Dec. 2019 and Dec. 2020)

Thursday Doors: Leftover Holidays

Norm is back with a new Thursday doors post! He posted about a repurposed church in French Canada – check it out! My contribution this week is photos of doors taken while walking the halls of The Moorings’* main building on a cold day. All the apartments have identical doors, but what is interesting is what their residents put on their doors! Most of the ones I found this week were holiday decorations (especially wreaths – I was on the hunt for wreaths in particular) that their owners hadn’t yet taken down. I’m also throwing in a few that I took in December, before Christmas.

This resident hung colorful decorations from the light fixture outside their front door!
This door has an advent calendar with all its doors open. (Notice the “No Puffins – Alaska” sign!)
Wreath collage!

The apartments also have little shelves outside the front doors, on which many people choose to display other holiday decorations!


Charlie Brown Christmas tree towers over a small creche.



Classic Santa!


Traditional Norwegian painted wooden items

*For those of you new to my blog, my husband and I recently moved to The Moorings, a senior living community in Arlington Heights, IL. We live in a duplex, but I walk the long hallways flanked by apartments on days when it’s too cold to walk outside and I don’t feel like exercising at the fitness center.


Sculpture Saturday

Mind Over Memory has a photo challenge called Sculpture Saturday. Here a few photos of sculptures I’ve taken over the last few months.


Rocking horse light sculpture, North School Park, Arlington Heights, IL (this park has a wonderful holiday lights display every year).


Modern art sculpture somewhere in Chicago – taken during our Open House Chicago 2019 tour


Sculpture at Buddhist Temple in Chicago – taken during Open House Chicago 2019.



Taken at the Chinese pagoda at Chinese Reconciliation Park in Tacoma, WA

Chicago Botanic Garden’s LIGHTSCAPE

Last week, my husband and I went to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s holiday light extravaganza, called Lightscape. We had to purchase tickets online in advance, and reserve a specific entry time. Many of the dates were sold out, particularly weekends, but I was able to register for 7:15-7:30 on Thursday, Dec. 19. Once we entered, we could stay as long as we wanted until closing time at 10:30. Of course, we didn’t stay that long. Fortunately, it was a relatively pleasant evening, although we were glad we had dressed warmly.

A lot of spectators were there when we were – it was quite crowded, and on the dark path, it was inevitable that we would accidently run into someone. There were lots of children running, also, who also ran into people, including us. Everyone was nice about it, though – there was a general understanding that there were crowds, it was dark, but with patience, we would be rewarded with spectacular light shows.

I’ve been to Chicago Botanic Gardens often enough to understand the basic layout and the types of gardens that are showcased in different areas. Each of these designated areas was used by the artistic light companies to showcase to best advantage each particular light display. The path through the exhibit was marked and one only had to follow it to see everything.

Entrance to the exhibit was through this arc of changing colors of light – it’s hard to see but there is a bow on the top, to resemble a giant light wreath!

These photos were all taken at Lightscape.  Overall, it was a fantastic show and definitely worth the price of admission + parking!
This brilliantly lit Christmas tree was surrounded by trees with multicolored lights, like the one in the photo above.
This part was called “Singing Trees.” As carols played, the trees lit up according to the tone and pitch of the music. I have to admit, though, that in these photos, the trees look like giant Daleks (“exterminators” on the Dr. Who series)!
Looking across one of the ponds to the Japanese garden, with the red lit trees reflecting in the still water.
In the warm seasons, water tumbles over these rocks to form waterfalls. These strings of flowing white lights are meant to resemble waterfalls.
Lights in the form of snowflakes on the path leading to…

…pink “cherry blossom” trees.

I took a video walking through hanging curtains of light that pulsated and changed colors.

The tulip garden

This realistic looking “carpet” was projected onto the path.

Dale took this photo of me standing on the “light” carpet – my coat was transformed into an amazing technicolor dreamcoat!
Cathedral of Light

It’s no wonder that this “cathedral of light” was used in the advertising for this event!

A rainbow of pulsating, moving lights covered a large (normally) grassy area, which I recognized as the place where crowds lay on the ground to watch the solar eclipse two years ago!

This was the last thing in the exhibit.
One of the coolest photos I took was in the parking lot on our way out – the border of the Botanic Garden was marked by a series of trees, whose branches were traced in brilliant white lights. We had seen this from the road when we were entering, but couldn’t get close enough for a good photo, until we were leaving.
The lights were actually brighter than in this photo, but I took it without flash, without changing the ISO setting. I like it because all the details of the tree can be seen.
I hope you enjoyed this photographic tour of Lightscape at Chicago Botanic Gardens!



Lens-Artists: On Display

Lens-Artists’ photo challenge #76 is On Display.

When I go abroad, one of the fun things I like to do is wander around markets, supermarkets and malls. In Israel last January, we spent two days in a suburb of Tel Aviv where we visited a supermarket…
…and a rather run-down mall.
At the Naschmarkt in Vienna, which was an optional tour we took, there are a variety of things on display for sale, including many types of food products as well as these colorful dishes.
In November, a group from our senior community took a trip to “Whimsical Wonderland” – the name given to a display and competition of miniatures. This is one of the entries in the competition. This damsel is herself on display – waiting for a secret lover perhaps?!
At the miniatures show, there were individual miniature items for sale, from tiny rugs and chairs to foodstuffs and…hats.
Now that it is the holiday season, there are of course many things on display – not just for sale items, but colorful lights and ornaments which brighten the short days and long nights of December. When it is too cold outside for taking a walk, I have gotten into the habit of walking the halls of the independent living apartment building, climbing the stairs to each floor and then touring each floor. Each apartment has a small shelf outside the entrance where people put up little Christmas displays, as well as colorful seasonal items hung on their doors.

On the first floor, there is this Christmas village that is put on display by the staff.
I took the following photos of residents’ individual displays.


This resident did something unique and clever, hanging a number of colorful ornaments from the light over her doorway. The light adds to the luster of the shiny ornaments!

Finally, last night we went to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see “Lightscape” – a show of different lights throughout the gardens. It was interesting to see how different spaces within the gardens were used.


This is one of the trees you see at the entrance, before you even get to the exhibit (I took the photo from the parking lot.)


Entrance to the exhibit



“Tulip Garden”



“Cathedral of Lights”