CFFC: Twists in Nature and Man-made Swirls

The topic for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is twisted & squiggly shapes. Many are found in nature, such as twisted trees…

…and saguaro cacti, which can be quite humorous to look at!

Artists have used the patterns and fractals found in nature since ancient times, such as

petroglyphs

and modern sculptures,

and a swirled “mane” on a Chinese lion statue.


And here’s one more…try to guess what it is!

LAPC: Keep Walking

Lens-Artists’ Photo Challenge #163 invites us to share photos of our walking trails and discoveries!

We used to hike much more than we do now. Even so, when we are traveling and there is an opportunity to take a walking tour, we take advantage of it! Also, we go on day trips in the Chicago area, to a variety of places to find something artistic or unusual.

On our first day in Tanzania, we spent the morning on a genuine hike! This ficus tree captured my interest.

On that same hike, our guide stopped to pick up something off the ground – a giraffe turd! Holding it in his open palm, he told us it was the turd of a male giraffe, because of its somewhat football shape. Female giraffe turds are flat on each end! Several of our group of hikers crowded around to get a close-up of this unusual find! The guide patiently waited, while with his other hand he looked at something on his cellphone!

Where there is giraffe poop, you can be sure there are giraffes nearby! This one walked nonchalantly away from us – since it was also a male giraffe, I wonder if his was the deposit we had been examining!

Later during that trip, on the day we arrived at Serengeti National Park, another hike had been arranged! I love to walk because that is when I see the small things that would be missed on a bike or traveling in a vehicle! I took photos of these three small things on that hike.

giraffe footprint
Scorpion flower
Dung beetles roll dung into balls, then dig a depression in the earth and push the dung ball into it. The dung beetles lay their eggs in it.

Most of my walks are short treks either around campus or somewhere else in town. On campus one day, which happened to be my birthday, Dale and I were taking our usual walk around campus, when we came upon two other residents who were walking their dogs and had stopped to chat (while social distancing!). It’s common for residents to greet each other or chat on these walks, but before long, someone says, “Well, I need to keep walking” and they go their separate ways.

During the pandemic, we’ve taken day trips to far-flung suburbs and nature reserves.

Dale stops on a wooden bridge over a marsh at Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve.
Reflections in a lagoon – Cuba Marsh

Some of my favorite walks are in sculpture parks! Our walk at Morton Arboretum, which happened to be on my birthday this year, was in search of a new installation of sculptures by a South African artist.

Dale approaches the first sculpture, called “Hallow,” at Morton Arboretum
We did not stop to rest on this bench, although the scene was inviting.
The last sculpture, “Basilica,” of the installation that we visited. The artist of these beautiful sculptures is behind the left hand. It was cool to be able to meet and chat with him a little! I don’t know who the little girl was – she just happened to get in my picture!

FOTD: Heuchera

I planted this huechera (or hukera) plant last year, my first year with a garden here at the Moorings. I like the color of the leaves on this perennial. Heucheras come in many colors. The flowers are very tiny (called coral bells), and I have found it easier to concentrate on the leaves. I took this after watering one day in June.

Zooming out a little to see the whole plant

Cee’s FOTD 7/12/21

CFFC: The Ground We Travel

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge this week is: Ground: sand, dirt, paths, walks, trails, roads, etc.

Bridges, paths & walkways, desert and mountain terrains, and national parks – these are some of the places to find interesting “ground.” Sometimes there is an added bonus: a lizard, a flower, or a butterfly, or something ugly, like trash. This challenge is a way to showcase the photos I don’t usually publish in other posts!

Chicago Botanic Gardens: bridges, paths, and walkways

Cuba Marsh Wildlife Preserve (Illinois): walkways and grassland

The Middle East (Egypt and Israel): Desert landscapes, markets and farms

Mountain and Southwest (USA) terrain: ground above & below the tree line and rocks at Rocky Mountain National Park; trails and paths at Bryce Canyon National Park

FOTD: Strawberry Flower

Last year I planted strawberries (transplanted from my former garden) in back of our new house. This year, the plants have spread and are blooming! Whether or not we’ll get strawberries remains to be seen, but meanwhile, these pretty little white flowers hold the promise of delicious fruit!

Cee’s FOTD 5/18/21

The Colors of April

Lens-Artists’ photo challenge this week is Colorful April. Becky’s April Squares are bright. And Cee’s FOTD is about anything that flowers! (My FOTD is this tiny bright pink one that makes a colorful ground cover.)

April’s colors range from the green of new grass and plants whose flowers have not yet bloomed to bright yellows, fuschias, and whites to the gentle hues of lavender and pink. The first photos (which are square) are of a ground cover flower that is a brilliant fuschia – I don’t know the name of this flower, however. All of these beauties are my daily finds as I take walks around our community’s campus.

Zoom out:

Zooming out further, you can see the entire patch of this flower.

April makes me think of daffodils, which are one of the first flowers of spring. I think of them as miniature trumpets, heralding the arrival of spring!

By mid-month, we are beginning to see the first tulips, in bright hues of red and yellow, as well as many other colors.

Gentler colors are the hues of hyacinths…

magnolias…

and the breathtaking canopies of white and pink of flowering trees – crabapple, pear, and in Washington D.C., cherry blossoms.

Some people add color to the front of their houses with potted flowers, such as these bright yellow and orange pansies.

April BrightSquares: Gardening

It is almost time to start planting my garden this year. My perennials are showing new growth and my irises should bloom within the next few weeks. Daffodils still abound. I love flowers but I also like to plant vegetables, because there is no tomato so good as one that is homegrown!

Last year, I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes (I bought too many tomato plants – I’ll have to cut back this year!) and also a couple of pepper plants, which were nearly buried by the tomato plants growing out of control! Even so, I did manage to get a few green peppers. For Becky’s Bright Squares, today I am posting a photo of my first harvest last year – the first tomatoes and the first peppers! They were so bright and cheery, and made me happy as I looked forward to warmer days and more home-grown vegetables!