CMMC: Pick a Topic from a Photo

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge this week is to find a subject in a photo she posted. Here it is:

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What follows are photos from my archives that fit the topic.

Boots

Boots for sale, Austin, Texas

Fall foliage

This is the only tree on campus that has fully changed color in mid-October!

Purple

Our fitness director poses beneath an arch of purple balloons to kick off Walk for Alzheimer’s at the Moorings.
(October is Alzheimer’s Awareness month.)

Mother/Mom (who is wearing purple!)

My mother (age 93) with her son-in-law Jim in his prairie garden

Bicycle

Mother and son enjoying a beautiful afternoon bike ride (Regensburg, Germany)

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!

TreeSquared: Winter Trees Enhanced

For Becky’s penultimate day of trees squared, I decided I’d go with her theme somewhat. Here are some winter trees, enhanced!

One of the most wonderful features of the Moorings campus is the number and variety of trees! I am not a fan of winter in general, but I am awed by the complexity of their interwoven branches, which are best seen when they have no leaves to cover them.

I love playing with SnapSeed on my cellphone, so I enhanced (and squared) some of the shots!

This next set of comparisons was actually taken in early May – I just like the effect! And these are not squared but see below.

Here is the altered image squared:

I don’t know why this enhanced picture came out so blurry!

Trees in the background in this pair:

I decided to include this photo taken in February – it’s not enhanced/altered, I just like it!

TreeSquared: Cat Up a Tree

I have been AWOL the last few days, but I am back with another kind of “tree” for Becky’s July Square Trees. Cats love to climb on things, and are attracted to furniture with different levels, enclosures or holes to explore. Or to sleep on. Cat trees are typically made of a carpet material which felines use as a scratching post as well. The structures cat owners buy for their pets come in different sizes and shapes. This is one of my grandcats, lying on her humans’ “cat tree.”

Tree Squared: Astonishing & Amazing

These tree photos were all taken at Chicago Botanic Gardens or Morton Arboretum. I found these trees to be amazing or astonishing, due to their shape or special characteristics. My contribution today for Becky’s July Squares: Trees.

Rose Turtlehead, Figwort family
Amazing number of cones on this tree
Same tree, zoomed out
I see a face in this trunk – do you?
A nice place to sit and contemplate nature
Willow by a lake
The Japanese Garden at Chicago Botanic Gardens (CBG) has several of these interesting trees.
This tree exudes boldness, strength
Another view: Looking up into the intricacy of its branches from below.

Tree Squares: More Trees in Tanzania

For Becky’s July #TreeSquares challenge, I continue featuring trees in Tanzania, with things hanging from their branches.

I don’t know, or don’t remember (if I was told at the time) the name of this tree, but was fascinated by the strange pods or fruits hanging from it.

On the other hand, we saw many acacia trees with these tightly woven birds’ nests hanging from them.

These nests are made by the male weaver. He attracts a mate by having woven the best nest in the neighborhood!

When the weavers’ nests are abandoned, they hang bedraggled from the tree.