Light rain jaunt…


 

South Pond, Lincoln Park Chicago view toward downtown in a drizzle. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Our weather forecasters say we’re three inches behind in rain levels for this fall season. So the constant drizzle the other morning was welcome in spite of our planned six mile walk beginning at South Pond in Lincoln Park, Chicago. As the weather cleared a bit we came upon this gorgeous Hydrangea with one last new bloom. I enjoy both them all, even the fading ones.

Taking a break from the rain and what else ?….. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Silver bicycle; an art statement or just locked to a random post in Lincoln Park. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

My bicycle on a ride a day later to Montrose Harbor’s dog beach area. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Time’s a changing…


Fall mums in mass across from Lincoln Park, in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

While most perennials are going to seed a few new blooms brighten the landscape. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breirberg

Autumn brings a physical change in the weather and Midwest landscape. This week a nearby condominium replaced summer flowers with these hardy Mums. They are hardy officially but still considered as annuals in the Chicago area; they aren’t “hardy” enough for Lake Michigan’s winter temps. Other flowers are in their final bloom cycle as blossoms fade in color and turn to textured seed heads bringing a new element of design and pattern to the garden. During this time of change, pods begin bursting so that puffs of feathery seeds are dispersed in hopes of ensuring future generations. Among the fading petals and growing seeds there are some late bloomers adding perennial colors to the scene.

Embrace the changes in the season. Embrace changes that are natural. At this time of year, it’s easy for me to be reflective and to realize changes in my life and myself during the past year. Somehow this “end” of season time of year brings renewed energy and purpose to me. May you marvel and feel empowered from your own changes this past year. May you find energy and passion to be able to embrace changes in your life. May change be positive and meaningful for each of us.

I write all this realizing it’s a challenging time as we strive to come to terms with other’s choices and decisions. Other’s choices can make us feel dis empowered and hopeless. We always have a choice in how we react to others and their actions. The fact that we have our own power and choice is what keeps me optimistic.

 

Milkweed seed has been temporarily caught by a spiny seed-head. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Fading Hydrangea bloom; many collect dried flowers for their continued beauty. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Oh, the stories that can be told…


Something different for today; I don’t usually steer my attention away from “nature”. But I find this image rich with story possibilities. From the couple in the foreground to the couple in the background (yes, there are two there), to the graffiti. What story comes to mind? I’d love to hear from you. These un-posed, random moments are incredible when so wonderfully self-composed.

Totally unposed candid image! Belmont Harbor, Chicago. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Welcome back to the World…


The Butterfly World in Coconut Creek Florida seems like a world to itself. Today I am sharing a few images from last winter’s visit. They reopened today: https://www.butterflyworld.com/hurricane-closure-and-preparation/, and will release the butterflies and finches back into their outdoor habitats. There was no damage to the facilities by Irma.

A resting Clipper butterfly. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg.

Rain drenched stills butterflies; they are unable to fly with wet wings. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Macro image of butterfly among the flora. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

White Morpho butterfly. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg.

Thoas Swallowtail feeding on bananas in a dish. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg. I am unsure why its “tails” seem to be missing.

Reverential fear…


Stay safe everyone in Irma’s path. Midwesterners are credited with strong health and stamina because they deal with multiple seasons and weather events. But those that live on a sea coast are the most determined to be resilient against nature’s energetic presence. Prayers for wisdom and calm as you deal with Irma’s invasion.

These images share the subtle beauty along Florida’s seashore.

Hunker down in a secure location fellow Floridians. God be with you. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The beauty of the coast shall return. Nature is healing as well. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Power and brilliance. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Dangerously cute…


Cute but with powerful built-in defenses. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg.

While we walked through Starved Rock State Park we came across this oh, so cute caterpillar. It was moving rapidly down the length of a rail making it a challenge to photograph. This is when I’m grateful for digital imagery; I can take multiple images in hopes of a few “good” ones and the cost is no obstacle as it was in the days of using film.

Fortunately, I did not choose to hold this fuzzy fellow. It was the larva of the American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana). If I’d known the name I would have thought twice about its cuddly appearance. The decorative black spikes are its defense containing a poisonous liquid that quickly causes irritation and swelling when it touches one’s skin. So, if you see this fellow, look but don’t touch!

On closer inspection…


The Winged Loosestrife’s (Lythrum alatum) vibrant color stood out on the cliff’s wall across from our descending path to Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. Only later when I was home and reviewing these images did I realize the plant was a resting spot for this winged insect. Such is the joy of photography. My eyes often miss seeing all the subjects in my compositions. Sometimes what I capture is distracting to my desired focus (unwanted elements in the background). This added subject was a wonderful surprise.

My initial thought was that this insect was a dragonfly or damselfly. But those insects have two pairs of wings. I am guessing that this is some variety of Crane Fly (Tipula) instead. The other joy of nature photography is that I am always learning!

I zoomed in to get the original picture (bottom image) and found a new and more interesting composition when I zoomed in still closer (first image).

Posing nicely for my picture. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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Longer view of this Loosestrife and Crane Fly scene, to show more of the habitat. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

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