Deceptive appearance…


With sufficient concealment the Sun’s arrival through the cloud covered sky resembles the Moon. Dense cloud cover allowed me to aim my camera directly at the Sun as it appeared to weave in and out of the rapid moving clouds. Unswerving witness to nature’s forte.

Morning sun revealing itself through the moving clouds. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg

Sun rising higher in sky has enough energy to be seen behind dark storm clouds. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Prairie splendor…


The vibrant purple Aster draws attention in this golden prairie sea of drying grasses and blooming Goldenrod. This was taken at Chicago’s Northerly Island restored prairie. This end of season scene seems to defy the feeling of the “end” of fair-weather times that the MIdwestern autumn often signals.  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!

Under-valued communities…


Fungi (mushrooms) and algae produce lichen on this dead tree stump. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Yesterday’s post of Lichen was witness to what happens when fungi and algae live together. The fungi benefit from algae that make food through photosynthesis. These images show the lush diversity within these miniature communities. I always feel the presence of a superior entity (God, to me) when I observe such creations.

Colony of mushrooms appear after rains; on less moist days the fungi thrives underground. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

Never seen this kind of fungi. The variety at Starved Rock after a few days of rain were many and diverse. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Fungi ring around the tree stump. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

This tree hosts a prolific, rich community. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The moist walls of the canyon supports more miniature communities. Copyright 2017, Pamela Breitberg.

Hunger has been satiated….


Chicago is FLAT unless you include concrete overpasses and underpasses. Starved Rock State Park is a short two-hour drive west from my hometown flatland. The change in environment is extreme and refreshing. Also, it is exhausting for Chicagoans’ muscles used to walking flatland. So, while I rest my arthritic knee and other stressed body parts, I will share some this area’s splendor. My aches are welcome remnants of time well spent; my body will heal and my memories will last for ages.

Some images are from the nearby Matthiessen State Park which we visited as well thanks to the strong recommendation of our daughter. Both Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks in Illinois are results of glacial movement south and then melting and retreat. These parks are witness to natures’ strength and constant change.

Warning to anyone that thinks venturing off marked paths would be fun! Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Canyons of Matthiessen State Park. The people in the background give you an idea of its grand perspective. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg.

That bridge is partway down into the canyon. Awe inspiring views. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. One of many canyons in the preserve. Waterfalls were very small because of lack of rain recently. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

 

100 steps down from the Lodge was the “beginning” of many more steps down into canyon bottoms. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg