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.
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.
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.
Nature is the original creator of designs and patterns. Some aid survival such as camouflage. Other patterns change by the moment such as these images of the ocean. Sunlight, clouds and winds are part of nature’s toolbox used to form these passing conceptions. God’s artistry inspires and challenges our limited imaginations.
Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) shows up voluntarily along paths and roadsides. The flowers are thumbnail sized and bloom in bouquet arrangements tempting passersby to capture their loveliness. Today I brought them home as images saved.