Local wildlife…

In North America, a common wild animal is the Eastern Grey Squirrel. Technically a “rodent”, the Grey Squirrel is considered either a beloved neighbor or an unwelcome rat. I fall into the first group; when I had my own garden I enjoyed watching them dine on spilled birdseed laying under the feeder. CLICK on the image for more information. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Love the thick, furry tail. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Signs of change ahead…

White clouds, dark clouds and blue skies along Chicago’s Lake Michigan this morning are accompanied by a blowing red warning flag (don’t go swimming) and a mostly bare tree AND row of SNOW fences!! Yep, winter is coming now that it’s November in Chicago. For Southerners, the snow fences help keep the blowing snow from drifting too much (in theory) onto Lake Shore Drive. (There’s a bit of reflection in the image because this was captured through the window during my morning busride!) Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Wild beauty….

These were another favorite in my garden; now I enjoy them during my walks in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

Macro photograph of the delicate, small, Cranesbill flowers and buds. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Wild Geranium (Cransebill) is late spring/early summer perennial native to the Chicago area. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

Spending hours studying a miracle…

Japanese Anemone. I make NO claim on being a master artist who is able to capture the full wonders of this flower. Copyright 2018 Pamela

Enclosed courtyard at the Bonnet House, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the far right you can see the area set aside for art classes. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

For some this seems very hoaky I’m sure. But yesterday I spent six and a half hours at the Bonnet House’s lovely enclosed courtyard working on my second painting. I chose, as my subject, a photograph I took a few years back of one of my garden Japanese Anemones. I can easily say I was exhausted when I got home; my brain was worn out.

I literally spent the day thinking, studying this tiny flower. Every petal, every shadow, every curve and curl was studied and mentally dissected for detail. The leaves in the background were studied just as intently for color and light/shadow. My teacher showed me how to make the other buds and blooms fade out of focus. Hours were spent on each petals. The flower showed pollen spilling onto the pedals; it would soon be time for it to enter it’s next stage of life as a seedhead.

As I spent this time I appreciated the beauty, the gracefulness of this creation. It is one of the last of season’s blooms in Chicago along with the Asters. The Japanese Anemone is an agressive plant requiring me to tame it’s appearance in my garden to places of my design. Over the years I removed many “volunteers” that tried entering other areas of the garden. But the quiet beauty, the graceful elegance of the flowers always overcame any bad aspects of the plants.

I no longer have a private garden; we downsized to a lovely condominium. Fortunately Chicago’s Lincoln Park includes Japanese Anemone in it’s mix of perennials.

While I sit here in Florida gazing at this Japanese Anemone I still a drawn to it’s subtle, simple, design. Evidence of one more miracle. The painting has elements of being done by a beginner. For me the joy was the process of creation, trying to capture it’s natural beauty and specialness.

A blessed Passover and Easter to all.

Everglades Swamp…

Funny how long it sometimes takes the mind (mine in particular!!) to make connections. Looking at these images from the Cypress Swamp in the Florida Everglades it dawned on me that I used to live next to (probably officially “in”) a swamp. In the Chicago area we called it “wetlands” but it was also considered a marshland or swamp. Quite a few of my older posts show this swampy nature of what we incorrectly called “woodland” in the springtime (see springtime posts prior to 2016).

The swampy part of the Cypress Swamp on the Seminole Reservation. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg.

“Wet feet” plants only reside here. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Hardy…

Not all wildlife migrates south for the winter. Like people, some species acclimate to the many Midwest climate changes during the year. Here are some native Northerners enjoying the cooler days of autumn in Chicago.

The hardiest Heron do not migrate to Florida for the winter but remain at Lincoln Park’s assorted ponds. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Always on public display, grooming is never private. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Squirrels squirreling away nuts is easily witnessed this time of year in preparation for winter’s long season. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

The Grey Squirrel is a personal favorite on my walks though parks. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Friends in the pond community. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

More grooming, this time by a duck. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Spring is not the only time of birth for the turtles of South Pond in Lincoln Park. 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

Restorative reflections…

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) began its long bloom period a little early this summer in St. Louis. Actually, it began blooming in early June, at the end of springtime. This allowed me to create these images in a garden I passed during a morning walk. Such walks and encounters dispel anxieties and remind me of their triviality. Daisys also remind me of my mother; they were her favorite flowers. So many emotions worked through me during this particular walk; therapeutic reflections of life as I admired these mid-life blooms.

Singled out of a crowd. All the same, yet different. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg

Shasta Daisys in abundance. This image has a few in focus in the lower part of the image so that you can grasp the full abundance of this Daisy garden. Copyright 2027 Pamela Breitberg

Midwestern stamina…

And winter returns with 5 plus inches of snow this week. The crocus reflects our Midwestern, optimistic perseverance nature. I look at it and remind myself to stay strong and patient.

And winter returns with 5 plus inches of snow this week. The crocus reflects our Midwestern, optimistic persevering nature. I look at it and remind myself to stay strong and patient. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Upright Crocus in spite of winter's refusal to retreat. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

Upright Crocus in spite of winter’s refusal to retreat. copyright 2015 Pamela Breitberg

A common northerner, or so I think…

White Pine...or so assumed, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

White Pine…or so assumed, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Best guess, is sometimes the best I can do when it comes to identifying a plant species. Snowfall challenges my abilities further. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.) is my best guess for this common evergreen in our neighborhood. Most trees were planted in effort to provide green accents in newly built residential sites.

Though the 48 inches of January followed by yesterday’s 4 inches are trying the patience of the heartiest around here, the temperature was well above zero yesterday. We were a balmy 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), so I ventured out for an hour-long vigorous walk. Only half of our day’s snow total had landed, so I grabbed our waterproof Nikon Coolpix camera. I don’t mind walking in active snowfall; but I respect my lenses’ care needs. It seems that White Pine seeds prefer a moist environment, so I’m assuming their needs have been met this winter.

Pinec one wrapped in fresh snow, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Pinec one wrapped in fresh snow, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg