A Short Visit
Last weekend I got to spend a very short time at “the garden” – i.e. the Chicago Botanic Garden. This is a magnificent place especially at this time of the year. I only had just over an hour there before needing to meet friends for dinner. So you may wonder – what can you see in the garden in that short time.
I decided to spend most of my time in a small area just south of the walled English Garden. On the way there I came across this hollyhock. Interesting that the brick wall behind was in shadow and almost disappeared when I metered on the white flower. After stopping just long enough to take this picture, I moved on to the part of the garden that at this time of the year is filled with zinnias, salvia, marigolds and a few other brightly colored plants.
As you can see, when I say brightly colored, I am not overstating the feast for the eyes of rich and vibrant colors. In this picture, one zinnia is a stand-out from the rest which with use of a narrow depth of field become a strong blur (bokeh).
I am not the only one who was enjoying this bed. Yes, there were plenty of other people, some with cameras and some just stopping to smell the flowers. But the animals, birds and insects were feasting on the flowers too – quite literally.
This Cottontail Rabbit was trying hard to look innocent as if it had no idea where the pile of Crackerjack Yellow Marigolds lying on the ground came from.
Cottontail has been caught in the act and is finding it hard look innocent now.
This year, there seems to be an abundance of insects too. Lots of bees and bumble bees are loving this bed of flowers.
Also, a dusting of hummingbird moths are sucking nectar with their super-long proboscides from the salvia. These are so interesting to watch as they look and behave like hummingbirds. They hover, drink from the same plants, and methodically move from flower to flower. But then, the White-lined Sphinx Hummingbird Moth has a striped back and wings, which makes it look quite different from hummers.
The hummers were there too. At this time of the year only the females are around and of course, in this part of the country only the Ruby-throated Hummingbird considers this area home.
It was a short visit, but the flowers and all those that enjoy them made for a very satisfying and fulfilling outing.