Sunday, March 23, 2014

Little Glimpse of Spring !!!

After what has been one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recorded history of Chicago, all I am looking for  is some sign of Spring. Yesterday I found Crocus coming out in my front lawn.  If you look closely you can see the yellow of what will become the delicate flowers.  So nice !!  Just a little glimpse of Spring....

Linking with : Weekly Top Shots 
                     Our World Tuesday

Please "Like" my Facebook Page:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chicago River Dyed Kelly Green to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Chicago has a very unique tradition to celebrate St. Patrick's day.  Yes, they dye the already greenish water bright Kelly green.  This tradition started in 1962 (you can read its history here ) and even though other cities have tried to copy it Chicago is the only city that can successfully dye the river the perfect St. Patrick's day green.  

Brownish powder dye is sprinkled into the river with a beer mug and as soon as it touches the water it magically starts to turn color.  There is a second smaller boat that follows the main boat to stir up the water and spread the dye.

Sightseeing cruise boat with a bagpiper band entertained the people on the boat as well as thousands of  people on the river banks who came out to the Chicago river.   

Linking with : Weekly Top Shot #126
                     Our World Tuesday

Friday, February 14, 2014

Entwined Love ..

One of the things I like to do when I am walking on the beach is to find all of the jewels that wash up on the sand.  I found this entwined kelp on my early morning walk in Southern California.  Isn't it amazing that just a gentle toss of the waves and the kelp formed this shape of a heart.  It seemed so special to me that I wanted to share it with you on this special day... 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Frozen Salt Creek

We have had some very cold and snowy days recently.  On 6th of January our lowest temperature was -16 F (- 26 C ).  It was so cold that everything just shut down, children got to stay home from school, commuter trains were totally out of schedule due to signal malfunctions, 2/3 of airplanes out of Chicago airport were cancelled , people went crazy and bought out everything at the grocery store before the storm hit. No milk, no eggs, no bread or produce.  All were sold out.....  Me?  I could not wait to get to the river to find what I could  photograph. Only problem was that I didn't have a car that I felt comfortable driving in the snow and ice, so I had to wait a few days until the streets were cleared. When I was finally able to leave my house I was rewarded with fantastic sights.  Most of the rivers in the area were completely frozen over but some like here under the dam, water still ran freely. At the Fox River a record number of Bald Eagles were spotted. The number of Bald Eagles in Illinois is second to Alaska to the photographers delight. Even with very limited camera equipment I was able to get some decent shots myself.     

Linking with : Weekly top shot

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Goal

The whole middle area of America has been hit by two very big snow storms in less than one week.  The first one gave us between 12 inches to 14 inches of snow.  With no time for it to melt, the weather report is predicting another 12 inches of snow to blanket the whole area.  One of my goals for the year 2014 is to brave the cold and snow to go out and take as many photographs as possible of the winter scenes.  The weather sure has cooperated but without a 4 wheel drive car it has proven to be a much tougher challenge.

Between the two storms frigid temperatures has set in. Then the sun came out and it turned the whole snow covered areas into a picturesque photographers dream !!!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year of the Horse

 Happy New Year !!!

May year 2014 bring many great photo opportunities, and happiness to you and to your family !!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Me, the Moon and the Lights

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing is going your way and everything you try just gives you more headaches?  I had one of those days.  Solution? Go out to see a beautiful light show at the Illumination show at Morton Arboretum.   I know it sounds crazy, but as soon as I started walking the snowy trails I forgot all about my troubles and  I was just mesmerized by the lights dancing in the trees.  It was not just pretty x-mas lights wrapped around the trees and shrubs, but the lights were moving, changing colors and projected across the pond and the sky.  There were several stations where you could interact with the lights. I hovered my hand over one station and depended on how many fingers I showed, the pattern of lights  projected across the pond changed.  I sang Jingle Bells to the black walnut trees and the lights responded to my voice.  The most popular with the children were the hug a tree.  The color of  lights changed depended on  how hard you hugged one of the four trees.  I was kept warm by several warming stations throughout the trail with roaring log fires.  My original plan was to take a quick photograph and get into the club house to see the lights from indoors but I ended up staying out for over 3 hours in the frigid 12 F cold.  I had this suspicion that I was the last person to leave the place... lonely car in the parking lot was the clue....  me, the moon and the lights.

Sharing with : Weekly Top Shot #114
                      Our World Tuesday

Friday, December 6, 2013

Land of Mandela

Table Mountain at Sunset from Signal Hill in Cape Town, South Africa

Several years ago I was fortunate to visit this beautiful country of South Africa where Nelson Mandela called home.  With the passing of Nelson Mandela it brought back wonderful memories of my time spent in the town of Cape Town, South Africa.
My impression of the country was just breathtakingly beautiful, people warm, kind and helpful. Everywhere I went I was welcomed and shown the best that they could offer. I meet many people.  A young, black security guard at the boat dock who I asked to recommend a good place to eat.  To my shame, he told me that he never goes out to eat because he needs to help his family. A white shop owner who had lost his management level job because of the company wanting to promote less qualified black employees.  A white African student who wished that other people around the world would realize that South Africa is not as hot as other believes and it is a civilized place to live.  A Ghanaian who was in South Africa to get a better education and wanting to open his own travel agency.  The honorary Mayor of Bo-Kaap sitting on a lawn chair in blue Adidas sweats who was trying to greet all of the tourists.  A white gay man at the St. Georges Cathedral (This is the seat of the Anglican Church in SA, and former cathedral for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noble Prize and Templeton Foundation winner ) who had painted his finger nails purple, helped me with the service which was conducted in English, Afrikaan, and Zulu. Three school aged girls who kept following me at the Kalk Bay and wanted me to take their photographs.  An outdoor flower market owner who gave me a single flower of Protea which kept blooming throughout my stay in Cape Town. So many great memories, so many wonderful people.

Sharing with :  Weekly Top Shot
                       Our World Tuesday

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Star light, Star Bright

I was in Chicago and stopped by the Christkindlemarket at the Daley Plaza.  I have been going to this traditional German American holiday market for the last several years. Just walking around the market makes me feel like, Yes Christmas is just around the corner.  One of my favorite shop (I have many and will post a few later) is this paper star store.  I love the bright colors of each star and each one has the different designs that makes it so special.

Linking with : Our World Tuesday

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cranberry Harvest at The DeGrandchamp Farm

To me Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without Cranberry sauce. I love the sweet and tartness of the sauce and the beautiful red color that it brings on to the plate. The De Grandchamp Farm in Michigan State opened up the farm to the public at harvest time and we were treated to a hay ride to the bog. Cranberries grow on short bushes and when the berries are ripe and red, the whole area is flooded with water. Why you ask?  Because after being dislodged from the bushes, the berries which have four air filled chambers, will float to the top.  It is the easiest way to gather them and load them into the truck for processing.

Happy Thanksgiving 

Linking with : Our World Tuesday