Sneak Peek of ART in the Park…

If you have read some of my past posts over a year ago, many of them reference to the Morton Arboretum where nature meets man. Joy Morton, A man of Salt and trees, yes Morton as in the salt company had spent his later years preserving this beautiful property in Lisle for all to enjoy the trees from around the world.

We have seen the making of a Childrens garden to occupy the younger ones. We attended special events along with the famous Illumination in December which have become favorable rituals. There is always something to learn, see and do here. Today was an extra special day at the Arboretum.

Recently a Danish artist has been creating his special exhibit which officially opens on June 22. The giant structures of trolls carved by a Thomas Dambo have been slowly crafted at seven locations throughout the park.

Last week I captured a few structures on film as I tried out my new camera. The pictures were not part of the marketing print out which sometimes are so you know what to expect when you locate one. This time the locations were only given. It was a mysterious hunt to locate them only to open the eyes with a wow factor. All reclaimed wood put together, finely crafted on site bit by bit.

Morton Arboretum likes to do things in grand style.

Enjoy searching for the rest of the giant sculptures of hand crafted art. I’ll be back to find the ones I missed.

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Historic Ice Age Trail (Part 2)

A few posts ago, I wrote about the Historic Ice Age Trail I walked on in Wisconsin. Apparently after that post, there were a few discoveries I decided to share.

While the start of the journey seemed so barren, there was evidence of man and mammals along the beaten path.

After following the yellow brick road (yellow trail) we find a yellow empty cartridge.

We had maps and our colors indicating which direction we were headed. Yellow was it for this day.

Kids are curious and have a good eye for spotting things close to the ground. I thought this was a beaten path for humans, not a shooting range.

The parking fee was not hand collected, towns lack funds to pay for employees to be there. They left this box for trusting souls to pay their fare. We went to find a gas station to get change and pay our fee for a walk in the woods on this overcast day.

The sky dark and mysterious, the sun bright and brilliant shielded by crossing clouds.

Overall it was great weather for walking and finding a new adventure. You never know what you will find when you talk a step and walk outside your comfort zone. The last photo shows the beautiful white birches my son captured so nicely along the water’s edge. The time was in March before the Spring heat and budding green foliage here in Wisconsin began to bloom.

Happy Trails!!

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Timing is Everything

Good or bad, we can all relate to an incident in which timing meant something special or something miserable for us.

In my case, this past week several timing issues came up. Mostly miserable for my oversight.  First one was the dropping of my camera 📷 onto the concrete, not once but twice, two days apart. My bread and butter was now butter. While my camera is still top of its class after five years, it took a beating and keeps on ticking. It worked after the first bounce. Ouch! The second bounce cracked the rear LCD, bent the hot shoe and took off the hardware around the eyepiece. Double ouch!


Believe it or not the camera still works. I had ordered new tripod mounts a week ago since I knew they were wearing out. Apparently, when I tried to take my camera off the tripod to carry it, I pressed the quick release lever and the camera being heavy, slipped out of my hands. I was back to holding my flash using remote triggering for real estate photography.

Now would be the right time to buy that backup camera, the upgrade model I’ve been waiting for.

Timing is everything. I had huge Home set to photograph next Tuesday. I had to have a working camera in case my camera failed. I scrolled the internet searching for a new camera, might as well upgrade before another drop happens and be ready for work. My camera is out of a warranty for Drops. I need a camera while I send mine out for repair.

Without sharing all the details, let’s just say it wasn’t easy to find what I was looking for in my next camera and get delivered in two days, but I was successful.

Today, timing was everything at home. My kids graduated up another grade.

Timing was twofold professionally, I signed and received my new camera today while at the same time my huge scheduled real estate photo shoot was cancelled. What? I did receive my tripod camera mounts a few days too late too. Thankfully the local camera shop secured a new version of a tripod mount on very tightly, two drops too late. They were out of stock of the Nikon I was looking for.

Now, after searching trying not to get ripped off, at last I have the new camera to master and get ready for my own vacation to see creatively.

Photography means light, and it’s the timing among others things that can make all the difference.

Perhaps I will capture an award winning photo in the Scandinavian Counties to make all my bad timings feel like good timings.

Happy Shooting.

P.S. learn from my mistake, don’t hold up an expensive camera on a tripod with cheap or worn out connectors. Buy new pieces at the first sign of wearing, don’t wait – carry spares. Also buy the best tripod you can afford. This will capture your pictures, not a fancy high priced camera.


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Pictures & Words

While a picture doesn’t speak, it can say “a thousand words” with or without written words. Here I included a “borrowed” photograph from an email marketer with written words that can lift anyone’s spirits. It actually made a positive impact on my day.

If something isn’t working for you, maybe it’s the environment you are in or the people who surround you. Not everyone has similar gifts and it makes us unique and special. People of different mindsets may be open minded or shut you out. Listen to your heart and know what you are worth. If you’re like me, you love to learn and grow in your craft constantly. While one negative comment should not devalue you, it can push you to new heights. We are not perfect and listening to our environment could be telling us the answers we have been waiting to hear. Good or bad, both can help you improve. You may need to change your perspective or try to “see” what another person sees in you. Without decreasing your worth, you may need to change somewhat or change your environment. Your worth as a person is worth listening to what may come your way. You are worth it. We become better as a result.

Now for the picture without words that can speak to you in any way you perceive it. Actually words can also be perceived the same way. Each of us brings our own perspectives. Visual or written, each of us takes away our unique thoughts.

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Eye see

Do you see what I see?

From the natural wild into to the friendly waters behind glass walls at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Perhaps this creature’s instincts keep it still so as to blend into the environment and wait for the prey to come it’s way, or human arms to easily release food.

Zoos and aquariums are educational, yet sometimes I wonder if we should take away the animals, reptiles and mammals natural instincts of hunting, running and living the character nature intended. When species are almost extinct, man has to interfere and try to protect them. In from the wild, into a safe haven.

Aren’t humans the ones who created environments that leads to their extinction? Houses build on every green patch causing wolves, coyotes, raccoons, possums and deer in your backyard. ( At least here in the mid-west they become common place).

Are the hunters who kill for the price of ivory from innocent animals part of the problem. While mans actions of destruction cannot totally be regulated, monitored or controlled, this makes zoos and aquariums a protected space for animals and sea creatures, even if their natural instincts are subsided. The environment is in constant flux and climate change affects all living things.

The question of whether zoos were positive or negative was a paper my kids had to write about in school, my feelings are mixed and more research needs to be done to fully understand. I do recall an animal leaped out and attacked a child at a zoo. There’s no way of knowing what that animal was thinking as it was kept in captivity for visitors to view.

Photos taken at the 5th grade School field trip in Chicago.

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Happy Mother’s Day

Have a wonderful Mother’s day wherever you are. Without Mother’s we would not be who we are and where we are today!

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Ice Age National Scenic Trail…

Here we are on a trail that sounds so old and reminds me of the Ice Age movies. Hiking the trail seemed boring at first until you start to take a closer look. Found in and around Wisconsin, there are several spots to park and hike/ walk along a trail. There was a lake in the middle of our hike in South Kettle Moraine, WI. So happy to be photographing what my artistic eye sees. My boy scouts love to be walking along the trail, finding interesting objects and being one with nature, I enjoy it just the same. Excited that the warmer weather is here in this northern climate lasting where the cold weather seemed never ending.IMG_9255IMG_9321

What do you see in the top photo?

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Sometimes Photographers are captured by the looking glass..

So the story goes …..I was awarded the “Spark Plug Award” for my volunteer efforts at the IP District dinner last month. I was totally surprised while feeling appreciated for helping the Boy Scouts in their marketing, communications and PR efforts. Officially I hold a committee position.

Last year, I was seeking a venue where my intellect, experiences and my Masters degree in leadership could be utilized. I’m sure my position will evolve over time as additional opportunities arise.

I’m Excited to be alive at a crossroads of time where young women can join the BSA while achieving the rank of Eagle. This will surely open doors for more female leaders. I love the outdoors and adventures as much as my boys do. We are all zip lining this week on our road trip. Wherever the road & adventures may take me… I’m ready to take on the leadership challenges going forward… and of course with my camera by my side, always.

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