Friday, July 22, 2011


One of the really great things about where we live is our backyard. While 95 percent of Illinois is flatter than a pancake and filled with prairie grasses, we live in tree central: elm, oak, hemlock, infuriating buckthorn, black walnut, serviceberry and mock orange.

And then there's the wildlife: annoying squirrels, even more annoying chipmunks, raccoons, skunk, deer. A fox trotted through our hostas just a few weeks ago.

It's all rather Disneyesque.

While starting dinner last night, I saw a flash of really intense blue just outside the window. An Indigo Bunting! We hadn't had one in ages!

"Honey!" I called out, rummaging for my glasses. "Tiptoe out here and see this bird!"

Upon further squint, I paused. "Wait! Is that a blue butterfly? Never had one of those before!"

 I grabbed my camera.

It was very still and unafraid. I slipped outside to get a closer shot.

Rare and endangered helium balloon, ripped and roosting in the ivy.

So it's time for the optometrist.

Side benefit, howevever: I've been reading about this photographic effect called bokeh. And I think I (inadvertently) got it. A little bit, anyway.

I'll strive for a better subject next time. In fact, a few book buddies and I are taking a photography class at Benedictine College. I missed the first class last week on account of my trip to St. Louis. This week, I'm told, we are taking a field trip to the M0rton Arboretum in Lisle on Saturday. And we are taking a bus.

It feels just like first grade.


Johanna said...

At least one of the chapters in your soon to be published Book of Blogs. Wonderful post, kind of O.Henry. Couldn't wait for the finale.

Sharon said...

Too funny!

Carol said...

Do you think you can take pictures with bokeh in Boca?

naperville now said...

you betcha, tho I'd bettah practice some.

Lynn said...

I love this blog!

Kathy and Freddy said...

ボケ. This is the second time I've had to take your blog to the dictionary. I bet this is one of those Japanese concepts that we Westerners can barely get ahold of.....probably some kind of mixture of geometry and Zen with a hint of Shinto.
Loved learning about this. Arigato, sensei.

MFM said...

When you go on a field trip who signs your permission slip?