Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Take-A-Look Tuesday: Beautiful Things

Our tour guide tells us about Rembrandt's Lucretia, 1666.
[Note: Be patient & let all the high-resolution photos load!]

On Friday, the 23rd, I chaperoned a field trip with Ms Vigen's and Mr Anderson's classes to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Museum. 

It was a bright, sunny day, and we spent many hours, indoors and out, looking at beautiful things. We took guided tours and also had time to roam the museums on our own. We saw lots of beautiful things.

Natasha pretending to be as scary as Mrs Karr. Photo courtesy of Kori P 
Chance encounter with Mary & Clara during our free hour in
the MIA.
I love the MIA and have been there many times. I was furiously trying to take as many shots of my favorite works as I could. Kori P took a picture of Natasha K next to my all-time favorite, Portrait of ClĂ©mentine Karr (Mrs Alphonse) by Henri Lehmann, painted in 1845.  

We ate lunch outside on the grounds of the museum, and I snapped a few pictures of the students...
Meggan reading Camus, I think...

David, holding forth on Kalamata olives...you can see Mr Anderson & his
apprentice in the background...

Beautiful things
Then, of course, the long Memorial Day weekend began, and I was off to the Munger Trail and Jay Cooke State Park. I spent one day biking and one day hiking. Both days were incredibly bright and sunny. I took lots of photos of beautiful things.
Trillium buds--most still hadn't opened...
...but this big one was fully open.
There were all sorts of little green things coming up out of the ground, including some Lady Slippers... 

More yellow Slipper sprouts
Yellow Slipper sprouts

Even the big pink-and-white Showy Slipper had sprouted.
Showy Slipper just barely above groud
The Marsh Marigolds were in full bloom, as was Bellwort, so most of the flowers I saw were yellow...

Marsh Marigolds
...But when I looked really closely, I could see a tiny purple flower, very close to the ground...it was Wild Ginger.
Wild Ginger flower bud, shot with macro lens
Later, when I went hiking at Jay Cooke, the Wild Ginger was flowering everywhere. 
Wild Ginger flower, taken with macro lens
Wild Ginger
The flower appears at the base of the plant, just barely above the ground, and I believe it's pollinated by ants. Most folks never see these flowers--you wouldn't know they were there unless you knew where to look.

Besides the Wild Ginger, the Trout Lilies, both yellow and white, were all over the Park. At first, I thought I'd only see a few buds and those lovely mottled leaves, but then I turned a corner, and the flowers were blooming by the hundreds. 
Yellow Trout Lily bud

As the flowers open, the petals curl up and back toward the stem...

Yellow Trout Lily, half open

Yellow Trout Lily, fully open, with bug on top...
As pretty as the Yellow Lilies were, I think my favorites were the White Trout Lilies.
White Trout Lily, macro lens shot
I wish I had taken more shots of the leaves because they really are beautiful. 

Although the larger Trillium grandiflora dominates the Munger Trail, the Nodding Trillium (trillium cernuum) is most plentiful at Jay Cooke. They were just starting to bloom, and I never got a good shot of the flower, only of the bud, so I'll have to go back soon and try again. And there were, of course, lots of ferns coming up all over. 
Nodding Trillium bud

Fiddlehead macro shot, edited with Snapseed

But perhaps my best find was this mushroom below, a Devil's Urn. I've never seen one before, and it was really cool. I figure Jack B, who liked my photo of the dead puffballs in my last post, would like this, too. Some folks might think it's ugly, but I don't. It had a spiderweb inside it, which had collected little dust particles and maybe some spores.

Devil's Urn fungus
So, after a long weekend of seeing beautiful things in museums and in parks, I came home to my little orchid collection, where my Phalaenopsis was blooming (for the third time).
Phalaenopsis, backlit by the morning sun
I also received an email telling me that one of my Lady Slipper photos from last year had been chosen for the "Photo of the Week" feature on the American Orchid Society website. 
My photo on the AOS website
I was pretty excited, since this is the second time one of my photos has been chosen.  Here's the full size view below.
In a normal spring, these Slippers would have started blooming on the Munger Trail (where I took this photo) and in Jay Cooke State Park over the Memorial Day weekend. This year, they'll bloom a bit later, in June, and then in July the Showy Slippers will bloom. There are lots of beautiful things ahead...


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I had a lot of fun taking all the photos.

  2. If I would have known you were in the big city, Ben and I would have crashed your field trip. :) ~Emily Miner

    1. Well, it wasn't my field trip--I just an extra chaperone. But that would have been fun!