Summer and Winter may just be the easiest seasons to photograph regardless of where you may find yourself on the planet. Both seasons take some time to get through, and provide plenty of opportunity for photographs for even the busiest people. The seasons of change however, Spring and Fall, present a fast-paced challenge for many throughout the world. When I was in Japan for the past couple years, Spring was the most difficult time of the year to photograph due to not only my work schedule, but also to the fleeting cherry blossom trees almost necessary to provide ambiance for the Japanese setting. Depending on the type of cherry blossom tree, a window of 3-4 weeks was pretty generous.
Here in North Chicago, I found myself getting rushed through the millions and millions of leaves changing over the course of only a couple weeks. Due to an unseasonably warm early Fall, the landscape here didn’t begin to change until mid-late October. However, arctic air–and the high winds that accompany it–blew in so quickly that the splash of color everywhere was all but gone by the start of November. Combine that short turnaround with a couple busy workweeks, well, let me just say I was in a rush to capture whatever I could in my little corner of the Midwest.
Yet another weekday trip to the Chicago Botanical Garden bore little change in mid-October. With 60-degree temperatures and bright sunny days, it still felt like late Summer in the sun. Even early Fall flowers remained as bright as ever:
Just a few days later, I headed up to the Petrifying Springs Park in Kenosha, WI on the recommendation from some work friends. The cedar trees (I think?) were already past-peak, but with the winding spring going through the park, it helped add some water features to the Fall color (as seen in the title photograph above).
On the way back that same day I stopped at the Illinois Beach State Park, though it was already getting a bit late. The park area is quite large with many nature trails. I hope to take a good hike once the snow sets in!
A couple weeks of busyness and cold weather set in shortly in late October, and by the time I could make it back out at the end of the month to Independence Grove in Libertyville, so much had already changed. Most leaves were either covering the forest floor, or just barely hanging on through their final stages of decay. Human-accustomed chipmunks abounded in one area of the park, however, making for some fun shots against the colorful leaves on the ground. More on them later in my 400mm f/2.8 review. 🙂
Just before the sun went down and the evening rain settled in, I stopped by the quaint Butler Lake Park. It too had a small splash of Fall still out and was decently maintained for being a multi-use recreational park.
As November arrived, I figured that it was about time for the color to fade. A short business trip to Minneapolis saw me bring my camera, just in case. I always try to pack it along even if there isn’t much free time on schedule. During some down time I walked over to Loring Park, Minneapolis’ largest downtown park. The sun was already fading (curse you daylight savings time!), and a light misting rain kept a chill in the air. Even still the area was pretty, if more than a bit muddy!
And with that, Fall came and went in my neck of the woods in just over two weeks! In fact, shortly after returning from Minneapolis, North Chicago got its first measurable snowfall of about 2 inches that coated what was left of the leaves and foliage left still alive. Now here in mid-November, it feels like Winter has just about set in with straight-gray skies and wet/snowy days. Not looking forward to the hard freeze in a couple months combined with the winds off of Lake Michigan, but at least I’m already stocking up on long underwear. 😀
That’s all for this seasonal post, guys and gals, thanks for dropping by! Aside from some cold hands and toes, it may be fun to go out in sub-zero temperatures soon to really put my A7iii to the test. Seeing how nippy it’s getting already, my area isn’t that far off from some serious cold. As always, have a nice day!