The Top Five–Photos of 2020

For my final “Top Five” list of 2020, I’m looking at photos that were taken the few times we actually went somewhere, starting with this wolf we saw at Brookfield Zoo back in January:

One of the last places Bunny and I went was to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to see Riverdance in February:

We took a lovely walk around Creve Coeur Lake in November:

Later that month, we attended Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Because the event started earlier than usual, we had the added bonus of not just seeing beautiful lights, but also a carpet of bright yellow gingko leaves!

When we visited Cahokia Mounds in November, I thought this tree stump was really cool:

It wasn’t hard to choose these pictures, because I just didn’t have many pictures taken away from home from which to choose. But in a way, that made these moments more special, and helped me appreciate the beauty around me in a way I might not have otherwise!

Garden Glow in the Time of COVID-19

On Sunday night, we went to the festival member preview of Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Things were (of course) different this year:

But some things were reassuringly familiar:

I tried to see some things in a new way:

My favorite part might have been the gingko leaves on the ground around much of the Garden. Garden Glow started far earlier this year than it has in the past, so we’re not used to the golden carpet they provided. It was a beautiful, if not strange, sight, and added an extra pop of color to the lights:

The exit was routed through the new visitor center (which is a fantastic building!), and this guy was right outside:

I only took one video this year, but I think it was a good one:

It was strange attending Garden Glow so far in advance of Thanksgiving. It’s also strange to know that this might be the only Christmas event we attend this year. But I’m really glad the Missouri Botanical Garden found a way to host it safely, and I’m especially glad we got to do something that felt almost normal in this very strange year!

The Top Five–Things I Miss

I’m sure we’re all missing things from our old “normal” lives…here’s a look at the top five things I’m missing, and for once, it’s exactly five items, and I didn’t even have to think to come up with them!

  • Church/Choir–This one was a no-brainer. I am thankful for our online church services, because we can still hear the Word, but it’s just not the same. I also really miss hearing my family sing in their various choirs at church, even though I am not musically gifted myself.
  • Extended Family/Friends–Another no-brainer is missing visiting family and close friends or having them visit us. Again, I’m thankful for other ways to communicate, like phone, text, or video chats, but it’s still not the same. We’ve already missed out on so many opportunities to gather that should have been on the calendar, and that’s just sad.
  • Chicago–I really missed our annual Memorial Day Weekend trip to Chicagoland. I missed it so much, I even created a virtual vacation. Not getting to see the skyline, and especially Lake Michigan, was really hard for me, and even though I enjoyed looking back through photos from previous trips, once again, it’s just not the same.
  • The Missouri Botanical Garden–I guess this is the number one St. Louis area location I’m missing. Normally, we go to the Garden at least once a month, and in the springtime, it can be more like once a week. Besides missing walking around the Garden and seeing all of the beautiful flowers in bloom, I’m also sad that I had to abandon my yearly photo project.
  • Wandering Around Target for No Reason at All–This is a silly one, but still a big deal to me. I really miss just impulsively stopping at Target and looking for absolutely nothing in particular. There have been some weeks (including one right before COVID-19 became a big deal), where I have literally stopped at Target five days of the week. Even if I don’t come out with anything, there’s something fun about shopping there, but I haven’t stepped in a Target for over two months!

What do you miss most from life pre-COVID-10?

The Ottoman Garden–March

No photo from the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Ottoman Garden this month. The Garden is shutting down for the foreseeable future, and we’ve already been isolating at home for a few days. At this point, with things being so uncertain, I have made the decision to abandon this project for the year…but I hope to have 12 full months of Ottoman Garden pictures in 2021!

Orchid Show 2020

It’s time to take a look at the brightest spot in all the month of February…the Orchid Show at the Missouri Botanical Garden!

First things first…a glimpse of the stars of the show: The flowers themselves! We’ve been going to the Orchid Show for several years now, and I’m still always amazed by how many different kinds of flowers they showcase!

The rest of the scenery is always beautiful, and like the flowers, always different:

My favorite part of this year’s Orchid Show, however, were the headdresses showcased throughout the exhibit. They are very different from anything I’ve seen at the Orchid Show in the past, and really fit with this year’s theme of Flora Mesoamerica:

I’m sure we’ll visit at least once more before the show wraps up on March 22, because half the fun is seeing how they rotate new flowers in throughout its run!

The Ottoman Garden–February

I’m not entirely happy with this month’s pictures of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Ottoman Garden…it was raining, which was a nice change from my usual photos, but I was more worried about keeping the camera dry than with getting the angle of the shots right (especially the first one). Maybe I’ll give it another try later this month…we’ll see.

The Ottoman Garden–January

Time for another installment of “Mobot Through the Year!”

For the sixth year of this project, I’ve chose one of my very favorite spaces in the Missouri Botanical Garden to photograph each month…the Ottoman Garden. And because I love this small, but beautiful, garden so much, I’m not just going to share photos from one or even two angles, but from three, because I know how beautiful this place will be throughout the year, and I want to capture all of my favorite plants as they change with the seasons!

As always, I will be hoping for an opportunity to capture this garden covered in snow at some point this winter, but for all I know, I’ll have to wait until November or December to even have a hope of seeing it snow-covered!

Chickadee Thursday

Today’s picture is from our visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden on Saturday. Chickadee was very excited that the sleigh was still up, because she hadn’t gotten to sit in it the night we went to the Garden Glow.

She even convinced her brothers and sisters to take a picture with her:

The Top Five–Photos of 2019

Time to take a look back at my five favorite photos from 2019! Notable this year is that a lot of my pictures were taken (or cropped) in “square” mode, since I’m using Instagram more than ever.

First, a picture from early in the year, when we enjoyed a snowy day in the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden:

Another winter picture, this time of two snow leopards at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago:

A spring photo featuring cherry blossoms in the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Garden:

The Red Arrows in flight!

Fall at Forest Park’s Pagoda Circle:

And an honorable mention…a photo taken at the holiday flower and train show at the Missouri Botanical Garden just a few days ago!

Obviously, I have my favorite places to take pictures, but I like that I’m constantly finding new ways to highlight them!

The English Woodland Garden Through the Year

Here’s a look back at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s English Woodland Garden month-by-month through the year:

In 2020, I’m planning on photographing the Ottoman Garden each month, and I’m really excited about the seasonal plants that will be featured in the pictures!