You ever have one of those moments where you are conflicted as to what aspect of the photo should be highlighted? Should I focus on the red leaves, or the magnificent waterfall? How can I frame the waterfall with the tree? Can I frame the tree with the waterfall? Arggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I think my brain imploded from the wonder of it when I took this shot. Thankfully the rest of waterfall photos for the day came out a little better.
First, the little waterfall.
We didn’t even make it to the visitor center before we were stopped in our tracks by this little waterfall and the stunning little tree sheltering it.
So vibrant, but peaceful. Further into the garden is a much larger waterfall which manages to be both overwhelming and soothing at the same time.
This was the only time I really wished they allowed tripods in the garden, I had to hold my breath to take this photo.
Then there was this moment, imperfectly captured.
It has been a crazy week, I need some peace so we’re heading back to the Anderson Japanese Gardens. Let us start with one of my favorite aspects, koi.
Nice, I do love the koi, but I need something a little calmer.
Better, but I really am too tired to think about climbing all those steps no matter how much I wonder where they lead.
I see you fishy, and could sit by your pond all day.
Another mysterious stairway, alas it was deemed out of bounds for visitors.
Oh no, it has risen! It has come to eat your soul!
Or just a bit of granola bar I tossed into the pond.
Sometimes it is easy to miss the cool little stuff when you’re surrounded by beauty. Then it hits you in the face, literally.
I walked right into the branch because I was looking the other way, so when I turned back to see what I had I run into I about fell over in delight at seeing what must be the tiniest pinecones ever. They’re about the size of a pencil eraser. Thankfully this happened pretty early in my visit to Anderson gardens so it made me more aware of the little things around me. Like this lonely little berry;
And these two colorful leaves hanging out with the remnants of summer ferns…
Still, I very nearly missed this last little bloom hiding in the depths of a bush.
However there was no way I was going to miss out on these awesome red and orange leaves!
I’ve had my little ups and downs and this week I finally got my arse and made plans for a photo trip with a couple of friends. We planned on going out to the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford Illinois. Of course, when you make plans that are basically a full day trip the weather must intervene and despite the crushing drought the Midwest has suffered it was supposed to rain all day. And it did.
I refused to bow down to the whims of nature and said to my friend “Let’s go anyway, I kinda like shooting in gloomy, overcast weather anyway.” I’m glad she agreed because the gardens were absolutely phenomenal in their fall colors. We didn’t even make it to the visitor center before we were bemused and had to stop for some picture taking.
The Strolling Pond Gate:
Japanese gardens are designed for reflection, contemplation and to inspire a sense of serenity. This one did exactly that in spades. Everywhere you looked there were little moments, little windows into a new perspective. You would see the same thing from 10 different angles and it would seem new and beautiful each time.
It is actually 3 different gardens, my favorite of which is done in the style of the 13th and 14th centuries. It is complex, dense and you simply cannot see everything in one visit. It begs you to come back and explore over and over.
I suspect we’ll be making this trip again, hopefully this fall, but certainly next spring and summer!