This summer I had such an amazing time at The Lurie Garden, that I came back to shoot the views for a fall day. Driving down to Chicago before 5:00 AM, I was half-asleep with coffee in hand hoping to get some interesting morning shots. Most of the best photographs happen at dawn and just after in my experience, however, this morning when my feet touched the paths while it was still dark, I was mesmerized. Before dawn at the garden is still and quiet and filled with hope for the day.
As the sky lightened, small sparrows came out and flitted among the paths foraging for dropped seeds from the native plants. They were my only friends this early at the garden. While we were mere footsteps from city streets, I could not tell because the surrounding 15-foot-high “shoulder” hedges enclose the garden in silence and function as a buffer against the city noises. This physical representation of Carl Sandburg’s famous description of the “City of Big Shoulders” is meant to enclose the garden and protect it. Fall nature smells abound; Russian Sage and drying Coneflower mix with a cool breeze coming off of Lake Michigan. The Lurie Garden is a small bit of heaven in a sea of cement with a simple beautiful purpose — to inspire the community.
One of my favorite comparisons from this adventure and my last at The Lurie Garden is the above view of The Art Institute of Chicago. Above you see my dawn shots of the garden with the morning sun kissing the dried seed heads and fall garden while lights and the sun warm the building’s face. Just below that you see the day shot I took from the previous visit when the flowers are still blooming and green. Fall is an amazing time to visit the garden because everywhere you look there is a curious and colorful view (see below). Next Lurie post I will feature a fall day series, but I am anticipating winter and cannot wait to see what snow looks like on the garden.