Inspiration comes in many forms at Chicago Botanic Garden
It was all by chance and definitely a last-second decision to take a left when I should have turned right when I was at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe late in October.
I was there covering a naturalization ceremony in which immigrants from around the suburbs were being sworn in as new citizens by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer. It truly was a moving experience for the 35 people who gathered there, raising their right hands, the transformation from immigrant to an American citizen took only a few words from the Oath of Allegiance to complete the process. It was amazing to witness the pure emotion felt by those 35 people, and as I left that assignment, I saw out of the corner of my eye these beautiful flowers in full bloom outside in the garden.
I thought it was a little odd that the flowers were as vibrant that late in the fall. That is where the left turn came into play. When I got closer, the two honey bees were trading spots back and forth collecting pollen through electrostatic forces which they use to gather material to take back to their nest. I captured the action and marveled how they paid me no-nevermind as I inched closer and they continued with their busy bee activities.
Looking closely at the image, I was amazed to see such eye-popping details -- like the frozen bee wing, clear, strong and yet ever so fragile. It is made of chitin which is a lot like the keratin that makes up our fingernails. I walked away from both events that day, one planned naturalization the other a spontaneous fertilization ... happy with my results.