Lilies in Shadow

Lilies at Chicago Botanic Garden

Lilies in Shadow © 2010 Bo Mackison

Most of the lilies at the Chicago Botanic Gardens are front and center in the main garden, framed in multiple square ponds, and offset by summery plantings. There are  purple water lilies, pink ones, blue ones, even bright magenta water lilies. But I found these lilies on a lesser traveled path, up and beyond the conifer plantings. Not many people wander this far off the main paths.

These lilies offer a different feel compared to their brightly lit cousins. I love these pale lilies, quietly dressed in shadowy reflections. My favorite of all the lilies I photographed that day.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I like those too! Their soft color is very elegant.

  2. Gandalf says:

    A very peaceful and contemplative photo. However, I enjoyed your description and it made me think of the Ticky Tacky song from many moons ago. 🙂

    • Bo Mackison says:

      I know that song. 🙂 And they’re all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

      Definitely NOT a description of the lovely water lilies. No ticky tacky in these beauties!

  3. What beautiful, calming, ink-transparent, rich colors here. This entire series is just breath-taking. The glowing, inner-lit lily is magical, the brilliant color of the pink one was enchanting, and this one is tranquil. So beautiful as a collection.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      What a lovely comment, Quinn. Thank you. And I do like to think of the lilies as a collection.

  4. I’ve been so busy…haven’t had time to visit. And – your waterlilies are stunning!! Would be such a fun exercise to pick a theme and see how we’all interpret it differently.

  5. I can see why they are a favorite. There is a lovely quality to the light, shadows, and reflections. Nice find. 🙂

    I like Marcie’s idea…

  6. I saw this and one thing popped into my mind instantly. “This is a modern-day Monet.” 🙂

  7. There is something about a lily pond… tranquility. Beautiful capture and I agree with Molly as: “This is a modern-day Monet.”

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