Photo Outings for 2019

Each month MAPS selects a location around the Chicagoland area to go for a Photo Outing. The major theme for these outings is nature. We select one outing per month and you can see when and where we go in the Calendar.  Please note that you can sign up for each event as listed below by following the specified link, and also note that by signing up for each event you are agreeing to the MAPS Photo Outing Waiver of Liability.

Photo Outing – Thursday June 20th @ 9 a.m. Brookfield Zoo with Jim Schulz

Park in the South parking lot and meet at the South gate before 9:00 a.m. Entrance fees have been waived but parking will cost $14.00 for nonmembers. (Carpooling might be a good option!) Note: We are starting the tour before the zoo opens. I wonder what surprise Jim has for us! It’s also a big place so we could try and stay in an area that has more animals but if the group would like to go around the whole park then wear comfortable shoes or whatever makes it easier to do a bit of walking.”

For more information and maps click:
This tour is limited to the first 30 respondents.

Sign up for this outing Click Here.

Photo Outing- Saturday, May 18 @ 9:00am, McDowell Grove in Naperville

In the 1930s, McDowell Grove was a camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps – a work-relief program – part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation – which built bridges, picnic areas, a boathouse, bridle paths and a limestone dam on the West Branch of the DuPage River. During World War II, the site served as a secret installation for developing radar technology.
Today, the 465-acre McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville is comprised of mature woodlands, open fields with eastern bluebirds and Cooper’s hawks, and a floodplain forest with towering butternuts and black maples. It’s recently been the site of a dam- modification project, which has returned the stretch of river to a healthier, more natural waterway and improved aquatic habitats.
McDowell Grove is on the east side of Raymond Drive, south of Interstate 88. The main
entrance is south of Diehl Road, approximately 1 mile north of Ogden Avenue (Route 34). (Click for directions).

Sign up for this outing: click here

Photo Outing- Saturday, June 1 – 7:30-10:00am, Wolf Rd. Prairie, Westchester

Hike the “sidewalks” left behind from a construction project halted by the Great Depression and experience the beauty of nature at Wolf Rd. Prairie. This little prairie is home to wildflowers too numerous to count. You may spot insects and birds as well. Join us and experience this unique spot.

Wolf Road Prairie is an excellent example of the original tallgrass prairie of Illinois and is the largest prairie of its type remaining in the Chicago area. Depending on the time of year you visit, you might see big bluestem, little bluestem, prairie dropsied and Indian grass. Among its common forbs are smooth blue aster, sky blue aster, and black-eyed Susan, nodding onion, prairie phlox, obedient plant and rattlesnake master. Uncommon prairie forbs include Indian paintbrush, bottle gentian, prairie gentian and Indian plantain. A marsh dominated by bulrush and cattail and a small savanna remnant also occur here. The savanna is dominated by bur oak with wild hyacinth, ground nut and meadow rue beneath the trees. Western chorus frog, fox snake, woodchuck, common snipe and swamp sparrow are some of the animals which occur at this preserve.

There are two ways to hike at Wolf Road Prairie–from the north or from the south. At the northern end of Wolf Road Prairie near the historic Prairie House, a natural trail leads through the Wetlands portion of Wolf Road Prairie.  At the southern end, you will find a kiosk and sidewalks that go through the savanna and mesic portions of the Prairie.  These sidewalks set down right before the Great Depression act as trails. Both entrances and trail paths are considered rough. Long pants and long sleeves are recommended, as well as bug spray and sunscreen.

Wolf Rd. Prairie is located on the northwest corner of 31st St. and Wolf Rd. in Westchester. Parking at Wolf Rd. Prairie is at a premium. There are about 10 spots on 31st St.  More spots are located on the north side of the prairie on Constitution St. where the Prairie House is located. Otherwise, you will have to park in the shopping center across Wolf Rd.

Check out their website:

Breakfast afterward TBD.

Host: Mary Mehl:

Sign up for this outing click here

Photo Outing – Saturday April 13, Hausermann’s Orchid Nursery, Villa Park

More than 20 MAPS members met at Hausermann’s Orchid Nursery. They were generous to let us come in early before they opened to the public. Many of us found favorite blooms that were photographed for nearly two hours using our elaborate set-ups. Others wanted to take images of every different kind of orchid Hausermanns had to offer. Afterward about half the participants went out to brunch.

See our photos here

March 23 2019 – Black and White Macro Outing @ ProCAM
Twenty five MAPS members enjoyed a morning of experimenting with different lighting scenarios set up in the spacious PROCAM photo studio in Aurora.  A big THANK YOU is extended to Bill for his demonstration on lighting, lighting effects, tripods, and hints on macro photography.  Members were also awarded 10% discounts on purchases and equipment rentals. Two of our members won a raffle and Facebook selfie contest for cash!

Several members of the group brought and shared nature-related props such as shells, flowers and dried leaves to pair with antique watches, cameras and containers. Everyone designed their own setup to photograph and after making their way around the tables. All were all treated to a pizza lunch generously provided by PROCAM. Thank you again, PROCAM, for providing MAPS with the opportunity to work with indoor lighting and a place to shoot nature indoors!

Click Here for images created by our members during this outing.

March 27, 2019 – Rock Run Rookery Outing

Fifteen members chose this beautiful Wednesday morning to photograph the Rock Run Rookery Preserve.  The submerging loon, coots, turkey vultures, herons, and geese entertained the crowd for a couple of hours.   Some members also visited surrounding locations such as McKinley Woods to try their luck for pelicans.

Click Here for images created by our members during this outing.