Photo Outings

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 below.

Please note that you can sign up for each event listed below by following the specified link. Also note that by signing up for each event you are agreeing to the MAPS Photo Outing Waiver of Liability.

You will be able to share your images with the others. You know the routine: 2000 pixels on the long side, saved as JPG with a sRGB color space, then you can drag and drop them to Google Photos using the link provided.

If you are not sure how to prepare or upload your images, please follow the detailed instructions in these documents:
==> How to prepare your images
==> How to upload your images


Schulenberg Prairie 60th Anniversary Project

This is a one year project with the intent to capture images of the Schulenberg Prairie during all four seasons.

  • Start: September 2021
  • End: October 2022

Where is the Schulenberg Prairie?

  • The Schulenberg Prairie is on the west side of The Morton Arboretum.
  • Start your visit at the Prairie Visitor Station, parking lot 25, which offers shade, enlightening exhibits, and portable restrooms.
  • West side main trail loops 3 and 4 also connect with the prairie trail loop. A short section of trail to an overlook is paved and accessible, but most trails are unpaved.

What should I photograph in the prairie?

  • The project is looking for a variety of images taken in all four seasons and can include plants, animals, birds, insects and landscapes taken early or late in the day, cloudy days, stormy days, rain, or snow. If you have older images in your files that you would like to upload, you can do that as well.

This project will culminate in October 2022. At that time, assuming COVID-19 precautions permit in-person exhibits, you will be given the opportunity to submit images for an exhibit to be held in the Sterling Morton Library.

After processing and saving your images as indicated at the top of this page, you can upload them in the relevant folders. You are also welcome to browse the images uploaded by fellow members.

Don’t forget, once you’ve uploaded your images to the MAPS website, everyone will be able to view them. It’s also possible that we might want to use some of them for promotional purposes.

More information on the Schulenberg Prairie can be found on the Arboretum’s website.


Upcoming Outings

Schulenberg Prairie – Saturday, September 25th, 8 to 11 am

  • Host: Joe Lunn
  • Guide: Karen Johnson
  • Where: Morton Arboretum – West Side – P25
  • Lunch: Gingko Cafe

The prairie should be in full autumnal splendor with dropping temperatures. If you never visited the prairie you will be in for a great surprise. There is such a variety of prairie plants, animals, birds, insects, and landscape opportunities.  You just can’t skip over the prairie, especially now during the yearlong celebration of Schulenberg!

Make sure you apply for your Arboretum timed entry pass.

And signup on the MAPS registration form so we know who to expect.

On Saturday:

  • Check in with Joe Lunn in the Schulenberg Prairie parking lot – P25.
  • Ask Joe and Karen any questions about the prairie.
  • Take a bunch of great images and enjoy your photography session!
  • Meet at the Ginkgo Restaurant and Café around 11 am for coffee, lunch, and conversation inspired by the prairie visit.

Submit & view processed images at Schulenberg Fall Photos.

You can read what to expect at Schulenberg and other prairies in the area with Cindy Crosby’s blog Tuesdays in the Tallgrass.


Recent Outings

Birdhaven/Pilcher Park, Joliet – August

There were quite a few hummingbirds in the morning. Migration in September will bring more and maybe not local hummingbirds. The flowers around the area were beautiful but the conservatory A/C broke and quite a few of the plants were destroyed. They are replanting and upgrading scenery such as a new waterfall. The koi are getting larger and the succulents/cacti are available for viewing.

There was more opportunity in the forest and creek. Birders were finding blue and green herons and egrets. It was a bit humid for some members causing them to vacate early. Only six out of twelve members who signed up showed up for the outing.

Please post as many of your images as you would like to share on the MAPS website. If you were unable to make the outing, feel free to post any photos you take at the Pilcher Park area during August.

View creatures and things images from the Pilcher Park outing.


Past Outings