Nichols Arboretum Spring Walk

“Down a Lovely Woodland Path”
A refreshing morning walk at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan during mid spring when all was lush and green!
“Rhododendron Path”
This area of Nichols Arboretum with the gorgeous rhododendron bushes is one I often seem to miss each spring because of the short blooming season, but this year I was able to enjoy the full range of blossoms and colors!
“Rhododendron Bushes Abloom”
Spectacular deep vivid and light pink rhododendron blossoms on beautiful spring day at Nichols Arboretum!
“Rhododendron Blushing Beauty”
Soft and subtle pink rhododendron blossoms hidden in the shade!
“Orange Rhododendron in Hiding”
This image is a personal favorite. The deep orange hues of these blossoms and gorgeous greens of the foliage were just amazing this year and I was so happy that I could capture it

After quite a bleak winter and early spring of 2020 I thought I would bring you some beautiful, colorful, and relaxing images. I have stayed home almost exclusively for many months now, and will continue to do so, but I was able to venture out on a handful of occasions into local nature areas and these are just some of the refreshing and happy moments on my walk in Nichols Arboretum during late spring.

I wish for all of you around the world the peace and strength to get through this difficult time and I hope that some time in the near future things make a huge change for the better!

Happiness, Health, and Much Love to All!

“Aquatic Reflections”

Spring has finally arrived here and even though almost nothing has bloomed yet in terms of flowers, I always enjoy when plants of any type start bursting forth from the ground. In this case actually from the shallow waters of a pond, just a preview of things to come.

In this photograph of aquatic reflections you can see the reflection of trees as well as that of the sky and clouds in both the foreground and background. Green plants that are growing just below the water’s surface are beautiful, as well as the vertical shadows that the cattails cast on the surface of the water.

This is a very simple composition, and I like all of the elements it has. Originally I thought of this only as a color photograph because of the beautiful greens, as a sign of spring.

I decided to do a black and white conversion though and really liked the feeling of contrast in the image as well.

I’m really looking forward to the changes this spring will bring, and surely hoping that we won’t have any more freezing temperatures that damage blossoms this year!

I wish a very happy spring to all of you, with plenty of outdoor adventures and beauty!

“Pond Plants in Reflection”
Cattails in the shallow depths of a pond in spring with reflections and shadows!

“One is Not Like the Other”

It’s summer and it’s such a great time of year to get out in nature so I’ve been taking full advantage of the warm days and great things happening in the garden and other local green areas!

Here are a few photographs of my recent nature abstracts from the garden. I hope you enjoy them! πŸ™‚

Ferns in a simple but beautiful pattern.

"Fern"
“Fern”

Green ground cover with a few of the rosettes having bloomed yellow.

"Yellow on Green"
“Yellow on Green”

Green ground cover in the shape of rosettes.

"Living Green"
“Living Green”

These purple flowers have just begun to burst forth.

"Never Ending Dream"
“Never Ending Dream”

Here’s the one image that is not like the other! These purple flowers are just starting to bloom. There are rows of them dreamily layered behind each other!

Have a wonderful week everyone! πŸ™‚

“Palm Fronds and Shadows”

Last spring, after the long winter we had experienced in the Midwest, I felt that I needed to see something that looked like spring, even though it surely didn’t look or feel like it outside!

I took a day to myself and went to the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids Michigan. I walked leisurely around the entire inside of this wonderful sanctuary, away Β from the winter doldrums, and finally ended up in The Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.

There were lovely tropical plants and flowers everywhere. I enjoyed everything, and of course photographed too many flowers and plants to count, but sometimes it’s the little things that really capture your attention.

In this case I was strolling past some very large palm fronds. The light from above was just barely shining through. I looked up and noticed the shadows of leaves of another plant as it hung above the palm leaves. What a lovely sight! I just had to make a few photographs of these fronds and shadows! If you know me, you’ll know that one of my other favorite things is finding nature abstracts. This to me fit the bill! πŸ™‚

The image to me imparts a hint of mystery and also a feeling of peace. The combinations of green hues and Β the darker but subtle shadows of the leaves, seemed just perfect!

Enjoy!

"Palm Frond"
“Palm Frond”

“Simple Garden Delights”

These are just a few of my simple garden delights.

This toadstool sprouted up one morning after quite a few days of rain and damp weather. I watched it grow from infancy to old age in a matter of four days. What a marvelous, yet simple thing to behold. Each day I eagerly waited to see what its next state of maturation would look like. All the time hoping no harm would befall it, and worrying that I might come out to find it crushed or destroyed.

"Toadstool"
“Toadstool”

On a late summer evening not long before sunset as I walked among the flowers, I made my way through the beds of roses and this lovely lady in pink gave me reason to stop enjoy her delicate scent and marvel at her wonders.

"Lady Pink"
“Lady Pink”

Early morning dew has a way of casting its magic across any landscape. In the grass, way down low, I lay quietly. I knew I would be covered with the wetness of the ground, but that didn’t matter. There was a whole world of dancing lights at my disposal. From near to far I watched as the sun rose higher until everything was golden and glistening! A tiny glorious moment in time, twinkling forever!

"Sparkling Morning Dew"
“Sparkling Morning Dew”

These small moments alone with nature are so important. They give us the much needed connection to something greater than ourselves. The time to simply watch and listen to the world around us. A few moments away from the rush of our lives, and the constant connection to technology that we are so immersed in.

What simple things delight you, make you curious? What do you enjoy in this wonderful natural world around us?

“The Laurel Highlands”

In our last post we visited the vast shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula of MI., on a beautiful windy day. Today I bring you another image in the same colors and hues, lovely greens and blues, but in a totally different setting. The beautiful Laurel Highlands area of Pennsylvania.

This area encompasses many towns,counties, resorts, historic sights, state forests, ski resorts, and some wonderful architecture!

In this view you’ll see some of the area around Ohiopyle PA., where Ohiopyle State Park is located. The views are spectacular especially on days like this one here. Forests in all shades of green. Blue skies filled with large cumulus clouds that cast shadows in shapes across the mountains and valleys.

In Ohiopyle State Park and vicinity, you’ll find plenty to do if you want to enjoy nature to its fullest. Hiking trails galore, kayaking down the Youghiougheny River, a visit to Cucumber Falls and more.

This day is a perfect one for taking in the wonders of the natural world, and casting all of our cares aside.

Take a deep relaxing breath, and Enjoy! πŸ™‚

The Laurel Highlands of PA.
The Laurel Highlands of PA.

“The Answer is Blowin in the Wind”

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind…..

The answer is carried on a strong wind as it blows through tall grasses along the shores of Lake Michigan. Streams of white and blue swirl through the sky as if to say we are going in our own direction.

Streaming, swirling, waves a pounding.

Grasses wild, clouds surrounding.

Winds do blow, sky’s a glow.

The answer only Lake Michigan does know….

"The Answer is Blowin in the Wind"
“The Answer is Blowin in the Wind”

“Through Shadow Woods”

As we slowly approach spring. I have begun to process some images from last spring that I hadn’t had the chance to get around to.

This image is from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. In this particular area the trees are tall and straight. The sunlight streams through, leaving areas of shadow and either filtered light in summer when the trees are full, or bright light in spring when leaves are just starting their re-growth.

There is one area on Skyline Drive in this section of trees that has a small place to be able to pull over, get out and walk the trails, to feel the immense height and stunning beauty of the forest.

I never tire of this place, gazing at its grandeur, inhaling the scent of the earth, relishing the warmth of the sun as it rains down, and enjoying the shade when summer heat comes.

I took many images of the trees themselves, some while gazing straight up, some using a wide angle lens to get in as much of the scene as possible.

For this image I got down in the middle of the road, hearing nothing but silence all around me. No cars coming in any direction. I felt the beauty of the road within the woods. I embraced the shadows and light. I could feel how it must feel to be an automobile passing through this greatness. What a beautiful feeling that is!

I passed through this special place at least 10 times last spring, and each time I marveled at its wonders, and never tired of seeing it again and again!

I can only imagine what it would be like to experience this in autumn, with colors of every hue! For now I shall save that for another day, and another time. Instead I will enjoy the pure green beauty of spring. One that has yet to come to most of us. Elusive this year, but in the end I’m sure it will arrive.

I hope you can get a sense of the feelings that I described here! Enjoy your piece of spring!! πŸ™‚

"Through Shadow Woods"
“Through Shadow Woods”

“Munising Falls”

What do you do when you’re at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore and it rains the whole time your there?

I had originally planned on taking in the beautiful deep turquoise and aqua hued waters of Lake Superior. Enjoying the intense colors and vast vistas against the wonderful rock formations of Pictured Rocks.

But that wasn’t the way it went. So when things don’t go as planned, do you just through in the towel? Do you lounge around your hotel room watching longingly out the window for the weather to change, or sit in your tent, wishing you were back home?

Well, if you do, you shouldn’t! You just need to be prepared for all types of weather, not only with your gear, but in your mind!

Just go out and photograph what you can when the weather is dark, skies are overcast, and rain is coming down whether it is a drizzle or heavy rainfall!

In this case here, I ended up spending several days taking in many of the beautiful waterfalls in the Munising area. Cloudy days are perfect for waterfalls. You don’t have to try and deal with the deep contrast of light and shadow that you would have to on bright sunny days.

Just make sure to bring a sturdy tripod, some type of waterproof camera cover, many micro-fiber lens cleaning cloths, and maybe a good pair of boots!

In wet weather a good rain sleeve for your camera is the best idea, but in a pinch you can always use shower caps from the hotel, or a couple of plastic bags secured with duct tape.

Don’t let the weather keep you from getting out and doing what you love! Don’t let it keep you from taking advantage of your photography trip, or your long awaited vacation.

Get out there and have fun no matter what the skies may bring!! πŸ™‚

“Munising Falls” 2

Munising Falls

“Green Climb”

“Green Climb”

There’s something so beautiful to me at least, about climbing plants. I love English Ivy along brick walls. I love the ability of these hardy plants to survive and thrive among walls, buildings, trees and such!
Although in reality these plants may be parasitic or harmful to their host, they do so with such grace and dignity!
I’m not sure of this variety of ivy or plant, but I found it climbing in the cement indentations of an old building.
To me it says “charm”!
Enjoy!! πŸ™‚