“Meadow Run”

I’ve been talking a lot about Michigan lately, so I thought I’d take you to a different area of the country. Not too far away though.

This post brings us to one of my favorite places to go and just get away for some peace and quiet. As long as it’s not summertime mind you! πŸ˜‰ Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle PA.

I love the Laurel Highlands area for its beautiful forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, fast moving rivers and streams and more!

This image is from a wonderful area that is covered with trees, amazing rock formations, and rapidly flowing water called Meadow Run.

In early to late spring and also in autumn, you can quite often find this place all to yourself, or just maybe another photographer or two. In the warm weather especially after school lets out, and during the weekends it becomes another world. These rock formations below the water turn Meadow Run into a long water slide for the very daring.

I myself choose the quiet times like what you see here. In the late afternoon when the dappled light has faded and and a slight darkness comes upon the area, I can sit and breath in the beauty of nature. I can take my time setting up my tripod, and calmly go from one location to another looking for each new composition.

Just picture yourself Β here. Have a seat on one of the many rocky ledges. Watch the rapidly moving water flow, and feel the spray when it crashes against the rock formations along the way. Enjoy the feel of cool air as it rustles through the early spring leaves. When it gets a bit darker you might even catch a glimpse of a few deer moving through the forest.

I invite you into this peaceful frame. Take a minute to relax while gazing at the scene, and while your at it, try imagining the sounds of nature that surround you!

Enjoy!

"Meadow Run" Ohiopyle State Park, PA.
“Meadow Run”
Ohiopyle State Park, PA.

“Lookin Over the Blues”

Great news: Our snow has finally totally melted here!

I spent each day of this last week checking one particular spot to see if any crocus had popped up yet. I was thrilled to see one purple crocus yesterday. I think my excitement got the best of me. I have been going out several times a day to check on its progress, and just enjoy the simple beauty.

Now I’m talking about spring, and crocus. You might even expect I’d put up one of the many images I took of that one flower, but no, that’s not what today is all about.

I was looking back through some images from last spring. Early May to be exact. This one looked like the view I’d like to be seeing right now.

When I go to Shenandoah National Park I make sure to hike out to different locations especially to waterfalls. Sometimes though I just want to enjoy a leisurely drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains and stop at the easily accessible and wonderful overlooks along Skyline Drive.

One thing that I have appreciated ever since I was a child, was the look of the lovely stone walls that line many areas of the park.

I seem to have a special love of stone in general. Cobblestone streets, and buildings. The stones along Lake Superior and the walls they have built with them. Historical architecture built with many types of stone. You name it. I love it all!

In this simple scene below, I place just as much importance on the wall as I do the wondrous scene beyond it. Each stone carefully placed by hand, enhancing the natural beauty of Skyline Drive. Not only for looks, but for safety reasons as well.

So the next time you’re in Shenandoah National Park, look not only to the mountains, valleys and clouds. Look also to these walls which were originally built during the depression era. Walls that are at each of the 75 overlooks on the drive, as well as along much of the mountain sides!

As far as the park goes; Did you know that in 1939 the entrance fee for a car was 25 cents? Times sure have changed, and of course 25 cents went a lot further back then than it does now.

Times have changed but beauty still remains, and I thank those men that worked so hard, so long ago to make this place what is is today!

"Lookin Over the Blues"
“Lookin Over the Blues”

“Wawatam Lighthouse St. Ignace”

Ok…..Yep…..I’m still going back through images from late last summer. In fact I’m still processing images from last spring, but that’s another story altogether! Backlogged….procrastination…. πŸ˜‰

This image today is from St. Ignace Michigan in the beautiful Upper Peninsula.

This lighthouse which is called the Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, sits on Moran Bay on Lake Huron in the Straits of Mackinac.

The original location for this lighthouse was near Monroe Michigan, but had to be moved because of construction. It now sits on old railroad and ferry docks.

To me it looks beautiful against the blue sky and water. A perfect new home for this lovely lighthouse!

Located near it is a quiet beach and park. You can hear the waves lapping against the shore, the gulls making noise overhead, and feel the breeze coming in off Lake Huron.

Quite a lovely and peaceful place to just sit and relax! πŸ™‚

Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, Michigan.
Wawatam Lighthouse in St. Ignace, Michigan.

“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”

“Goose Dipping at Niagara”

Earlier this year, or should I say last year..oops. Yep, it’s 2014 now. I was at Niagara Falls for several days. On my last day there, and in the last few minutes of photographing the falls themselves, I noticed something on the very edge of one of the falls.

Upon closer inspection it was a goose, and not too far from it, a gull. He was just sitting casually, as if it were an every day occurrence to be on the edge of a huge waterfall! I was very concerned with the goose though, because in my mind, just one large push of water, and down it would go. Of course, geese do fly, and that is probably not what would have happened.

I didn’t have a long enough lens on to get a close-up, but that wasn’t really what I was there to photograph in the first place. I was able to get several images with the goose in the frame, however, I liked the composition of this one the best, even though he happens to be dipping his head into the water.

So after all is said and done, this image isn’t really about the goose at all, it’s really about Niagara Falls, the beauty, the flow of water, the wonderful colors, and the experience of being there. The goose was just an added bonus, and what a life he lives! On the edge, literally!

"Goose Dipping at Niagara"
“Goose Dipping at Niagara”

“My Special Farewell to 2013”

As the year is drawing to a complete close, I have been reflecting on many things that happened during 2013. I know in my last post I already gave you my 10 favorite, best, or best selling images of the year.

Now I’d like to share with you a few images from this past spring that have special meaning to me. As a lot of you know. I lost my father in May. It came without much notice, and I was not able to get to him in time before he passed away. I was driving from where I live, to the hospital he was in, in another state. The news reached me when I was halfway there.

I didn’t stop driving, in fact I might have driven even faster, with lots of tears a long the way. One thing I do feel good about is that I was able to have the chance to be with him in his hospital room for a short while after he had already passed away. Many of our family members gathered around my father, as we reflected upon his life, the lives he brought together and the gifts that he gave to the world.

He was a nature lover of the purist kind, he was someone who gave me my love of all the beauty out there, and how to enjoy and capture it. He never went anywhere without his camera in hand, which was something I learned very early on.

These next few images here were taken in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. A favorite place of his. A place where we were able to spend a lot of time together, and that we both have a special connection to.

 "Dark Skies Leaving" Late afternoon sunlight coming in as a thunderstorm pushes out across the mountains.
“Dark Skies Leaving”
Late afternoon sunlight coming in as a thunderstorm pushes out across the mountains.
 "Rainbow on the Ridge" A beautiful rainbow formed over the mountains as the storm passed!!
“Rainbow on the Ridge”
A beautiful rainbow formed over the mountains as the storm passed!!
  "Depth of Time" A final goodbye, an ending. The sun had set on this day, and on my father's life.  Beautiful clouds and fog moved in quickly as it got darker. I stayed there watching until I could see no more.
“Depth of Time”
A final goodbye, an ending. The sun had set on this day, and on my father’s life.
Beautiful clouds and fog moved in quickly as it got darker. I stayed there watching until I could see no more.

This year was one of great loss, but also of great wonder, depth, and blessings.

I wish you all the very best in this coming year, as we all travel along in this journey of life together!!

~ Peace ~

“Best of 2013”

As I have done for the past two years, this being the third year. I am posting my favorite, best, or most popular images of the year. Jim Goldstein has been gracious enough to host this for several years now.

This past year has been one of great change for me personally. My father passed away in the spring, which was a great loss for me.

At the same time in many ways it’s been a great year. I had more opportunity for travel, and was able to spend quite a bit of photography time during my favorite season…..autumn!!!

These images are from all through the year. Some are my personal favorites, others have been best sellers, while others represent special memories for me.

So in no particular order, I present this years. Best of 2013!

 "Maple Leaf Zen"
“Maple Leaf Zen”

 "Flow of Golden Ribbons"

"Ghostly Gales"
“Ghostly Gales”
 "Skies of Grand Marais"
“Skies of Grand Marais”
"Munising Falls"
“Munising Falls”
"Rolling with the Mack"
“Rolling with the Mack”
 "Spray at Whitefish Point"
“Spray at Whitefish Point”
"Fluttering Maple" 3
“Fluttering Maple” 3
 "Blue Ridge Bounty"
“Blue Ridge Bounty”
 "Autumn Spectacle"
“Autumn Spectacle”

These are 10 images. I could go on and on, especially in the autumn department LOL, but I will leave you with these to look at and enjoy.

As always if anyone is interested in purchasing a print, just click on the link in the menu bar, or the one on the right side of this post.

Wishing everyone the best in this coming new year!! πŸ™‚

“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

“Walking Grand Marais”

Hi everyone. I think I’ll call this talk-less Tuesday! A short post! πŸ˜‰

This beautiful walkway, or boardwalk out to the shores along Lake Superior was a lovely surprise to me. Heading up all around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula I decided to take a more scenic and longer route from Sault Saint Marie to Munising. Part of that way included passing through Grand Marais MI.

I drove straight up through the tiny quaint and charming town to this spot. I took a few shots, and spent some time walking around the beach. The sun was warm, the breeze was cool, and the water crystal clear, and blue!!

All in all a lovely place and a beautiful scene!! πŸ™‚

“Walking Grand Marais”

-Walking Grand Marais-