“Garden Bench Floral”

While anxiously awaiting the dawn of what I hope will be a springtime full of abundant blossoms and flowers, I thought I’d take a moment and share an image from last summer.

This winter has been quite long, and even though the calender says spring, it still feels and looks more like winter.

This lovely garden bench with flowers growing around and through it, gives a glimpse of good times to come. An image from the garden during the most prolific time here, which is late summer.

I included some garden quotes and proverbs below. Enjoy!

"Garden Bench Floral"
“Garden Bench Floral”

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
~ Victor Hugo ~

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.
~ David Hobson ~

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
~ Greek proverb ~

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.
~ Allan Armitage ~

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!
~ Irish Blessing ~

“It’s All Mine”

A brief encounter with a gull and a fish just before the fish was devoured! This gull looks like he’s very satisfied with himself as if he’s saying “It’s all mine.”

"I Got It"
“I Got It”
"Yep It's Mine"
“Yep It’s Mine”
"Whatcha Lookin At"
“Whatcha Lookin At”
"It's All Mine"
“It’s All Mine”
"My Catch"
“My Catch”

Just after this frame he flew down onto the ground and in a flash, the fish was gone!

“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

All I can say about this winter so far is, BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! Brrrrr, it’s truly amazing how many records of low-lows, low-highs, and snow we’ve had over a large portion of the United States this year!

I really haven’t been out and participated in as many winter activities this year, or last year for that matter as I normally would have. Maybe I’ll still have time to get in some skiing before the season ends. We’ll see! 🙂

I did decide to go out into the crazy cold weather for a sunset a couple of days ago along the Huron River. While waiting for the clouds to break up and for some color to begin, I found some nice rocks and ice just under and a bit out from the water flow of a small dam.

There were whole areas that were frozen, but in general this section still had water flowing over the dam. The area of the Huron river above the dam appears totally covered in ice, but obviously there is still some water flowing, albeit a lot less than in warmer weather.

I began photographing single rocks with ice, and ice formations only, which were in the opposite direction, then I just took my time enjoying making some long exposures of the water flow. The sunset had decidedly become a dud. Thick clouds had pretty much taken over everything.

A flock of ducks flew into the area at one point just bobbing around in the water, and occasionally hopping up on the rocks.

In this frame, the sun had already set, so it was pretty dark outside. The water was flowing nicely, and a couple of ducks at either end of the image were making their ghostly appearance. Some of the rocks and stones had “hats” of snow on them and ice hanging from around them. The whole scene just had a nice feel to it.

I stayed for a good 30 minutes just making long exposures, one composition after another. At the time I wasn’t feeling the cold and wind of the heavy winter temps outside. That changed though after I headed up the hill towards the car. I guess I had been partially protected from the winds where I was before. Boy did I feel it after I arrived at the car!

I started thinking on the way home……..maybe I’ll go somewhere and do some floral photography until winter finishes! 😉

"Winter's Ghostly Flow"
“Winter’s Ghostly Flow”

“Presque Isle Harbor”

Beautiful Presque Isle Harbor, or Marquette Bay on a late spring day! You might not be able to notice right off that it was a warm weather day, but the temperatures were actually in the lower 80’s F! The ice from the long winter had been so thick there was still plenty of it around.

Each of these three images are from different vantage points along the long rock jetty or breakwater located in the bay off of Presque Isle in Marquette MI. The Breakwater lighthouse is located at the end of the jetty and on this warm day you can see people enjoying the sun and the amazing ice from the huge rock wall!

Marquette Michigan is located in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. In my personal opinion this Great Lake is stunning at any time of the year, and this location happened to be really beautiful that day with the glistening white ice on the blue waters of the bay!

"Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse"
“Marquette Breakwater Lighthouse”
"Presque Isle Harbor Light"
“Presque Isle Harbor Light”
"Spring on Ice"
“Spring on Ice”

“Winter Forest”

On a very very cold winters walk not too long ago, I ventured out towards the woods. The trees and everything else I could see, was covered in gorgeous glistening Rime Ice. Well, I say Rime Ice because it didn’t seem to meet the conditions for Hoar Frost. If you think you can tell the difference, feel free to leave me a note!

The sun had only been up for a short while when I first went out, but by the time I reached this location it had been out for a while. Still low enough though to capture the beauty of the sunlight on the branches. There were some pretty nice long shadows on the snow also.

I came away with totally frozen fingers despite wearing gloves, but it sure was lovely! We’ve had so many dreary winter days so far this winter. Today happened to be one of them, but on this day here, the sun was shining brightly with pure blue skies.
At least for a couple of hours or so till the clouds moved it! 😉

"Frosty Forest"
“Frosty Forest”

Beautiful sunlight on frosty trees.

"Forest Shadows"
“Forest Shadows”

Sunlight through frosty trees and long shadows on the snow! I decided to go monochrome on both of these images. I think it works well here. How about you?

“In the Heart of Winter”

“In the Heart of winter”

A path so light yet cold through winter boots,
Trees lined, tangled and heavily laden,
This I find in the heart of winter.

A biting cold, light snow coming down,
Small branches covered in white,
This I find in the heart of winter.

A trail not smooth it’s fraught with lumps,
One persons walk is another’s ski strides,
This I find in the heart of winter.

Heavy skies downy white,
North winds blow bringing in flakes each one not akin to the other.
This I find in the heart of winter.

Some skies hold a promise others do not,
The fruit of the sky lies in waiting on endless branches.
This too I find in the heart of winter.

~Rachel Cohen ~

"Winter's Silence"
“Winter’s Silence”

“Best of 2014”

Well, another year is nearly over and a new adventure about to begin! As is customary as the year comes to a close, I usually bring out ten of my best images of 2014, or actually my favorite images from the year. These are not in any particular order, but as you look through them you might see a familiar theme within almost all of the images! That theme involves water.

This first image is one taken in early autumn at Miner’s Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had tried to time my fall foliage trips to coincide with peak color. Well that didn’t always go as planned. Fall was a bit difficult to chase this year LOL!

"Miner's Falls in October"
“Miner’s Falls in October”

In this next image you’ll notice a very turbulent looking Lake Michigan. What a beautiful day that was! Forty-Fifty mile an hour winds with wild and dramatic clouds swirling by!

"As the World Turns"
“As the World Turns”

During the spring I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite locations in Pennsylvania, The Laurel Highlands. These next two images are from there. First is an area called Meadow Run. A beautiful fast running stream, that at times looks more like a river, and also like rapids.

"Meadow Run" 2
“Meadow Run” 2

This next image is of Cucumber Falls also in the same area of PA. I really love these falls. I’ve seen them many times, during drought, moderate rain, and during periods of good rain. I think this was during a good time with a strong flow of water. Cucumber Falls is a popular place to go, but if you get there when no one else is there, it’s pure Magic!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

In keeping with this theme of water, and of my search for fall color during this autumn, I made it up to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. I was rewarded with some pretty good color at the time. It wasn’t at peak, but it was beautiful!

"Tahquamenon Falls Autumn"
“Tahquamenon Falls Autumn”

As you’ll see here, these are really not in chronological order at all. Below you’ll find beautiful Miner’s Castle, located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. It might look like it was photographed at some point during the winter, but this was actually in late May. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior were still having quite a bit of ice coverage even in late spring!

"Miner's Castle on Ice"
“Miner’s Castle on Ice”

While in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in early summer I had the chance to not only photograph the mountains and valleys, but also the wildflowers. This one here made a big impression on me, and as it turns out is one of the endangered wildflowers around the Blue Ridge Parkway area of Virginia.

"Gray's Lily"
“Gray’s Lily”

A beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you might say is not unusual, but on this particular trip it happened to be. I didn’t find very cooperative weather for most of the two times I was there this year. I really enjoyed the beautiful weather when I had it though!

"Blue Ridge by Daylight"
“Blue Ridge by Daylight”

As many of you know, I usually go up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pretty often. If you haven’t been there, you must cross the Mackinac Bridge to get from the lower part of MI. to the UP. This beautiful bridge is a five mile long suspension bridge which crosses over the straits of Mackinac. I often photograph the bridge in the daylight, but not often at night. This image was one of many night images taken on this particular trip.

"Mackinac Reflections"
“Mackinac Reflections”

Here you’ll find a study in minimalism. A wonderful sunrise over Lake Huron. The hues were gorgeous, the color lasted for quite a long time, and gave me a time to not only spend time photographing it, but just enjoying the peaceful moment.

"Soothing"
“Soothing”

On that note I would like to thank you all for stopping by not only for this post, but for others all through these past years!

I wish everyone much peace, blessings, and many happy moments not only behind the camera, but in all aspects of your lives!

Here we come 2015! Get Ready……..

“If This then That”

Maybe you’re wondering what I mean with the title “If This then That”. Well many times when I see an object, which in this case is the (This), my mind immediately goes to the idea of (then That). Which translates into making that object an abstract. As some of you might know, I really love free flowing form!

During the fall there were many times I’d see really colorful trees, but not the kind that would make a beautiful macro, or even a full tree photograph. These trees or leaves were not without a lot of flaws, they might have been diseased, or maybe it was really low light as it was almost dark.

Here below are two examples of  simple trees with fall color, and also two examples of the abstract motion blur images that I made out of those trees.

If you enjoy abstract photographs, then I think you’ll enjoy these!

 

Here are the fall leaves, I honestly have no clue what kind of tree this is.

"Fall Leaves"
“Fall Leaves”

 

Then this is “Pirouette”, a free form, flowing abstract.

"Pirouette"
“Pirouette”

 

These are yellow leaves of some sort, and red berries.

"Yellow Leaves and Berries"
“Yellow Leaves and Berries”

 

Then this is the golden yellow abstract I made called “Swirling Autumn”

"Swirling Autumn"
“Swirling Autumn”

If for some reason you’ve never tried any abstract photography, motion blur, tree panning, or anything with a longer shutter speed. I urge you to give it a try.
The subject certainly doesn’t have to be leaves or trees. You can literally take just about anything and make into something very free-form, light spirited, and fun!

Get out there and have a great time! 🙂

 

 

“Yes, I Am Thankful”

Yes, I am thankful!

Not because this is Thanksgiving in this very tiny part of the world.

In fact I do not single out one day of the year to be thankful. I choose instead to keep this day as any other, and be grateful as always for the many blessings that I continue to enjoy all year long!

I thought I would though, take a moment and acknowledge just a few of those people, and things that I am so very blessed with.

I am so very thankful to be alive! Do you realize how totally amazing that actually is? We are alive!

I am so grateful to have a wonderful family, a roof over my head, plenty of food  to eat, not just today, but all year long, warm clothes, and the freedom to pursue my dreams! Yes, my dreams! That is amazing also!

I want to thank all of you that have been my friends and supporters through all of these years. I may not know all of you in person, but you’ve made a difference in my life, yes you have!  I count you among my friends, and I hope that I have made even just a tiny bit of difference in your lives too!

I am thankful to be put on this earth at this time, the time that was meant for me to be here. Even with all of the problems facing us as a human race  today, we still have more opportunities for personal growth, the ability to enjoy better health, we are able to make more choices for our lives, and most of all we have the ability to help others.

In helping others it can be something as little as a Smile given in charity to a stranger, kind words of encouragement given when someone is having a bad day, or donating time and money to a worthy cause. We can make a difference! We in this year 2014 and every year after, have the opportunity and responsibility to give of ourselves to help others. I am thankful for the ability to do that!

Here are just a few of my favorite quotes on being thankful and having gratitude. Enjoy!

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.
These are but trifles, to be sure;
but, scattered along life’s pathway,
the good they do is inconceivable.

~Joseph Addison~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today,
and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~Melody Beattie~

The best and most beautiful things in this world
cannot be seen or even heard,
but must be felt with the heart.

~Helen Keller~

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation,
you will discover that your life will
suddenly be filled with gratitude,
a feeling that nurtures the soul.

~Rabbi Harold Kushner~

 

"In Red and Gold"
“In Red and Gold”

“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  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! 🙂

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

Enjoy!

"Palm Frond"
“Palm Frond”