I was going through some of my photographs recently of The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that I made during a Mid-June trip. I found these two images of a very beautiful, humid, and stormy summer day in the mountains!
The clouds were dark and heavy as was the air all around. The kind of air with humidity that gives layers of haze in the distance, and feels thick to breathe.
The forests were full of trees and were a lush green from previous rains, giving beautiful contrasts of colors in both greens and blues!
I’m looking forward to heading back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Shenandoah National Park sometime this spring or summer. There’s always an ever changing landscape there just waiting for me around the bend!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!! 🙂
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.
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!!
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!
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!! 🙂
When I think of time spent out in nature, to me it’s time well spent. On one of my visits into Shenandoah National Park. I stopped at the Dickey Ridge Visitors Center.
It was really quiet. There had been storms and fog, in and out of the area that day, so there weren’t many people there. The ones that were there had a lovely scenic vista and relative peace and quiet!
This view caught my eye, I really wanted to get the bench into the scene. I waited to see if I would be able to capture it without anyone there, but that didn’t happen during my short time at Dickey Ridge. I needed to move on down the road to some trails that were calling my name! 🙂 I decided to capture this scene with one person sitting enjoying a bite to eat, taking in the fresh mountain air, and scenic view. Another person off to the side readied herself to take some photos without feeling hurried by other people, just taking it all in.
I rarely include people in my images, but in this instance I’m really glad that I did. They add a dimension to the photo that makes it more complete.
As we head into the last stretches of summer, into the fall season. I find myself still processing images from springtime.
So enjoy spring in my images now, and summer outdoors while it’s still here. For soon I shall be posting lots of autumn wonder, and fall foliage!! 🙂
This past spring I had the opportunity to spend some time not only in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but also a little wandering around some small towns, especially Front Royal, Virginia. My favorite area of course was the historic district.
This scene is of part of the town square, which isn’t actually shaped like a square, but it is a lovely park with a beautiful gazebo in the center, in the historic district.
I decided to go really wide with this shot. I would like to have had a Fisheye, but didn’t have one unfortunately! Maybe next time! 🙂
The colors and tones really came out nicely against the beauty of the blue sky and clouds. It was a picture perfect day!!
After spending a few hours walking up and down the streets of Front Royal, I headed up into the mountains. The weather you see here was totally different from what I experienced just a few miles away, and a couple of thousand feet higher in elevation.
If you’ve been checking out any of my images on 500px. You may have noticed that! 🙂