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!
Here we are at the end of 2015, and what a year it’s been! As I’ve done for the past four years in a row, I am posting my favorite images of this past year. Not necessarily the best, but my personal faves. It was hard to narrow it down to only ten, but I finally did after a lot of going back and forth. These are not in any particular order and are of several different subjects. I hope you enjoy them! If you would like to look at my 2014 year in review you can check that out here. Best of 2014
Jim Goldstein in his Blog Project has hosted the year in review or top 10 images on his blog for a number of years, and I always look forward to it! There are photographers from all around the world with amazing images! I hope you’ll check out his blog and take a look at the wonderful array of photographers and gather inspiration from their images! His post should be up in the early part of January 2016!
As we end this year and head into 2016, I’d like to wish everyone and their families all the best in the New Year. I wish you all good health, good times, plenty of adventures and family to enjoy it with!
I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes:
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. ~ Edward Abbey ~
I always enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset, especially over a body of water. The clouds and colorful hues are reflected on the surface making it absolutely glorious! Scroll down to see two sunset and one sunrise image from this summer on two of the Great Lakes.
I’ve also included several quotes on the topic of sunrise and sunset. Enjoy!
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
~ George R.R. Martin ~
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
~ Jo Walton ~
“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
~ Vera Nazarian ~
“The blue of daylight
fades and chills as the sun sinks
beneath clouds of fire.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich ~
“The sunset was a splendid display. I wondered if it was showing off for my benefit or if it was often that spectacular. Rarely had I seen such a gorgeous scene; the riotous colors flamed out over the sky in shades that I had no words to describe. Birds sang their last songs of the day before tucking in for the night, and still the darkness hung back. Now, I thought, I understand the word “twilight.” It was created for just this time – in this land.”
~ Janette Oke ~
“But even the longest day wears to sunset.”
~ Marion Zimmer Bradley ~
We’re going back again to Ohiopyle State Park in this image, to Cucumber Falls. Located in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, this spot is a popular place to visit. So popular that it is sometimes hard not to find people in the water below the falls in the hot summer months.
It took quite a bit of time to not only have the waterfall seemingly to myself, but to also have a relatively even lighting situation.
I have photographed these falls on several occasions. The dappled and sometimes harsh lighting conditions can be difficult during most of the day.
I was able to take advantage of the morning light this particular visit, and was really happy that I did.
It really is a feast for the senses. You can hear the roar of the water as it comes over the rocky ledge to the pool below. Next you feel the coolness of the air from the spray of the falls and the darkness of the deep woods. Lastly you can smell the heavy scent of earthiness from the damp dirt to the abundant moss and lichen that cover the rocks below.
There’s just nothing like being able to get out into nature. Whether it is a short walk in a small garden to smell the flowers, a strenuous hike in a mountainous area, or something in-between like the enjoyment of a beautiful waterfall.
For me I feel the need to get out every day, to see and feel the beauty that is all around. We can all do that, no matter where we are. It is a must for my soul, and you may feel the same way too.
Tell me about the way you enjoy the simple things in nature, what feeds your soul!
Believe it or not. For some reason, until this year. I had never taken the time to visit Niagara Falls. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. For sure you can see that the Canadian side is much more built up, and has a myriad of opportunities for activity, nightlife, dining, hotels etc.
What surprised me though was the raw natural beauty and the hidden gem of what used to be, but has somehow become forgotten on the american side. Although I did see some renovations going on, and some areas that looked newly renovated!
There were people there from all over the country, and the world in general. There were also a lot of Canadians coming across to get a look at the U.S. side, and to see their side from our point of view.
The image here is of the Rainbow Bridge to Canada. It was viewed from a tall platform above the Niagara River. You can get a sense of the beauty of the river, the bridge, and the activities on the Canadian side.
What you don’t see here is the immense beauty of the actual falls, and the other nature surrounding them on the U.S. side.
I’ll be giving you a taste of that sometime in the future.
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!! 🙂