“Some Days are Just Perfect”

You know how some days are just perfect? There’s a certain feel in the air, and somehow you feel more open to the world, open to the world of possibilities! The weather might be perfect, or maybe not. It doesn’t matter though, because to you it is “just perfect”!

Well that’s how I felt on this day. I’m not even sure of the exact location of this lake, but when I saw it while driving, I knew that I had to turn around, find a way to get to it, and spend some time there.

The day was cool but the sun was warm. It’s rays just touching and warming my shoulders and arms. There was a slight breeze, not a lot, just enough to send small delicate ripples through the water. The sky seemed to go on forever with beautiful clouds that cast slight reflections on the water.

Ducks and geese made their way casually through the water grasses and out into the open lake. I stayed watching the clouds move across the sky, and the ducks glide across the water for quite a while. Just drinking in the soothing deliciousness of the day till I knew I had taken in my fill!

I am longing for one of those days now, and I have high hopes for one with spring weather just knocking ever so gently at the door.

The winter seems behind us now, but just barely. Enough though to breath a sigh of relief, and look forward to those warm rays of sunshine kissing my skin and nourishing my soul!

I wish you all a wonderful week and I hope that you find your perfect day over and over again!

"Just Perfect"
“Just Perfect”

“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”

“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……..

“Flowing Water”

 

Earlier this fall I made more than one trip up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I was trying to capture the fall color at the right times in several different locations. Well that didn’t exactly go as planned. Probably Murphy’s Law! ๐Ÿ˜‰
I did manage to get to some locations though at the best time for color! ๐Ÿ™‚

During my trips I did have quite a few “bad weather days”. Some are the kind you feel you just have to go out in to experience the raw power of nature. Other times it seemed a good time to kick back and relax, to just wait for things to clear.

One of my favorite subjects to photograph on those cloudy dreary days, which I encountered quite a bit, are waterfalls. I made it to several falls this time in the Munising area near Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore.

Munising Falls is one of them. It was rainy, getting close to sunset, and quite breezy, but oh so beautiful! ย This is one of many images I made at the falls. I love to watch the flowing water!

"Munising Falls in the beginning of autumn.
“Munising Falls in the beginning of autumn.

The area if your not familiar with it, is an easy trail from the car to the falls. A Ranger station is located on the site. There are three platformed viewing areas but the main location which is the first one you’ll see is by far the best one for good access to the view. I enjoyed talking with the rangers that are on staff there, they are quite friendly and knowledgeable, and very happy to answer any questions you may have.

I made many photographs of the falls and surrounding rock formations, many I have up on my site already. This image instead of giving you a full view of Munising Falls, as I have in other photos, is a tighter crop that shows off the flow of water and rock behind it.

I can imagine many other places where I’d like to stand in order to get closer or to get more interesting compositions, but there are pretty strict park rules about where you can and cannot go. These rules to some might seem restrictive, but in order to preserve the rock formations, plants and other forms of nature in the area they must be followed.

Often times when in locations such as these you’ll find people going over or under fences, heading off of the specified trails and disobeying park rules. What we all need to understand is that the rules are there to protect the beauty we are seeing. To protect the fragile plants, the amazing rock formations, and the habitat for so many forms of wildlife.

If everyone were to ignore the rules and guidelines, then what we see today would not be there in the same form for very long. That would be a sad situation indeed.

I encourage all of you to visit our natural areas, the parks, wilderness, preserves, and shores, local, state, and national. While your there enjoy all of the beauty the place has to offer, while still obeying the rules!

“The Beginning and End”

Last month on a fall color trip I got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and sunset on two of the Great Lakes.

What a soothing and peaceful sunrise I had this day on Lake Huron! The only sounds to be heard were of gulls, ducks, and geese as they appeared on the scene as daylight broke! This was the beginning.

"Peace at Sunrise"
“Peace at Sunrise”

After a day of hunting for scenic places with fall color I went out along Lake Michigan for a sunset. It was what I call a nearly endless sunset. It didn’t get going with much color at first, but when it did, it didn’t want to stop! I stayed photographing the color until I knew I really had to leave. Even after I left the scene I had a hard time keeping my eye off of the side and rear view mirror as the color kept changing!

Red Sky at Night.
Red Sky at Night.

You know what they say about Red Sky at Night? A sailors delight! I have to say that it was for sure, the night was clear and the waters smooth. The next day also brought beautiful clear weather. I guess the mariners of old knew their skies! ๐Ÿ™‚

“Autumn in the Country”

I hope that everyone has been enjoying a beautiful fall season so far! For those of you on the other side of the world I hope spring is off to a lovely start!

For the most part in my area of the country ย the fall color has started to fade. I think that I captured as many memories and images as I could, hopefully enough to last me through till next autumn! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This year for some reason seems to have had more than it’s usual share of dark cloudy days with rain and lots of wind too. I try not to let the weather hinder me from going out and enjoying whatever is thrown my way, at least most of the time.

As for these images below. One of them was taken recently, of course on a dark cloudy day! This one happens to be at a local nature preserve. There were many gorgeous and huge maple trees, but the leaves on a smaller one really got my attention. The range of colors on just one tree, so close together on its branches is amazing to me. The wonders of the natural world!! A veritable kaleidoscope of colors!!

"Those Autumn Leaves"
“Those Autumn Leaves”

This next image was taken during a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Oh yes, it’s true, I seem to go there often and I love it!! The multitude of long country roads just waiting to be explored is amazing!!

I didn’t end up following this dirt road as far as it went, but long enough to enjoy the fall color all around me. The darkness of the grey sky with its drizzle every now and then didn’t put a damper on these colors for sure!

I had really wanted to make it out to the Porcupine Mountains in the far western part of the Upper Peninsula this autumn, but that just didn’t work out. I know there are so many amazing places to see there. I guess that will have to wait till another time.

Have you been able to get in all of your fall travel plans? Did things go as expected, or was the weather uncooperative? Tell me about what you’ve been up to during this glorious time of year!!

"Autumn in the Country"
“Autumn in the Country”

“As the World Turns”

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

Recently I read about a challenge to photographers to write a 1,000 word blog post about only one image. To describe it without adding in camera or lens info.

Well I’m not actually joining the challenge, but I thought it was interesting. I have no idea how much I could actually say about any one image.

Many photographers are fantastic writers, and give in depth important information not only about their image but possibly the city, their trip, the country, the processing, the environment or ecology etc.

For me I’m more likely to slip into a creative mood and write poetry to go with my images. Lately I haven’t been in one of those more creative times though. I know, everyone goes through it, there’s always an ebb and flow.

Tonight I’m not in a poetic mood, but I can see where this photo could be a lead into some nice moody poetry.

To see this image larger just click on it. I hope you can get the feel of drama and motion I experienced on this very turbulent day on Lake Michigan.

As I drove down US 2, on the southern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I noticed the skies start to become much more dramatic. I had left behind a dull, flat, cloudy sky in Munising MI. By the time I reached areas of accessible shoreline I knew I just had to pull over. I was afraid these gorgeous churning skies would soon disappear, and that would have been a shame.

The winds were blowing at a steady 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 45. I grabbed my gear and headed towards the beach. When I passed through all of the sand grass on the dunes I noticed that there wasn’t even enough beach there to actually set up my gear. The water was so high and waves coming in so quickly that I decided to stay up in the tall grassy area on the small dunes.

I got quite a few frames from many different angles. I knew at that time with the clouds as beautiful as they were I would want to process these not only in color, but as monochrome also.

To give you a feel of what it was like that day I first have to say that it was invigorating! The temperatures were on the chilly side, but not freezing. The winds were so strong that I had a hard time standing upright at times. The sound of the waves as they came crashing ashore was all I could hear, which was pretty nice. The dark clouds in the sky changed by the minute, and the few gulls that were in the area seemed to float on the wind, not being able to fly well or even make much headway in the strong gusts!

I stayed out on the dunes in the sand grass for only a short while, but I’m so glad that I did. Firstly it was extremely beautiful. Second it was life affirming, and third I would not have wanted to miss the images I was able to get.

I spent a couple of weekends in the UP this fall, having gone there for fall foliage and waterfalls. I saw and photographed lots of beautiful autumn color. ย I also came away with some beautiful Great Lakes images like this one, I’ll be sharing some of them here with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy it!

If you were able to get this far in the post please leave me a note or give me a like. I’d be interested to see how many people actually took the time to read this. I can see now at least for me 1,000 words is not a short post. I haven’t reached it LOL, but I’ll leave off here any way!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

“Trillium”

This post is about one of my favorite wildflowers, Trillium. I have seen it many times, but was never able to capture it.

I was really excited this spring when I was able to spend plenty of time in the woods with not just Trillium but also many other wildflowers.

I found white, pink, red, and purple trillium. I found it in huge amounts! I called it Millions of Trillium! ๐Ÿ™‚

This happened to be in both the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and in the Northern lower part also.

These images are of one flower, processed in color and in monochrome.

I hope you enjoy Trillium also, and for those of you who haven’t seen it, or are still on the quest to find it… here it is!! ๐Ÿ™‚

"Trillium in Light Purple"
“Trillium in Light Purple”
"Trillium" monochrome
“Trillium” monochrome

“Sunset on Ice Fields”

Recently on a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I was taken by surprise at all of the ice still remaining on Lake Superior.

The weather on my second day there turned unseasonably warm, which happened to be the case the day I took this sunset.

On certain areas of Lake Superior you can only see ice in the far distance, in other places you are actually able to still stand on thick chunks that are floating around closer to the shore.

The day before I took this image the whole bay was a mass of floating icebergs, ranging in size from many feet wide to a few inches in width. The depth could also be 1-3 feet for those that I could see. I’m sure much larger for those in the middle of each of the Great Lakes.

I was really hoping to get some sunset images through the icebergs with loads of golden color. Well, that didn’t happen because on the next evening I arrived to find much of the ice that had been close to the shore previously, no longer there. The warm southern winds had blown it further out in the water. Only a few chunks remained close to where I was standing.

The temperatures that day had reached the upper 80’s with plenty of haze and humidity, as well as a ton of black flies and mosquitoes. Consequently the sunset was not quite what I had hoped for yet it was really colorful and quite long lasting.

This frame is one of the later ones from that night, towards the end of sunset. The colors were still strong at the time, and the ice fields visible in the distance. You can also notice a few smaller pieces of ice closer to the shore.

The funny thing to me was knowing that here in late May, there were still many remnants of this winters extremely cold weather all around me.

I’m sure that there will be ice somewhere on Lake Superior for another month or two!

Enjoy this extremely simple image, and view of color and ice in a time that you wouldn’t normally expect it!

"Sunset on Ice Fields"
“Sunset on Ice Fields”

“Changes of Time”

As some of you may know, being in Michigan, surrounded by some of the Great Lakes, has its perks! Here in this state you are never far from a local lake, and not very far from three of the three Great Lakes either.

I had wanted to get out to Lake Michigan all winter, but with the roads as snowy and icy as they were most of the time, it was impossible.

Recently I had the chance to spend a few days out around Grand Haven, and Holland. I was really surprised at the amount of shoreline change, and drifting of sand that happened over the winter season.

As I mentioned in my last post, the weather most of the time was either raining or stormy.

These few frames here were taken in a brief time in between storms. The sun shone brightly against the sand drifts that nearly covered all of the snow fences.

Pools of water lay on the shore reflecting the wonderful blue sky and clouds in another location.

Lastly, you’ll see more cloud reflections in pools as well as patterns in the sand formed by the water!

Truly it was a beautiful period of time with all of that sky drama. The changes quickly led to another thunderstorm, but it was certainly worth the time there to enjoy these sights granted to me!

I hope you enjoy it also!

"Sand Banks and Sky"
“Sand Banks and Sky”
"Reflections in Directions"
“Reflections in Directions”
"Patterns of Reflection"
“Patterns of Reflection”