“Best of 2017”

This year has gone by really quickly. So much so that I didn’t think I would actually have time to get together my usual end of the year post. These ten images are my personal favorites for the year, or my “Best of 2017”.

This is the 6th year that I have done a “Best of” at the end of the year,  and I would like to thank Jim Goldstein for graciously hosting the Best Photos Project each year. You can check out mine and many many other photographers end of the year posts on his blog!

If you would like to see my “Best of” for 2016, you can find that here.

Also if you’d like to go back to 2015, you can check that out here.

“Silo Sunset’
One of my favorite sunsets of this year!

After a very stormy spring day in SE. Michigan I was happily surprised by an amazing array of clouds as they moved quickly by during a sunset on a local farm!

 

“Peace of Autumn’s Song”
Beautiful reflections on an early autumn day!

You’ll see this lake featured twice here in this post. This image was on a cloudy and extremely still, fall day. The trees, especially the birches gave beautiful reflections in the water!

 

“Leaves in Gold and Bronze”
Fallen leaves in shades of gold.

After all of the leaves had fallen and nothing was left except the crunch of brown and gold underfoot I decided to make just a few images of these beauties!

 

“Effervescent Glow”
Lovely sparkling dewdrops on the grass in the early morning!

I had a lot of fun during a couple of fresh and dewy mornings this year photographing the sunlight as it danced off of the dewdrops in the grass. As a lot of you know, I love nature abstracts!

 

“In Love with Life”
Lovely tulips at the 2017 Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan.

I was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to go to The Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. this past spring!

 

“The Stones”
Beautiful and very colorful stones from Lake Superior!

Every time I’m in Marquette, Michigan I always enjoy the beautiful assortment of rocks and stones in the area. These colorful stones on Presque Isle are some of my favorites!

 

“Presque Isle Sunset Glow 2”
A wonderful sunset from Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan.

While at Presque Isle Park I almost always make time to stay for the sunset. It almost never dissapoints!

 

“Munising Falls Gold”
A golden start to autumn at Munising Falls in Munising, Michigan!

Munising Falls is beautiful no matter what time of year, but fall is always my favorite!

 

“When in Love”
This was an especially beautiful day along Lake Plumbago in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

Lake Plumbago is one of those places I pass by quite often while in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would have to say that for me it has almost always been foggy and or raining when I pass by. That of course has its own beauty, and I have plenty of photos from that type of weather, but this time there was a striking difference, and actually quite welcomed!

 

“Windermere Hotel Mackinac Island”
One of my favorite places to stay on Mackinac Island!

I have always loved the look of yellow houses with white picket fences, so naturally the first time I set eyes upon the Windermere Hotel on Mackinac Island, it became a must for me to stay there! It is filled with Victorian charm and has such a lovely presence on the Island.

It just happened that this year while on the Island I was graced with bright blue skies which made a wonderful contrast to the beautiful yellow color of the Windermere!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed a tiny glimpse into the year of 2017 with me. I wish all of you a very Happy and prosperous New Year, both in your lives and in your photographic adventures! 🙂

 

I’d like to end this post 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 ~ 🙂

 

 

 

Barns and Wildflowers

Driving past huge fields of wildflowers on a dirt road in Superior Township, Michigan, I stopped abruptly and just gazed in amazement! After my initial gasp of happiness, I continued to drive for a few yards when I saw a sign that said “Conservancy Farm”. I turned right away into the gravel driveway and parked behind the beautiful old farmhouse that serves as the Conservancy office.

There were acres and acres of wildflowers and wild grasses growing all around the property.  All are either native to the local area, or if not, will soon be removed as to keep out invasive species of plants.

This first image is from inside of one of the fields. I stood chest high among these beauties with birds flying past me in the gorgeous summer sky! Wildflowers surrounded me in every direction! What a glorious feeling!

"Watch the Wildflowers Grow"  Millions of amazing wildflowers on acres of land and the Conservancy Farm in Superior Township, Michigan!
“Watch the Wildflowers Grow”
Millions of amazing wildflowers on acres of land and the Conservancy Farm in Superior Township, Michigan!

There are many out buildings and barns located on the Conservancy land. This one is a smaller wooden structure that is pretty much surrounded and being swallowed by lots of tall native grasses and plants! I think it’s beautiful against the wonderful wildflowers and billowy summer sky!

"Barn Among the Wildflowers" A small and gently declining old barn nestled among wild grasses with fields of various wildflowers blooming in the background!
“Barn Among the Wildflowers”
A small and gently declining old barn nestled among wild grasses with fields of various wildflowers blooming in the background!

If you take a walk way out behind the barns, you’ll find several fenced off areas that are gardening plots for some of the township citizens. The whole area is intermixed with more lovely wildflowers. You can see the back of the main red barn and silo as well as a Red-Winged Blackbird and loads more flowers.

"Red Barn and Wildflowers" The largest barn and silo as viewed from the back with wildflowers everywhere.
“Red Barn and Wildflowers”
The largest barn and silo as viewed from the back with wildflowers everywhere.

Finally this last image is actually one of the first things you’ll see right after you park behind the farmhouse. Maybe I should have put this image first, but anyway here you’ll notice the original log cabin that housed the people who used to farm this land a long time ago. The wonderful and large red barn with the silo sits off to the side and makes quite a presence. A picnic table on the neatly mowed green grass is a great place to take a break from gardening to have a snack or tall glass of lemonade, or to just sit at and admire the beauty that surrounds this wonderful location!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images of a lovely summer day at a wonderful pure Michigan location!

"Log Cabin and Barn" The original cabin that housed the owners of this land in the beginning. Now it is sandwiched between a large red barn and a smaller out building.
“Log Cabin and Barn” The original cabin that housed the owners of this land in the beginning. Now it is sandwiched between a large red barn and a smaller out building.

“In the Morning Light”

These images speak for themselves. What more can me said about gorgeous morning sunlight! Pure happiness!

"Sun Drenched Orchids" Wonderful morning sunlight illuminates these lovely purple orchids!
“Sun Drenched Orchids”
Wonderful morning sunlight illuminates these lovely purple orchids!
"Morning When I Rise" Gorgeous and golden marigold in the beauty of the rising sun!
“Morning When I Rise”
Gorgeous and golden marigold in the beauty of the rising sun!
"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass!

“A Magical Morning”

Good Magical Morning! Well, okay, it’s not morning at the moment, but it sure was when I made these photographs! Although it is spring, I am still awaiting the arrival of real blossoms. Consequently each morning I take a walk in the park and woods looking high and low for some new spring growth or burst of floral loveliness!

This morning I noticed that the grass was starting to turn a lovely shade of green rather than the brown of winter. The grass was also covered in tiny dew drops left over from a very humid night. As the sunlight rose above the horizon I lay down on the wet grass and began making photographs of the tiny world below. All I can say is that it is purely bokeh-licious magic!

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed making them! 🙂

"Warm Sunlight"
“Warm Sunlight”
"Refreshing" mono
“Refreshing” mono
"Morning Magic in Blue"
“Morning Magic in Blue”