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 ~
In what I consider to be the most glorious and delicious of all seasons, autumn! I’ve chosen quite a few lovely quotes about fall and added some of my recent photographs.
The first image is from the shores of Lake Superior with the leaves in an early state of change, the winds blowing strongly and waves rolling in, crashing against the rock and shoreline!
The second image is from an early morning walk with the sunlight shining brightly through the myriad of colorful leaves on the ground!
Enjoy the images and quotes below!
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ~ George Elliot ~
“Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~ Leo Tolstoy ~ as said to Nikolay Strakhov
“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~ Jim Bishop ~
“..I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne ~
“Just after the death of the flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season,
When nature is all aglow—
Aglow with a mystical splendour
That rivals the brightness of spring,
Aglow with a beauty more tender
Than aught which fair summer could bring….”
~ Emeline B. Smith ~
“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day!
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree…”
~ Emily Brontë ~
Have you ever been to Muskegon Michigan? Well, if not you really ought to visit this beautiful city if you are in the area!
I had the pleasure of touring the areas of both Muskegon and Grand Haven MI. recently.
In this first image you’ll find a view of the Muskegon Pier Light, or South Pier Light from the shores of Lake Michigan through some lovely windblown sand grass. When I say windblown I mean it. The winds were pretty wild that day!
The lighthouse itself was first built in 1851. It’s situated on a long pier, and is made out of cast iron. Even though it was built in the 1800’s, it wasn’t lit until 1903. It is also an impressive 48 feet tall. The original lens for the lighthouse was a fourth order Fresnal lens, but currently it uses a 300 mm acryllic lens.
I didn’t have the opportunity to walk the pier and get a closer look this time as I was headed for the USS Silversides Submarine Museum which was right down the road.
This World War II submarine is a fascinating piece of US history. The museum and vessels are wonderful for people of all ages and especially great for a young history buff who is 12 years old!
This sub, the USS Silversides was first commissioned just after the attack on Peal Harbor. The Silversides received the Presidential Unit Citations and 12 Battle Stars for her wartime service. She completed 14 combat patrols in the Pacific during World War II.
After being retired in 1946 she was sent to Chicago where she stayed being utilized by the reserves until 1987. At that time the USS Silversides was then moved to Muskegon Michigan where she is today for all to come and enjoy the experience of being in a WWII sub, and understand the history of her service and more.
I hope you enjoyed this small bit of information and these images that are just a tiny part of Muskegon’s history!
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. 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!
As the fall season approaches I anxiously await its arrival. In looking though a few images from a couple of years ago, it reminded me of some good times and beautiful color.
The afternoon that day two years ago started out with a mix of clouds and sun. I decided to go out with my youngest son and head for the nearest area that I thought might have some good color.
By the time we arrived on a really scenic road that is quite well traveled, the wind had picked up and dark clouds were starting to roll in. I jumped out of the car at the best place to park along the side of the road, and caught this beautiful scene. The yellow gold of the fall foliage stood out pronounced against the deeper blues of the sky.
After grabbing a few images of the road scenery, the clouds really started to move! My son and I made our way over to a lake near there just as the weather made another turn, but one that made a dramatic change to the fall foliage. The colors were brighter than ever as the afternoon sunlight shown on the trees, and the quickly racing clouds gave a dark and foreboding look to the scene. I took every chance to get in as many shots from all the angles I could while my youngest stayed near me trying to skip stones across the water. I of course had to take a bit of time out for some skipping myself! 😉
We spent a good long while there enjoying the cool breeze, warm sun, and myriad of colors. On the way home I decided to try to find at least one more vibrant location. It was getting much closer to sundown by then, but I found another pretty place along a river, that seemed convenient to get to. We popped out of the car and wandered around pathways. The water there was totally calm and smooth making the reflections really lovely even though the light was fading.
I remember that day with a lot of fondness and happiness. It was fun quality time spent with my son. It was during my favorite season (fall), and I was blessed that day to have amazing fall foliage and gorgeous skies!!
Here’s to this coming autumn, wishing everyone beautiful days, amazing color, wonderful skies, a crisp breeze when you desire it, and calm when you need it!! 🙂
One of my favorite poets of all times is Robert Frost. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might already know that! 😉
Frost wrote so many wonderful poems, my favorite is “The Road Not Taken”.
Most people associate Robert Frost with living in and being from New England only, but what you might not know is that he also spent a bit of time in Ann Arbor Michigan, and loved it!
In 1921 Frost accepted a 5,000 fellowship to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He once said to a friend of his “I like Michigan people and I like Michigan”. He stayed in Ann Arbor at the University lecturing, attending receptions and arranging poetry readings with other American poets of the time, and meeting with groups of students.
He used to love to wander the streets of Ann Arbor at night when he couldn’t sleep, which was often because he suffered quite badly from insomnia. On one of those walks he found a Greek Revival House that he thought was “charming”. This house which used to be in Ann Arbor on Pontiac Trail became his residence while here. The house was later moved to preserve it’s history and is now located at Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan.
This is the house as it looks today at Greenfield Village:
Frost wrote two poems during his stay in Ann Arbor. The first one is:
These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.
The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods—
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.
“Spring Pools” captures the natural rhythm of seasons in transition with flowing water and reflections as well as the transformation of flowering tree buds to the deep dark green foliage of the summer woods.
This poem was written around the time he had a bout with the flu. He took to writing at that time for three full days. He stayed in this house by a roaring fireplace on the couch and wrote, quite enjoyably to his hearts content!
In a conversation with Edward Latham a number of years later, Frost recalled the circumstances of that writing: “I lived out on Pontiac Trail then. One night I sat alone by my open fireplace and wrote Spring Pools. It was a very pleasant experience, and I remember it clearly, although I don’t remember the writing of many of my other poems.”
In the 1920s Frost became quite a well known figure in Southeast Michigan. He lived in this house from about 1924 through 1926.
I mentioned before, that he wrote two poems while in Ann Arbor. The other poem is called “Acquainted with the Night”, which I won’t insert into this post right now. I might bring that at another time with an image that reflects his words.
Robert Frost did also mention that He felt as though he did some of his best and most creative writing while in Ann Arbor!
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!
I’ve been talking a lot about Michigan lately, so I thought I’d take you to a different area of the country. Not too far away though.
This post brings us to one of my favorite places to go and just get away for some peace and quiet. As long as it’s not summertime mind you! 😉 Ohiopyle State Park in Ohiopyle PA.
I love the Laurel Highlands area for its beautiful forests, hiking trails, waterfalls, fast moving rivers and streams and more!
This image is from a wonderful area that is covered with trees, amazing rock formations, and rapidly flowing water called Meadow Run.
In early to late spring and also in autumn, you can quite often find this place all to yourself, or just maybe another photographer or two. In the warm weather especially after school lets out, and during the weekends it becomes another world. These rock formations below the water turn Meadow Run into a long water slide for the very daring.
I myself choose the quiet times like what you see here. In the late afternoon when the dappled light has faded and and a slight darkness comes upon the area, I can sit and breath in the beauty of nature. I can take my time setting up my tripod, and calmly go from one location to another looking for each new composition.
Just picture yourself here. Have a seat on one of the many rocky ledges. Watch the rapidly moving water flow, and feel the spray when it crashes against the rock formations along the way. Enjoy the feel of cool air as it rustles through the early spring leaves. When it gets a bit darker you might even catch a glimpse of a few deer moving through the forest.
I invite you into this peaceful frame. Take a minute to relax while gazing at the scene, and while your at it, try imagining the sounds of nature that surround you!
Just a quick post tonight. I grabbed this sunset a couple of weeks ago out in Grand Haven MI. It was totally last minute. I had driven through a rain storm from another location on Lake Michigan. The clouds broke up quite suddenly, and I raced to get to this particular pier in Grand Haven as fast as I could.
As soon as I parked the car, I literally just grabbed my camera and headed to the pier. I didn’t have time for a tripod, I quickly got in as many images as I could before everything was totally gone. There were quite a few fishermen and others on the jetty in front of me in silhouette enjoying the view as well. It seems a lovely place to be for any sunset! The hues were gorgeous and deep. I was very happy that I was able to catch these last bits of color because the rain started up again just as I finished, and it didn’t stop until the next day!