“Covered Bridge”

 

These two photographs are of the lovely covered bridge on Pierce Stocking Drive located in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.ย They were both made in early autumn when most of the trees were still full with green foliage. You’ll notice just a few with a bit of color change.

Whenever I’m in the Traverse City area of Michigan, I always head out to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and to Pierce Stocking Drive. It’s always beautiful no matter the time of year!

These two images are at slightly different angle from each other, and one is processed to give it a bit more of a magical feel!

Do you like one better than the other? Is it the angle, the processing, or both? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

"Through the Covered Bridge" The same beautiful covered bridge but with a bit of a magical air to it!
“Through the Covered Bridge”
The same beautiful covered bridge but with a bit of a magical air to it!

“The Road Quite Traveled”

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.

"The Country Mile" Actually many miles of beautiful winding roads. A place quite popular with cyclists.
“The Country Mile”
Actually many miles of beautiful winding roads. A place quite popular with cyclists.

 

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

"Fall Storm of Reflections" The fall color reflected beautifully on the water as the sun and clouds did their battling!!
“Fall Storm of Reflections”
The fall color reflected beautifully on the water as the sun and clouds did their battling!!

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.

 

"Smooth Reflections" As the day got late and the sun nearly gone. The water on the river was smooth as glass, giving perfect conditions for beautiful autumn reflections!
“Smooth Reflections”
As the day got late and the sun nearly gone. The water on the river was smooth as glass, giving perfect conditions for beautiful autumn reflections!

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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

“Lookin Over the Blues”

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!

"Lookin Over the Blues"
“Lookin Over the Blues”

“Through Shadow Woods”

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!! ๐Ÿ™‚

"Through Shadow Woods"
“Through Shadow Woods”

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

As you can see I am a little behind in my processing. In my last post you could see the last remnants of fall leaves on the ground with a little snow.

In contrast to that, this frame was taken in early October in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The areas closer to the coast still had abundant color, like in this image here, while the inland areas looked more like winter had already come.

I love this particular area. It is located not too far from Lake Superior, but in a slightly higher elevation. This back country dirt road goes on for about twenty miles. It’s very narrow, and can barely allow two cars to pass. The good thing is almost no one is around, so I had complete freedom to hike, walk, explore, and of course take photos!!

I spent quite a bit of time hiking around in the woods. Enjoying each step, as I walked on moist fallen leaves, drinking up all the golden color with my eyes, and listening to the sound of silence whenever I paused for a minute or so. To me it’s like being in a magical place. A place full of wonder and vibrant color everywhere I turned.

I hope you too can feel the exhilaration and excitement of this fall magic, just as I do!!

“Magical Autumn Mystery”

-Magical Autumn Mystery-

“My Ten Favorite Images from 2012”

This year has be an interesting one for me. I had the chance to do more travelling than usual, which gave me many more photographic opportunities. Sometimes though it’s the images you take that are close to home that you end up liking the best. Here are ten images mostly from the late summer through autumn that I like the best. I have many more that I could say the same for, but for the sake of brevity I will limit it to Ten. The images are in no particular order. Enjoy!

A stormy day on Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear  Dunes National Lake Shore.
A stormy day on Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls in early autumn.
In Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls in early autumn.
In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
A stormy windy day on Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
A stormy windy day on Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
Loving the beauty of early autumn on a scenic rural road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Loving the beauty of early autumn on a scenic rural road in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Beautiful reflections along an inland lake.
Beautiful reflections along an inland lake.
Beautiful Arch Rock on Mackinac Island. 
Girls down below are writing messages with rocks.
Beautiful Arch Rock on Mackinac Island.
Girls down below are writing messages with rocks.
Shimmering sunrise on Lake Huron with Mackinac Island in silhouette.
Shimmering sunrise on Lake Huron with Mackinac Island in silhouette.
Gorgeous fall foliage on a beautiful winding rural road.
Gorgeous fall foliage on a beautiful winding rural road.
Loving the rails on a stormy autumn day.
Loving the rails on a stormy autumn day.
Gazing across one lake, through fall foliage, over Lake Superior, and onto Canada.
Gazing across one lake, through fall foliage, over Lake Superior, and onto Canada.

After going through so many images, it was really difficult to decide, and had to leave out many that I would have liked to include. You can find links on this blog to my sites and where to view more images.
Best wishes to everyone, both now and in the coming year!!!