A Taste of Spring

As winter is nearing its end I am looking forward to spring wholeheartedly! I thought I’d bring you just a little taste of late spring from last year. These images were all made in and around The Royal Botanical Gardens near Hamilton, Ontario. Honestly I could spend hours a day in each of the many garden areas they have! These images are just a few to give you a jump start on your spring. I hope they give you a feeling of happiness!

“Rock Garden Peace and Beauty”
"Follow the Reflections"
“Follow the Reflections”
“Finding Our Way”
“Orange Poppy Twirl”
“Light Pink Peonies in Sunlight”
“Pink Peony Cluster”

I wish you all a very happy end of winter as we head into warmer and more colorful times!

Fresh Spring Tulips

As we’ve just passed spring tulip time, I wanted to share with you a couple of lovely and fresh spring tulip images. These are very subtle in color and to me have a light and airy feeling. I wanted to portray soft sunlight and a different type of look than my usual bright and very colorful images.

 

“Light and Lovely Tulips”

 

I hope you enjoy the simplicity and quiet beauty of these lovely tulips!

“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen ~

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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“Aquatic Reflections”

Spring has finally arrived here and even though almost nothing has bloomed yet in terms of flowers, I always enjoy when plants of any type start bursting forth from the ground. In this case actually from the shallow waters of a pond, just a preview of things to come.

In this photograph of aquatic reflections you can see the reflection of trees as well as that of the sky and clouds in both the foreground and background. Green plants that are growing just below the water’s surface are beautiful, as well as the vertical shadows that the cattails cast on the surface of the water.

This is a very simple composition, and I like all of the elements it has. Originally I thought of this only as a color photograph because of the beautiful greens, as a sign of spring.

I decided to do a black and white conversion though and really liked the feeling of contrast in the image as well.

I’m really looking forward to the changes this spring will bring, and surely hoping that we won’t have any more freezing temperatures that damage blossoms this year!

I wish a very happy spring to all of you, with plenty of outdoor adventures and beauty!

“Pond Plants in Reflection”
Cattails in the shallow depths of a pond in spring with reflections and shadows!

“Spring Finds”

Well, now that spring is fully here in Michigan, I have been thoroughly enjoying our warmer weather, and taking the time to go out in search of what is blooming. I had been afraid with a couple of late freezes we had that some early bloomers would have been affected. Thankfully most everything came through unscathed!

The daffodils this year got pelted with a bit of spring snow early on, but as you can see from these images, they rebounded nicely and we had some really beautiful blooms!

"Daffodils in Sunlight" Sun drenched daffodils on a spring day!
“Daffodils in Sunlight”
Sun drenched daffodils on a spring day!

 

I have been out nearly daily in the last week or so in search of blossoming crab-apples of various kinds, as well as cherry and apple trees. I have found many beauties, but this one is the first one I have processed of the flowering tree blossoms. A lovely white crab-apple with a bokeh-licious background in raspberry pink!

"White Blossoms on Raspberry" Beautiful crab-apple blossoms against a background of raspberry.
“White Blossoms on Raspberry”
Beautiful crab-apple blossoms against a background of raspberry.

 

Another beautiful daffodil enjoying the warmth of the sun!

"Daffodils within a Dream" Sun drenched daffodils on a windy day!
“Daffodils within a Dream” Sun drenched daffodils on a windy day!

 

 

For some reason, I usually miss the hellebore coming into bloom each year, but this year was different! I actually got to witness several different varieties in bloom!
These were beautiful in a pinkish purple hue!

"Hellebore in Deep Pink" Really lovely pink Hellebore , fully open.
“Hellebore in Deep Pink”
Really lovely pink Hellebore , fully open.

Spring seems to pass by so quickly, and in no time at all it will soon be summer, but I will be outdoors as much as possible while the air is still a bit cooler, the rain more frequent, and the mosquitoes not out in force yet, enjoying all the spring finds that I can!

I hope that wherever you live, you make sure and take plenty of time to enjoy your outdoor environment too! 🙂

 

“Think Spring”

We may still be in the thick of winter but my thoughts are now of spring! I have been going back over some of my spring photographs from last year and really enjoying the beautiful colors and delicate blossoms. I decided to process a few images for everyone else to enjoy also.

If you’re stuck indoors on a cold and dull winter day, just have a look at what awaits us in just a few months! Think spring!

 

"Fresh as Morning Air"  Delicate white apple blossoms after a spring rain!
“Fresh as Morning Air”
Delicate white apple blossoms after a spring rain!

 

"Foggy Spring Morning" Sunlight, fog, and haze glow behind a wonderful apple tree in spring!
“Foggy Spring Morning”
Sunlight, fog, and haze glow behind a wonderful apple tree in spring!

 

"Feel the Love" Gorgeous deep pinkish purple crab-apple blossoms!
“Feel the Love”
Gorgeous deep pinkish purple crab-apple blossoms!

 

"Floating Raindrops in Spring"  One spring morning just as a rain was ending I was in search of trees in bloom. I found these apple trees surrounded by daffodils.  Sunlight shown through some of the remaining drops of rain as they fell from the trees. What a beautiful  spring morning it was!
“Floating Raindrops in Spring”
One spring morning just as a rain was ending I was in search of trees in bloom. I found these apple trees surrounded by daffodils. Sunlight shown through some of the remaining drops of rain as they fell from the trees. What a beautiful spring morning it was!

“2015 My Year in Review”

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!

"Kayaking at Miners Falls" Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!
“Kayaking at Miners Falls”
Gorgeous blue waters of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore in summer!

 

"Great Lakes Autumn Waves" A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!
“Great Lakes Autumn Waves”
A beautiful and windy day on Lake Superior near Munising in autumn!

 

"One Very Fine Day" This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!
“One Very Fine Day”
This was a fabulous day in Marquette Michigan on Presque Isle Park!

 

"Life is But a Dream" This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!
“Life is But a Dream”
This was one special sunset on Lake Michigan! The waters were like glass, and the whole world seemed alive with the colors of sunset. There were several people kayaking and canoeing on the smooth water! Dreamy!

 

 

"My Sweet Lady" This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!
“My Sweet Lady”
This year was a great year for peonies! I particularly loved this huge specimen!!

 

"Grape Hyacinth"2 One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!
“Grape Hyacinth”2
One of many beautiful Grape Hyacinth this spring!

 

"Beautiful Cedar Falls" I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!
“Beautiful Cedar Falls”
I had the opportunity to go to Hocking Hills in Hocking County Ohio this summer. The many waterfalls in the location and the amazing rock formations were wonderful! The summer was a dry one, so the water flow wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but it was beautiful to me anyway!

 

"Afternoon in Shades of Gray" This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!
“Afternoon in Shades of Gray”
This scene in late fall with a beautiful snow just begged for black and white processing!

 

"Sweet Potato Mash" I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!
“Sweet Potato Mash”
I had a year with a lot of motion blur abstracts, and this is one of my favorites!

 

"Song of Light" A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh- nature abstracts this year!
“Song of Light”
A bokeh delight in the fresh summer grass! One of my favorite bokeh-licious abstracts this year!

 

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 ~

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`

 

 

“Peonies at Nichols Arboretum”

I’d like to share with you one of my favorite times of year at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The time when The Peony Gardens come to life!

In early June, depending on the weather, these beautiful show stoppers begin to make their appearance. For the next couple of weeks you’ll have the opportunity to stroll through and enjoy these gorgeous peonies!

Below you’ll find a few of my images of the Peonies at Nichols Arboretum with a brief description underneath.

I have many more photos of peonies of every variety in my online galleries if you’d like to take a look!

Flowers and Wildflowers

and even more images at: Flowers

"Dusted in Yellow" Beautiful red peonies with a large golden center, fully opened to the morning sunlight!
“Dusted in Yellow”
Beautiful red peonies with a large golden center, fully opened to the morning sunlight!

"Nestled Peonies" A lovely group of pink peonies nestled within their green foliage!
“Nestled Peonies”
A lovely group of pink peonies nestled within their green foliage!

"Pink Sorbet" That's what this gorgeous puffy and full blossom reminds me of. I also love the mottled pink color, not found in other peonies that I've seen before!
“Pink Sorbet”
That’s what this gorgeous puffy and full blossom reminds me of. I also love the mottled pink color, not found in other peonies that I’ve seen before!

"Ahead of the Crowd" Lovely light pink and peonies with ruffled petals against a background of white peonies!
“Ahead of the Crowd”
Lovely light pink peonies with ruffled petals against a background of white peonies!

"Peony Garden Stroll" Some peony admirers strolling through the Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor Michigan!
“Peony Garden Stroll”
Some peony admirers strolling through the Peony Gardens at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor Michigan!

I hope you enjoyed this stroll through a very special place, and time of year! A morning of Peonies at Nichols Arboretum!

“Garden Bench Floral”

While anxiously awaiting the dawn of what I hope will be a springtime full of abundant blossoms and flowers, I thought I’d take a moment and share an image from last summer.

This winter has been quite long, and even though the calender says spring, it still feels and looks more like winter.

This lovely garden bench with flowers growing around and through it, gives a glimpse of good times to come. An image from the garden during the most prolific time here, which is late summer.

I included some garden quotes and proverbs below. Enjoy!

"Garden Bench Floral"
“Garden Bench Floral”

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.”
~ Victor Hugo ~

I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.
~ David Hobson ~

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
~ Greek proverb ~

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.
~ Allan Armitage ~

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!
~ Irish Blessing ~

“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”

“How Soon is Too Late?”

I love this quote!  —–>” You can never do a kindness to soon because you never know how soon it will be too late”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
This one is a personal favorite of mine.  None of us are ever assured of what will happen next in our lives. We don’t know when we might lose someone near and dear to us. We also don’t know when our time on this planet is finished.

There’s no better time than the present to let someone know how much you love them and care about them. There’s no better time than now to do a kind deed for someone or maybe offer them help.

Everyone will only pass this way once, and we have just this life to do the best that we can for ourselves,  for other people around us and if possible to help others less fortunate than ourselves around the world.

How sad it would be if we had years to make amends to someone, but didn’t , or even just mend a broken relationship, but never tried. Life is so short!

Let the people you love, know it, and do it now. Hug your children now, and do it often. Is there a friend you haven’t spoken to in years?  How about giving them a call?

Try to help someone in need. Do a kindness for a stranger. There are so many ways that we can connect to our fellow human beings.

We are all on this giant blue ball in space. We are all brothers and sisters to each other. No matter where we live, no matter our circumstances, we are all connected to each other in an inescapable way.

So take some time to spread some love and cheer. We are not guaranteed anything, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so show some kindness and love, and do it now before you lose your chance.

In a way it is like these lovely pink peonies. They bloom in such gorgeous abundance, but only once a year. They can only flourish if they’ve been nurtured and cared for. If they don’t receive enough water, if there is too much sun, or maybe too little. If the winter is too harsh or the soil too poor, they may not come back again.

We must care for these flowers. We must care for the gardens that contain them. We must care for each other and make sure that we as a world, we as human beings are nourished from within our souls as well as our bodies, and try to do our best to help others to enjoy these same pleasures and ideals that we are so lucky to have.

 

"Feeling Pink"
“Feeling Pink”

Again….. “You can never do a kindness to soon because you never know how soon it will be too late”