“My Best of 2016”

I seriously can’t believe it’s that time again, but here we are at the end of 2016 and (drum roll)  it is time for the Best of 2016! The time when we all must sort through hundreds, or thousands of photographs to narrow it down to our five or ten best, or favorite images of the year. In my case these are my favorite images of 2016. In the past I have usually posted 10 images, this year I found only nine to be my favorites.

This is the 5th year that I have participated in Jim Goldstein’s annual Best Photos Project that he hosts for all photographers who would like to participate.

Thank very much for all of your hard work Jim! I really appreciate it!

Before getting to my Best of 2016  images , you might like to take a look at my favorite images from last year.  You can view that post here in my 2015 Year in Review.

 

“Golden Burst of Morning”
An absolutely spectacular early fall morning with golden fog and trees in silhouette!

I had several occasions this summer and in early autumn to witness some amazing fog! I made a huge print of this for myself!

 

“Edge of Red Dawn”
This was a particularly beautiful sunrise on Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan during late spring.

I was able to spend some time during spring in Traverse City and vicinity. I had come in hopes of experiencing the cherry blossoms but I was just a tad too late. The sunrises on the bay, like you see here, and time spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes was beautiful though!

 

“Lake Superior Colors”
Wow, this day was simply wonderful! The winds were whipping, the waves on Lake Superior were coming in strongly, and the colors were popping in the whole scene!

While driving up H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais I just had to stop at this location and feel the strong winds pushing the waves ashore. The colors of the water, and sky were both amazing and there was a pop of orange color in small scruffy maples in the sand grass that just made the scene for me! I can seriously just allow myself to get lost in this photograph!

 

“Golden Sunlight Blessings”
Another one of those days that start out heavy with fog and then all of a sudden the sun comes out and brings with it, magical rays of golden color and warmth!

This was yet another day that started with heavy low lying fog that rose higher just as the sun began to shine! It created a delightful atmosphere with it’s warm hues! I really loved the sunbeams streaming through the tree and fog! It looks amazing in a print or canvas!

 

“Autumn Winds and Color”
Brisk winds on an autumn day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan bring waves crashing against the rocky shore!

One of my favorite places to stop at along highway 28 just outside of Munising, MI. It’s always beautiful in autumn with the fall color set against the evergreen trees and rocks!

 

“Stairway to Lake Superior”
Follow the stairs leading down to Lake Superior on a windy and stormy fall day with gorgeous colors in the waters of the lake, clouds in the sky, and fall foliage!!

Along H58 from Munising MI. to Grand Marais there are many beautiful places to stop, all within Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore area. This wonderful location had superb conditions when I arrived there! I just recently made a large print of this photograph.

 

“Fall within Lake of the Clouds”
Peak fall color at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

This autumn I spent several hours at Lake of the Clouds with the weather changing from full rain to completely sunny and everything in between. It is spectacular no matter what the weather!

 

“Laughing Whitefish Falls”
Beautiful water flowing at Laughing Whitefish Falls near Munising, Michigan this autumn.

Having been to Laughing Whitefish Falls before, I have often found it to have quite a low water flow. I know my timing has been off because after a rain this place can present with torrents of water. I happened to catch it at a good time this year with a nice, full, but not overwhelming, flow of water.

This concludes my Best of 2016 favorite images. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them as much as I enjoyed the opportunity to experience these places and make these photographs!

 

Finally as we enter into the new year, I would like to wish all of my family and friends, all of you who read my blog, and everyone from near and far a most wonderful and adventurous 2017!!

I’ll 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 ~

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“Golden Rays of Light”

 

One very early morning just a few days ago I decided to take a drive in the countryside on some local dirt roads. It was foggy and nearly dark when I started, but as the sun rose I was rewarded with an amazing sunrise with golden rays of light streaming through the trees as I drove along.

The image above is a tighter version of the first tree I saw, with many streams of light coming through the fog. Simply dreamy to me!

 

"Your New Day Rising" Stunning Golden sunrise through the fog!
“Your New Day Rising”
Stunning Golden sunrise through the fog!

 

In this next image I got as close as I could to a cornfield with a lone tree and an amazing sunrise just atop the tree! What a glorious morning! As the nights are cooler with autumn having arrived, I hope for a few more mornings to enjoy the fog before it turns to frost!

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“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”

“Simple Garden Delights”

These are just a few of my simple garden delights.

This toadstool sprouted up one morning after quite a few days of rain and damp weather. I watched it grow from infancy to old age in a matter of four days. What a marvelous, yet simple thing to behold. Each day I eagerly waited to see what its next state of maturation would look like. All the time hoping no harm would befall it, and worrying that I might come out to find it crushed or destroyed.

"Toadstool"
“Toadstool”

On a late summer evening not long before sunset as I walked among the flowers, I made my way through the beds of roses and this lovely lady in pink gave me reason to stop enjoy her delicate scent and marvel at her wonders.

"Lady Pink"
“Lady Pink”

Early morning dew has a way of casting its magic across any landscape. In the grass, way down low, I lay quietly. I knew I would be covered with the wetness of the ground, but that didn’t matter. There was a whole world of dancing lights at my disposal. From near to far I watched as the sun rose higher until everything was golden and glistening! A tiny glorious moment in time, twinkling forever!

"Sparkling Morning Dew"
“Sparkling Morning Dew”

These small moments alone with nature are so important. They give us the much needed connection to something greater than ourselves. The time to simply watch and listen to the world around us. A few moments away from the rush of our lives, and the constant connection to technology that we are so immersed in.

What simple things delight you, make you curious? What do you enjoy in this wonderful natural world around us?

“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! 😉

"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!! 🙂