After quite a bleak winter and early spring of 2020 I thought I would bring you some beautiful, colorful, and relaxing images. I have stayed home almost exclusively for many months now, and will continue to do so, but I was able to venture out on a handful of occasions into local nature areas and these are just some of the refreshing and happy moments on my walk in Nichols Arboretum during late spring.
I wish for all of you around the world the peace and strength to get through this difficult time and I hope that some time in the near future things make a huge change for the better!
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 ~
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!
The Matthaei Botanical Gardens are part of the University of Michigan system located in Ann Arbor Michigan. They contain beautiful botanical gardens, lovely wooded and open natural areas with loads of trails, wetlands and also several habitat areas for research. There is also a conservatory which is open all year round. Which we certainly need here in Michigan!
During the summer months though, everything comes to life in vibrant color!
I originally planned to talk about the many varieties of plants and flowers in this post, some wild, others cultivated. Instead I decided do that in another post, especially with the large amount of images I made.
When I began processing some of the many images from the gardens, I felt compelled to work on these that you see here, first.
Let’s start with the physical entrance to the main flower garden. A beautiful metal gate. I have photographed it previously, but this time I decided to take only a part of it. Instead of the focus being on the gardens behind it, the focus shifts to the gate itself with only a reference to what lies beyond.
Also while processing just a few of the images, they seemed more abstract in nature. Very colorful, lots of bokeh. Some peaceful, some even a bit chaotic.
I tried to get an ID on the maroon colored flower, and wasn’t able to. There were no markings there as to what it was, and after many Google searches I finally gave up. If anyone has an idea I’d be happy to hear it!
So for now enter here at the metal gate, and take a different look at this main garden which is brimming with summertime color. We’ll start with just a few images today.
A lovely poem about trees by Joyce Kilmer. The poem is titled:
“I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.”
— Joyce Kilmer,
To me this is said so beautifully by Joyce Kilmer, and what better to show the beauty of a tree, than a wonderful old Oak tree. One that has lived and seen so many years. Felt the wonder of all four the seasons, the dread of drought, the warmth of the spring sun, the beauty of her fall foliage, and the loss of most of her leaves in winter.
Yet, in the twinkling of an eye. Winter soon starts to fade, the image you see here, beautiful in it’s own right. Will soon be replaced by the tender growth of a new spring season. A season that gives hope and rebirth to all living things!
This tree of many years, lives yet to see another, and hopefully decades, and maybe even hundreds of years more!!
A wonderful mural of areas of the city of Ann Arbor Michigan. Painted on a concrete wall that goes under and on either side of a railroad bridge.
Fall color was at it’s peak at the time, so you can see some golden foliage above the railroad also.
I don’t know the artist, I should try to find out.
That will be my next task! 🙂