“Best of 2017”

This year has gone by really quickly. So much so that I didn’t think I would actually have time to get together my usual end of the year post. These ten images are my personal favorites for the year, or my “Best of 2017”.

This is the 6th year that I have done a “Best of” at the end of the year,  and I would like to thank Jim Goldstein for graciously hosting the Best Photos Project each year. You can check out mine and many many other photographers end of the year posts on his blog!

If you would like to see my “Best of” for 2016, you can find that here.

Also if you’d like to go back to 2015, you can check that out here.

“Silo Sunset’
One of my favorite sunsets of this year!

After a very stormy spring day in SE. Michigan I was happily surprised by an amazing array of clouds as they moved quickly by during a sunset on a local farm!

 

“Peace of Autumn’s Song”
Beautiful reflections on an early autumn day!

You’ll see this lake featured twice here in this post. This image was on a cloudy and extremely still, fall day. The trees, especially the birches gave beautiful reflections in the water!

 

“Leaves in Gold and Bronze”
Fallen leaves in shades of gold.

After all of the leaves had fallen and nothing was left except the crunch of brown and gold underfoot I decided to make just a few images of these beauties!

 

“Effervescent Glow”
Lovely sparkling dewdrops on the grass in the early morning!

I had a lot of fun during a couple of fresh and dewy mornings this year photographing the sunlight as it danced off of the dewdrops in the grass. As a lot of you know, I love nature abstracts!

 

“In Love with Life”
Lovely tulips at the 2017 Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan.

I was extremely happy to have had the opportunity to go to The Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. this past spring!

 

“The Stones”
Beautiful and very colorful stones from Lake Superior!

Every time I’m in Marquette, Michigan I always enjoy the beautiful assortment of rocks and stones in the area. These colorful stones on Presque Isle are some of my favorites!

 

“Presque Isle Sunset Glow 2”
A wonderful sunset from Presque Isle Park in Marquette, Michigan.

While at Presque Isle Park I almost always make time to stay for the sunset. It almost never dissapoints!

 

“Munising Falls Gold”
A golden start to autumn at Munising Falls in Munising, Michigan!

Munising Falls is beautiful no matter what time of year, but fall is always my favorite!

 

“When in Love”
This was an especially beautiful day along Lake Plumbago in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

Lake Plumbago is one of those places I pass by quite often while in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I would have to say that for me it has almost always been foggy and or raining when I pass by. That of course has its own beauty, and I have plenty of photos from that type of weather, but this time there was a striking difference, and actually quite welcomed!

 

“Windermere Hotel Mackinac Island”
One of my favorite places to stay on Mackinac Island!

I have always loved the look of yellow houses with white picket fences, so naturally the first time I set eyes upon the Windermere Hotel on Mackinac Island, it became a must for me to stay there! It is filled with Victorian charm and has such a lovely presence on the Island.

It just happened that this year while on the Island I was graced with bright blue skies which made a wonderful contrast to the beautiful yellow color of the Windermere!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed a tiny glimpse into the year of 2017 with me. I wish all of you a very Happy and prosperous New Year, both in your lives and in your photographic adventures! 🙂

 

I’d like to 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 ~ 🙂

 

 

 

“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! 🙂

 

“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”

“Japanese Maple in Red”

"Japanese Maple in Red" Some glorious fall color!
“Japanese Maple in Red”
Some glorious fall color!

Hi all, If it looks like I’ve been away from blogging for a couple of weeks or so, it’s because I was. I’ve been in a transition process and also trying change blog themes, which has been one theme after another!  Currently I’m trying to figure this one out LOL, so bear with me! 🙂

I’ve also been out and around on my usual hunt for early autumn color. I haven’t had to wait long this year at all. The colors are coming out quickly and quite boldly too! Yep, I’m happy!! 🙂

A few days ago I spent a bit of time under a beautiful Japanese Maple tree all bathed in morning sunlight! What a treat! The colors were really warmed up by the back lighting and the bokeh was delicious!!

In general the Japanese Maple is stunning nearly all year long in my opinion, with such beautifully shaped leaves, and color. Unlike most other maples though, autumn doesn’t bring about much of a change in color in these, but lighting surely can!

You’ll probably be seeing my journey through the fall of 2014 for quite a few posts, but as with every season, it does eventually come to an end, and ….. well you know…..things have to change and so will my subjects.

So for now, enjoy this wonderful early introduction to autumn in Michigan! 🙂

 

“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?

“Unspoken”

"Unspoken"
Wonderful back lit woodlands of Birch and Maples!

The wonderful late afternoon sunlight comes strongly from behind the trees illuminating the gold and yellow highlights in the background.
The oranges and greens of the maple leaves, as well as the colors of the birch bark become deepened. All happening in silence. All simply; unspoken beauty!