“Garden Blooms”

Spring seems to start of pretty slowly here in SE. Michigan, but once the temperatures warm a bit, which they did to a very large degree this year, the garden blooms begin to appear quickly!

These are some of the first flowers to bloom in the garden this spring, after the initial daffodils and crocus.

The lovely light purple Iris basking in the warm light of the morning sun makes a lovely image!

 

"Dahlia Darling" Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!
“Dahlia Darling”
Beautiful mauve and white petaled Dahlia!

The Dahlia were especially beautiful with their large blossoms, and stunning colors!

"Iris abstract" I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!
“Iris abstract”
I love the different varieties of Iris, and this one was one of the first to bloom this year!

 

The small details in this purple Iris was one that was perfect for a macro shot!

"Peony in Peachy Pink" A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!
“Peony in Peachy Pink”
A beautiful macro of a peach and pink hued Peony!

 

The peonies are still blooming, but this one was the absolute first to blossoms this spring. The hue was a bit different this year, with more of a peachy hue. I think it makes a beautiful macro!

As spring draws to an end, I’ll be photographing all the many blossoms that pop up, and sharing more garden photos here on my blog.

I hope that you too are enjoying whatever is blooming in your area, and your garden! You just gotta love those garden blooms!

 

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“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 ~

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

 

 

“One is Not Like the Other”

It’s summer and it’s such a great time of year to get out in nature so I’ve been taking full advantage of the warm days and great things happening in the garden and other local green areas!

Here are a few photographs of my recent nature abstracts from the garden. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

Ferns in a simple but beautiful pattern.

"Fern"
“Fern”

Green ground cover with a few of the rosettes having bloomed yellow.

"Yellow on Green"
“Yellow on Green”

Green ground cover in the shape of rosettes.

"Living Green"
“Living Green”

These purple flowers have just begun to burst forth.

"Never Ending Dream"
“Never Ending Dream”

Here’s the one image that is not like the other! These purple flowers are just starting to bloom. There are rows of them dreamily layered behind each other!

Have a wonderful week everyone! 🙂

“The World in Monochrome”

Well I can’t believe it’s already June! Spring is almost gone, and summer just around the corner! I’ve had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling recently so I’m sorry if my posts have been a bit infrequent. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into a better schedule pretty soon!

I’m usually a person who tends more towards colorful images as most of you may have noticed. In this post though I decided to convert a few of my more recent images to monochrome. They definitely take on a bit more moody feel.

It’s not that I don’t like working in black and white, I do, I love it, and sometimes it’s really the only way to go.  These images below work well in both black and white, and color in my opinion.

Here in this post you’ll find the monochrome conversions. If you’d like to see the color versions, check out  —>“Old Man’s Cave Upper Falls”  here.

"Old Man's Cave Upper Falls" B&W
“Old Man’s Cave Upper Falls” monochrome

For the color version of “Dappled Forest Magic” check it out here. —> “Dappled Forest Magic”

"Dappled Forest Magic" monochrome
“Dappled Forest Magic” monochrome

I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather, and making some fun travel plans for the summer!

“Spring Happenings”

With spring in full swing here I thought I’d bring you a few of the recent images from what seems to be about peak for our spring happenings, at least as far as tree blossoms go!

The crabapple blossoms were amazing this year, so here is just one variety in beautiful soft sunlight!

"Crabapple Blossoms"
“Crabapple Blossoms”

We had a robin nesting in a magnolia tree. I wasn’t able to get close to the nest for three reasons. Firstly I didn’t want to disturb the nesting process. Second the nest happened to be higher up than I could see into, and thirdly the robins were so protective that even coming withing twenty feet or so, they’d start swooping down on me! I took this image as the robin perched in a nearby crabapple tree as the blossoms were just starting to come out.
I never got to see it but the Robin’s eggs did hatch and the baby birds were born and eventually flew away without me being able to see more than a peak of a baby beak!

"Robin in Spring"
“Robin in Spring”

I love Hostas and they came up pretty quickly this year. I went out after a spring rain one day and made a few nature-abstract images with these beautiful plants. Here is just one example.

"Hosta in the Rain"
“Hosta in the Rain”

I hope you enjoyed a bit of my local spring happenings, and I hope whether your area of the world is in spring or fall, that you are experiencing a beautiful season!

“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”

“Winter Forest”

On a very very cold winters walk not too long ago, I ventured out towards the woods. The trees and everything else I could see, was covered in gorgeous glistening Rime Ice. Well, I say Rime Ice because it didn’t seem to meet the conditions for Hoar Frost. If you think you can tell the difference, feel free to leave me a note!

The sun had only been up for a short while when I first went out, but by the time I reached this location it had been out for a while. Still low enough though to capture the beauty of the sunlight on the branches. There were some pretty nice long shadows on the snow also.

I came away with totally frozen fingers despite wearing gloves, but it sure was lovely! We’ve had so many dreary winter days so far this winter. Today happened to be one of them, but on this day here, the sun was shining brightly with pure blue skies.
At least for a couple of hours or so till the clouds moved it! 😉

"Frosty Forest"
“Frosty Forest”

Beautiful sunlight on frosty trees.

"Forest Shadows"
“Forest Shadows”

Sunlight through frosty trees and long shadows on the snow! I decided to go monochrome on both of these images. I think it works well here. How about you?

“Best of 2014”

Well, another year is nearly over and a new adventure about to begin! As is customary as the year comes to a close, I usually bring out ten of my best images of 2014, or actually my favorite images from the year. These are not in any particular order, but as you look through them you might see a familiar theme within almost all of the images! That theme involves water.

This first image is one taken in early autumn at Miner’s Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I had tried to time my fall foliage trips to coincide with peak color. Well that didn’t always go as planned. Fall was a bit difficult to chase this year LOL!

"Miner's Falls in October"
“Miner’s Falls in October”

In this next image you’ll notice a very turbulent looking Lake Michigan. What a beautiful day that was! Forty-Fifty mile an hour winds with wild and dramatic clouds swirling by!

"As the World Turns"
“As the World Turns”

During the spring I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite locations in Pennsylvania, The Laurel Highlands. These next two images are from there. First is an area called Meadow Run. A beautiful fast running stream, that at times looks more like a river, and also like rapids.

"Meadow Run" 2
“Meadow Run” 2

This next image is of Cucumber Falls also in the same area of PA. I really love these falls. I’ve seen them many times, during drought, moderate rain, and during periods of good rain. I think this was during a good time with a strong flow of water. Cucumber Falls is a popular place to go, but if you get there when no one else is there, it’s pure Magic!

"Dreamy Cucumber Falls"
“Dreamy Cucumber Falls”

In keeping with this theme of water, and of my search for fall color during this autumn, I made it up to Tahquamenon Falls in Paradise Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. I was rewarded with some pretty good color at the time. It wasn’t at peak, but it was beautiful!

"Tahquamenon Falls Autumn"
“Tahquamenon Falls Autumn”

As you’ll see here, these are really not in chronological order at all. Below you’ll find beautiful Miner’s Castle, located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. It might look like it was photographed at some point during the winter, but this was actually in late May. The Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior were still having quite a bit of ice coverage even in late spring!

"Miner's Castle on Ice"
“Miner’s Castle on Ice”

While in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in early summer I had the chance to not only photograph the mountains and valleys, but also the wildflowers. This one here made a big impression on me, and as it turns out is one of the endangered wildflowers around the Blue Ridge Parkway area of Virginia.

"Gray's Lily"
“Gray’s Lily”

A beautiful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which you might say is not unusual, but on this particular trip it happened to be. I didn’t find very cooperative weather for most of the two times I was there this year. I really enjoyed the beautiful weather when I had it though!

"Blue Ridge by Daylight"
“Blue Ridge by Daylight”

As many of you know, I usually go up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula pretty often. If you haven’t been there, you must cross the Mackinac Bridge to get from the lower part of MI. to the UP. This beautiful bridge is a five mile long suspension bridge which crosses over the straits of Mackinac. I often photograph the bridge in the daylight, but not often at night. This image was one of many night images taken on this particular trip.

"Mackinac Reflections"
“Mackinac Reflections”

Here you’ll find a study in minimalism. A wonderful sunrise over Lake Huron. The hues were gorgeous, the color lasted for quite a long time, and gave me a time to not only spend time photographing it, but just enjoying the peaceful moment.

"Soothing"
“Soothing”

On that note I would like to thank you all for stopping by not only for this post, but for others all through these past years!

I wish everyone much peace, blessings, and many happy moments not only behind the camera, but in all aspects of your lives!

Here we come 2015! Get Ready……..

“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! 🙂

 

“Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Bloom”

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.

Enjoy!

"Through the Garden Gate"
“Through the Garden Gate”

-Purple Coneflower Dream-  800x600
“Purple Coneflower Dream”

"Illumination in Yellow"
“Illumination in Yellow”
"Sunlight on Maroon"
“Sunlight on Maroon”