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!
In this first image you’ll see beautiful Lake of the Clouds, which is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!
This year as usual when the end of summer approached, I started planning for my fall photography trip or trips. I couldn’t wait to see the world around me turn to gold, orange, and red! As it turned out in Michigan, as well as many parts of the country and world, timing was a bit off. I had to keep changing the dates of my trips to adjust to the lack of fall color where I was going.
Finally in early October things started to look more positive, and I headed for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which I do every year, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
One of the most beautiful places to me, in the Western UP, is Lake of the Clouds. I drove from the city of Marquette out to The Porcupine Mountains to get there. It was raining heavily the whole way out, but I had been watching the weather forecasts and radar earlier in the day, in hopes that there might be some kind of clearing by the time I arrived.
As you can see from the photograph above the clouds were still thick but oh so beautiful as the rain storm had broken and rays of sun were changing the landscape. I felt such a wave of relief come over me with each passing minute with the continuously changing weather!
Last year, although beautiful in it’s own right, my entire trip to Lake of the Clouds, and indeed most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was filled with very heavy rain and thick fog. This time though was wonderfully different and I was so thankful!
After nearly all of the clouds had passed, and as I moved from one vantage point to another, the sun began shining on nearly everthing in late afternoon, illuminating all the trees in their glorious fall color! This was the final payoff before I left the area and made my way back to Marquette.
In Marquette, Michigan at Presque Isle Park I had also been trying to escape the rain. Upon arriving everything was wet with a light drizzle and quite overcast. I decided to enjoy myself regardless of the weather, and honestly in this location there is so much to see, and quite enjoyable no matter the time of year or type of weather!
The clouds began breaking just a bit in different ways which created beautiful reflections in some of the pools of water on these volcanic rocks.
In this last image the sun was shining brightly on the rock with dark clouds in the distance. It created a beautiful contrast to the scene! Darkness and light, warmth versus cool, and plenty of texture!
I hope to share more of my images from my trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with you in future blog posts. I surely hope you enjoyed these! 🙂
Earlier this past fall, I made a week long trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I knew that fall color was a little later this year than last so I felt really good about my timing. What I couldn’t predict, and really, who can, was the weather! During the seven days there I had only one day of sunshine, but without a cloud in the sky. The rest of the days were either rainy or at least drizzling and or foggy. I had so hoped to see Lake of the Clouds in good weather. Oh well, it certainly was “In the Clouds” is all I can say! Both fog and mist!
It rained the entire time I was there, and of course I had forgotten to bring an umbrella, so I used shower caps, and other plastic bags to cover my camera and lenses. Anyway, I was thrilled to see this beautiful place no matter what the weather was, but I had hoped to come back with images of gorgeous fall color and amazing clouds! Oh well, at least I did get some amazing fog and mist, and I could see there was wonderful fall color underneath all that fog! 😉
After leaving Lake of the Clouds and the Porcupine Mountains, the weather only got worse. I headed east towards Marquette, having rain coming down in buckets at times, and at other times a drizzle or mist. About halfway between where I was, and where I was going, I passed by Lake Plumbago. My eyes nearly popped out of my head! Wow amazing reflections! I made a U-Turn in the middle of the road and went back to a lovely roadside park next to the lake. It was mildly drizzling at the time so I got out my tripod and camera and spent the next 15 minutes or so there just making photographs of the fall color and reflections and really just enjoying the eye candy!
We’ve had a pretty dreary winter this year, not as much snow, but plenty of clouds. I’m really ready to see some amazing color! I will have to wait half a year or so to see this kind of color again, but in the meantime I’m getting ready for the arrival of spring flowers! I hope your area has started to see some signs of spring, or if you live down under, I hope you are beginning to see some brilliant fall foliage!
I always enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset, especially over a body of water. The clouds and colorful hues are reflected on the surface making it absolutely glorious! Scroll down to see two sunset and one sunrise image from this summer on two of the Great Lakes.
I’ve also included several quotes on the topic of sunrise and sunset. Enjoy!
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore ~
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
~ George R.R. Martin ~
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
~ Jo Walton ~
“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
~ Vera Nazarian ~
“The blue of daylight
fades and chills as the sun sinks
beneath clouds of fire.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich ~
“The sunset was a splendid display. I wondered if it was showing off for my benefit or if it was often that spectacular. Rarely had I seen such a gorgeous scene; the riotous colors flamed out over the sky in shades that I had no words to describe. Birds sang their last songs of the day before tucking in for the night, and still the darkness hung back. Now, I thought, I understand the word “twilight.” It was created for just this time – in this land.”
~ Janette Oke ~
“But even the longest day wears to sunset.”
~ Marion Zimmer Bradley ~
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!
On my last visit to Minneapolis MN. I spent a day in this beautiful city just wondering around the streets essentially with my eye to the sky.
My original destination was The Foshay Tower, which I went to first. I toured the inside, then went to the observation deck for the spectacular view from the top. I love the historical aspect of the architecture there! You’ll see the Foshay Tower in the last image.
The IDS Tower was the building that called for my attention next! It’s such a lovely building with it’s glass facade, angles, and height. Two of the images below are from one frame and processed differently. The third image is from a slightly different angle of the same building that reveals some of the reflections of other structures in the area.
I really like the sharp edges and deep contrast of the architecture of the IDS Tower itself. When processing I also used high contrast in these two images, whether color or monochrome. Only the last image is done in a softer tone.
The IDS Tower is 57 stories tall, it became the tallest skyscraper in Minneapolis when it surpassed the height of the Foshay Tower, which is 32 stories tall. This happened in 1972, which then ended the Foshay Tower’s 43-year reign over the Minneapolis skyline. In addition to being a lot taller, The IDS Tower occupies much more real estate than the Foshay does. The Foshay Tower was desighed to look more like the Washington Monument so it has an obelisk-like look to it.
Enjoy these images from a small part of Minneapolis as you look to the sky. Be careful don’t strain your neck! 😉
Recently on a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I was taken by surprise at all of the ice still remaining on Lake Superior.
The weather on my second day there turned unseasonably warm, which happened to be the case the day I took this sunset.
On certain areas of Lake Superior you can only see ice in the far distance, in other places you are actually able to still stand on thick chunks that are floating around closer to the shore.
The day before I took this image the whole bay was a mass of floating icebergs, ranging in size from many feet wide to a few inches in width. The depth could also be 1-3 feet for those that I could see. I’m sure much larger for those in the middle of each of the Great Lakes.
I was really hoping to get some sunset images through the icebergs with loads of golden color. Well, that didn’t happen because on the next evening I arrived to find much of the ice that had been close to the shore previously, no longer there. The warm southern winds had blown it further out in the water. Only a few chunks remained close to where I was standing.
The temperatures that day had reached the upper 80’s with plenty of haze and humidity, as well as a ton of black flies and mosquitoes. Consequently the sunset was not quite what I had hoped for yet it was really colorful and quite long lasting.
This frame is one of the later ones from that night, towards the end of sunset. The colors were still strong at the time, and the ice fields visible in the distance. You can also notice a few smaller pieces of ice closer to the shore.
The funny thing to me was knowing that here in late May, there were still many remnants of this winters extremely cold weather all around me.
I’m sure that there will be ice somewhere on Lake Superior for another month or two!
Enjoy this extremely simple image, and view of color and ice in a time that you wouldn’t normally expect it!
During the day today, I spent many hours, as a lot of you have, watching the news about the tragedy that happened at the Boston Marathon. Following the news events on twitter which come out even faster, and watching in horror as more and more images, and information of this sad day evolved!
I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to all those people, their families, and their friends that have been affected by this days horrific events! I want to send you my best wishes, hope for better days to come, and healing to begin!
I thought I’d also take the time to express some other thoughts that I have in my mind. The way I see it, all of us on this big beautiful planet are brothers and sisters of each other. We are here to take care of each other, and to take care of this amazing planet earth and everything on it, that has been given to us as a trust.
Today’s tragic event in Boston is another one in a long line of so many injustices that have happened or are happening in cities and towns around this nation, and also around the entire world.
There have been so many recent horrific events in our own country that have happened to totally innocent people, like what happened today in Boston. This is a very sad fact!
What many people don’t realize or even think much about though, is that there are so many people around the world in other countries that are suffering beyond anything we can possibly imagine. They are being tortured and killed by their own governments. People in countries that are completely oppressed by outside forces. Whole nations of human beings that are held hostage by the raving madness of one man in charge, or by their own countries government officials.
My wish for all of us here in this country and for everyone in the entire world is to bridge the gaps we have between each other. Join together for the sake of humanity. Be brothers and sisters to each other. No matter the continent, the nation, the language, the religion, nor the color of our skin.
Extend our hands out to each other, cross the bridges and come together as human beings to help overcome the injustices that abound both here in this country, and around the world.
I see this image below of a bridge across a river as the bridge we can use to cross and join forces with each other, for the good of all mankind!
I see the reflections in the water as the reflections of life. Reflections of different people’s lives from all around the world.
The colors of the foliage in the many trees represents the colors of skin, the different religions, the beauty of the worlds languages, and all other differences you can think of.
We are the world. We are beautiful! We can work together to help solve the problems of humanity, even if it be as little as one leaf at a time. One word of comfort, one hug, one beautiful photo, one kindness.
We are not lost, it is not too late! With each adversity we have the ability to become stronger and closer, but we have to also try to bridge the gap of ignorance that exists, and embrace the beauty of the people and countries in this wonderful world around us!
I extend my hand, my heart, my prayers and my thoughts to all those who are suffering both here, and around the world tonight, and in the future!
This image is called “Bridging the Huron”, but for tonight I think it shall be called “Bridging the Gap”
On a recent foray out into the wilds of Ann Arbor 😉 , I went in search of architecture, and architectural details to photograph.
There are so many great opportunities for all types of architecture there! Historic, modern, art deco, and just about anything you can imagine. All within a few miles of each other including on the Central Campus of the University of Michigan.
I love to get angles of many types of subjects, and of course of those is buildings. This image comes from an area of the C.S. Mott children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.
It was a very busy time of day, on a weekday. Which probably isn’t the best time for shooting, so I spent my time focusing up rather than down. I liked this angle not only because of the lines and shape of the structure itself, but for another reason. What started out as a cold, but sunny winter day, suddenly transitioned to a cloudy and snowy one! What you see in the upper left hand side of this image, is an area of clouds, which was the leading edge of the transition from sunshine and blue skies back to clouds and snow.
The beautiful blue of the sky was reflected in the windows of the structure, which I really liked. I continued to do many different shots as the sky changed, but this one is my favorite because of the timing. I also converted this to a monochrome image which will be on my site. The monochrome also has a nice punch to it! Very deep and dark!