“Sailing with You”

Watching over waters blue,
My thoughts and memories return to you.

The days go by like a billowing sail,
The nights stay long as time does trail.

I remember well with fondness true,
Of my time spent sailing with you!
By ~Rachel Cohen~

“Sailing with You”
-Sailing with You-

“The Last Goodbye”

On a recent visit to Shenandoah National Park, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had really wanted the ability to get a sunset before leaving the area. The weather hadn’t been cooperating for most of the time I was there. I had one day of lovely weather, but was busy and couldn’t be in the mountains. After that it rained cats and dogs for a few days, and In addition to that, the mountains were socked in with a thick heavy fog.
On my last day there, I decided to head up into the mountains one more time, even though it was raining in Winchester and Front Royal, plus the mountains were still having quite a bit of fog.
I drove quite a ways in and amazingly started to see some clearing happening. I even got to see a rainbow, which made me pretty happy, which I’ll explain in a minute.
During the time of sunset, I captured many images, but this one has to be the most colorful of the group! Not the best, but the most brilliant.
I call it “The Last Goodbye” for two reasons. One is that it was my last day there, and had to head out of town early the next morning.
The other reason was a much more import one. My whole reason for being in the area to begin with.
My father had passed away, just a few days before this was taken. He suffered a series of massive heart attacks. While I was in the area I got some time to myself and spent it in the Blue Ridge.
On my last night there I went up into the mountains to what was his favorite spot, so that I could say a quiet goodbye, and hopefully catch a sunset. What I got was more than I had hoped for.
I was blessed with clearing skies, a rainbow, and a vibrant sunset.
That was my very Last Goodbye to a wonderful man who during his lifetime had taught me the love and respect of nature, and the the pure joy of photographing that beauty!!

Blue Ridge Sunset
Blue Ridge Sunset

“Above the Forest”

I love to go to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at least once a year. Actually I would love to live up there. It’s truly a wonderful place to be.

I’ve traveled all over the UP, but this image is from just on the outskirts of Saint Ignace, which is the first town you come to after you cross the Mackinac Bridge.

It doesn’t matter what time of year I go. I always have to make a visit to Castle Rock. An historic place with a great view of extensive forests and Lake Huron depending on the direction you’re looking in.

For all photographers and historians make sure you take the time to talk with the family that owns and has operated it for so many years. The walls in the gift shop are filled with wonderful historical images from the humble beginnings of Castle Rock and the family that kept it going from the start till the present day.

A definite treat for everyone, not to mention children who need to run off their energy by climbing the many stairs to reach the top!

Enjoy the view!

The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!
The Beauty of the Upper Peninsula!

“Walking the Dunes”

To start of you have to understand that most of Michigan is really quite flat. Not many rolling hills, and no real mountains to speak of. Knowing that, I was quite surprised and happily so at the immense size, and height of the sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore.
I happened to be there when the weather had changed and the summer crowds had gone. There was quite a rain, and wind storm that day, but it didn’t keep me from climbing as much as possible all around the dunes. That’s what they’re there for!
You can see all the many footprints left behind from other people going up and down the huge dunes. The going up was really steep and pretty good exercise. 😉
Coming down on the other hand was really fast, and could easily end up with a person slip sliding down.
It’s a great place to bring kids though, especially ones that are tired of riding in a car. They can climb off all their energy!! 🙂
If you haven’t been to Michigan, make sure you put it on your list, and put Sleeping Bear Dunes high on your list of places to see, have fun, and catch a great sunrise or sunset too!

"Walking the dunes of Sleeping Bear"
“Walking the dunes of Sleeping Bear”

“Not Afraid to Stand Alone”

On the shores of Lake Michigan you’ll see Gulls of every kind, just flying around, diving into the water for food, and walking around on the shoreline casually among themselves.
This beautiful Gull made a lovely subject on the beach. Standing alone, and still, at least for a short while. Beautiful color markings on the bird itself combined with the colors of the sand of the beach and the waters of Lake Michigan made for a nice combination.
If anyone knows what type of Gull this one is please feel free to ID it for me! 🙂

A lovely Gull standing alone on the shores of Lake Michigan!
A lovely Gull standing alone on the shores of Lake Michigan!

“Lower Dark Hollow”

Last summer, the summer of 2012, in what I call the “year of the Drought”. Many of the places I visited related to water, were so different than they were in years before!
This image is from Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park. I started at the top of the trail of course, and expected to be met with the sound of rushing water as I went further down and the trail came closer to the falls. What I encountered instead was more like a slow pour, lightly and gently coming down the mountain and over the rocks.
I had hoped to take many images of the upper part of the falls, and the whole falls from the bottom. Well that’s not quite what happened.
First as I mentioned there was very little water compared to usual, and second, there were at least 40 people gathered around the lower falls to capture whatever was there. It was a mad house LOL!
So here is what will remain in my mind forever the lower part of Dark Hollow Falls with very little water, in the “Year of the Drought”!

Dark Hollow Falls
Dark Hollow Falls

“Grand Hotel” mono

The year 2012 was the 125th anniversary of the famous Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan. A beautiful and timeless place to stay while on a visit to Mackinac Island.
This image is taken off shore on Lake Huron. I processed this in both color and black and white. I decided to present it in B&W here on the blog.
For anyone who has visited Mackinac Island, or the Grand Hotel, this is a classic shot! Enjoy! 🙂

The wonderful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!
The wonderful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island!

“Where Lake Michigan Was”

Lake Michigan is a a wondrous place to see. There are so many variations in the types of shoreline, whether it be a sandy beach, rocky shore, or huge sand cliffs. Also the water colors can go from variations of blues, to greens and sometimes browns.
At this location I was surprised this year to see how much the drought had affected Lake Michigan. I know it affected smaller lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams terribly!
I took this shot from a very low vantage point because of strong winds, but it really gives you an idea of where the water used to be, which is the area where you see the rocks. You can still see the strong surf that day as it was quite windy, and the waves were high.
The sky was also quite beautiful and the cloud movement was swift with the wind current!
I’m hoping that there will be enough precipitation this year to make up for what was lost. I hope that when I see this shoreline next year the view will be that of much more water!
For now though we can enjoy that which is now exposed, and discover things that have been hidden for hundreds of years.
We have such a bounty here in the States and in Canada of having the Great Lakes, which are really unlike any other in the world. We should visit them, enjoy, and take care of them.
Make sure that wherever you go, you take only photographs, and leave only footprints. Preserve what God has given us so that all the generations that come after us are still able to enjoy the bounties!! 🙂

"Rocks, surf, and layers of clouds"
“Rocks, surf, and layers of clouds”

“Autumn on Campus”

There’s something so inviting and beautiful when you think about school, or college campuses during autumn’s colorful foliage season!
This image is no exception. It was taken a couple of months ago at the very end of peak color. The combination of the trees and their foliage, the pathways, lamp posts, and buildings seemed to all just flow together into one lovely autumn image! Enjoy! 🙂

Amazing autumn color on a university campus!
Amazing autumn color on a university campus!

“Fade to Sunset”

One evening in September after having a pretty cloudy day all day, I decided to go out for a sunset anyway, hoping their might be a good one. There were some really pretty clouds around, but the light wasn’t very good, and not too much in the way of color variation.
This particular area offered an nice vantage point for the clouds though, plus the plants in the foreground were blowing in the wind adding some additional interest.
This view is onto Lake Michigan from the Upper Peninsula. I went out for sunsets on the lake several times this September. Nearly every time just before sunset, all the clouds would swiftly blow by with the wind, and disappear. This time they stayed, albeit a little too much!

Cloudy Lake Michigan Sunset!
Cloudy Lake Michigan Sunset!