On my last full day ‘up north’ I stopped by the Leelanau State Park hiking trails. I’d spent most of my three day visit near the water, understandable given how much I love Lake Michigan, and I thought I should see what was going on in the forest before I left.
As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I realized that I’d been here once before, a few years ago during the winter when we’d all gone cross country skiing on these trails. It looked different now, but not that much different. And walking was so much easier than skiing!
It was a dreary and rainy day when I went into the woods, which only served to intensify the green that was waiting for me to discover. The path was soft and squishy with fallen needles and leaves. The only sounds where the chirps of chipmunks, the cries of bluejays and a slight breeze in the trees.
Since it had been so damp, days and days of rain and clouds, everything was lush including the mushrooms and toadstools growing on the forest floor. Luckily I had my tripod with me, so I was able to get up close to these little orange guys, even in the low light.
It took me a few times to figure out the white balance and the ISO, not to mention the f-stop and shutter speed. But thanks to some advice Heather of Snap Happy Gal gave me the night before I was able to fiddle around and get the shot using manual settings on my camera. The hardest part was getting my knees to unbend and to stand up once I’d been down there for awhile.
It was such a beautiful day, as overcast and dreary as it had been out on the road, it was fresh and green and pleasantly cool in the woods. I appreciated finding these informative signs at each intersection so I didn’t worry about getting lost.
I wanted to keep going and going from one marker to the next. I wanted to explore all of it, but it’s pretty big. I guess I’ll have to go back to see more of it the next time I’m up that way.
I sure enjoyed my walk in the woods, watching the ground for beautiful stuff…
…and watching the treetops for more beautiful stuff.
And then, surprise, surprise, the sun came out! Suddenly light flooded into the woods, and the trees smiled.
So did I.
While I was in the woods exploring the sun fought it’s way out from under the clouds and when I emerged from the trees blue sky and puffy white clouds greeted me.
Back in the parking lot, sitting in the car drinking some water, I noticed one last beautiful thing. I couldn’t help but get the camera and tripod back out. It reminded me of Lake Michigan which also has a wide range of colors, depending on the light.
It turns out that after my walk in the woods I found one of the prettiest things I had seen that afternoon on a tree standing right next to the parking lot. I guess you never know where you’re going to find something beautiful!
So tell me, what beautiful things have you seen lately?