Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


31 Comments

WordPress photo challenge: Sunset

When I saw this week’s prompt I knew immediately the sunset I wanted to show you.

Fire to the south of me.

I was in northern Michigan in December of 2015 when one evening the sky just exploded. To the south it was burning in orange and reds, and to the north the sky was sighing in shades of pink and purple.

Cotton candy to the north of me.

The air was pinkish gold. I couldn’t shoot fast enough, and I never felt the cold.

The waves were tipped in light.

Though I usually limit myself to one photo for a photo challenge, this time I just couldn’t decide. So since the sunset itself was divided between fire and sweet I decided to go with full disclosure.

The islands out at the horizon were crowned by gold and purple.

Picture me turning from south to north and back again, trying not to miss any detail.

It just kept getting better.

It was amazing and I’m so glad to be able to relive it through these shots.

What a place to sit and enjoy the show!

And, as always, I’m glad to share them with you.

A firestorm in the sky.


27 Comments

Birds!

It’s been cold up here and I’ve been hibernating in the house. The day before yesterday we finally got to double digit temperatures (Fahrenheit and above zero!). Sitting on the sofa, camera by my side I was watching the lake when this big guy stopped by to look for lunch.

I got to see him run up and down the tree, then fly past my window. He was really cool in flight, maybe someday I’ll catch that too.

And yesterday on a walk down the street I got only two driveways away when I heard a soft chirping. I looked up and saw this:

A whole flock of something. Can you guess? Does this help?

Yes you are correct! A huge flock of cedar wax wings! Those in the tree were resting after a big lunch. Lunch was a buffet on a tree full of red berries.

I cropped the heck out of that shot, and I liked the artsy form it took on when I tried to get the bird’s colors to show.

I think I saw a bald eagle when I was out too, but it was way too far away for me to be sure. I’ll be here another day, and I’ve seen them fly down the shore before, so you never know.

Stay tuned.


20 Comments

Chilly Tourist

Thursday the snow slowed a bit and someone plowed the driveway. I took the opportunity to go to town with groceries and visiting in mind.

But before I got to town I had to stop and grab this barn with the dark clouds.

There’s a storm brewing over there.

And this orchard with the rope of clouds above it.

Striking clouds that morning.

Once in town I stopped by Dog Ears Bookstore to visit with owner Sarah and her person Pamela.

Queen of all she surveys.

We chatted for awhile and then I got brave and drove eleven miles over curving hilly snow covered roads to Leland where I spent a few bone chilling minutes wandering historic Fishtown

Cold and lonely.

I don’t know what the temperature was, but with the wind blowing I know it was below zero.

Snowy fish.

I’d see something interesting, take off the gloves, shoot the image, and put those gloves back on while stowing the camera under my coat as fast as I could.

Icy cold.

I didn’t stay very long. This town is definitely a tourist destination, though there were plenty of locals out and about. They didn’t seem that cold.

Crazy cold.

Along the way home I saw a few interesting things that made me pull over and attempt a capture.

The snow is starting back up again.

I was only out there a couple of hours, but by the time I got back to the house I was glad to look at the view from the sofa.

There’s a lot of color out there.

And I was grateful for the little lap warmer named Lydia too.

Pet me!


10 Comments

Every day is different

Sometime in the middle of the night I woke to the absence of sound. I smiled as I realized that the wind had died down and the lake had stopped it’s incessant pounding. The quiet lulled me back to sleep.

This morning the bands of lake effect snow drift across the lake toward the house. I watch them like I used to watch rain on the lake where I grew up. The snow dances like fog out along the horizon and then moves closer until my entire view is obscured. And then, just as quickly it is gone.

More snow on the way.

Yesterday ice began to push against the shore. Today there is an even wider band of ice on the beach, and large pies of ice floating free in the slow rocking waves further out.

Cold.

And, today, in between bands of snow I spotted my first freighter headed north.

See that ship out there?

For a brief moment the snow abated and the colors of the lake, though muted, began to glow.

Catch the light when you can.

And then the snow closed in again, the vignette disappeared, and I headed back up to the house.

Another day of beautiful blues.


19 Comments

Day two on the shore of my favorite Lake

This morning, the day after Christmas, started out just like yesterday ended; blowing snow and roaring wind and waves. I was somewhat discouraged to face another full day inside. Still….the lake was beautiful, though often obscured by bands of incoming snow.

Not a good morning to lounge on the deck.

I began a new book. Checked social media. Checked the fridge. Filled the cat bowl with fresh food and water. Took a nap. Watched some cooking shows on PBS, and then learned how to paint a happy little tree with Bob Ross. By early afternoon the wind had died down a tiny bit and I pulled on the coat, hat, boots, gloves and grabbed the camera to go down to the lake and see what was what.

Each little weed is covered in ice and pressed snow.

For all the blowing and noise of the night there really was very little snow left on the dune. But each little stem of the dune grasses was coated in a hard covering of ice and snow.

And the rope, which would be used to help me climb back up the dune looked permanently frozen, but beautiful.

Not so helpful now.

The wind really hadn’t died down very much after all, I was just out in between snow bands. It was frigid, (only 7 degrees F, -13 C) so cold I couldn’t really see through my view finder, especially squatted down low to see those little ice clad weeds. The horizons on those shots were almost 45 degrees! Good thing I found the straightening tool in Lightroom!

I only lasted outside for a total of 7 minutes. And I didn’t risk climbing down the dune to the water. But I got outside and I feel much better for having tried. I might even attempt a drive to town. But probably not, as that would entail removing ice from the car windshield. Tomorrow might be a better day for that adventure.

So, until I get out to find something new to capture, stay warm everybody!

Cold.


10 Comments

Practicing on the lake

The lakes expands up over the beach.

I’m sitting in a warm living room, way up north, on the shores of Lake Michigan. I’m devoting Christmas Day to reading and napping and occasionally running down the forty-something steps in an attempt to capture the magnificent lake in all it’s windy, turquoise and frothy white splendor.

The colors are wonderful. In between bands of snow I try to capture the sound of the roar and sight of the tossing waves and the feel of ice pelting my face.

The sun came out for a brief moment.

I only take a few shots before my fingers are too cold to work and my ears feel like they might fall off. Still, it’s enough to use in my processing practice.

I’m still learning. But truly the lake really is this magnificent turquoise color, and the clouds really were navy.

The waves are bigger than they look.

Since this morning the snow has moved in and though the lake is still it’s beautiful greenish blue, the sky has turned an uninteresting shade of slate grey. They say it’s 9 degrees (-12.77 C) here, and that’s not accounting for the wind chill.

The wind is roaring in off the lake, the sound is deafening outside and noticeable even sitting on the sofa, the huge waves pounding the shore are mesmerizing. I’m glad I’m inside and I doubt I’ll be out again any time soon. So I’ll sit and listen to holiday music while figuring out more about Lightroom.

Standing above the lake on a dune.

I’m so glad I have such an alive subject to use in my practice!

Wind, water and snowy sand.


21 Comments

Trees and color and sky oh my!

I drove down a side road to turn around and look what I found.

People go north around here to ‘leaf peek;’ to drive and wander while enjoying the fall colors that are usually stupendous in northern Michigan each year.

Looking for color, but can’t ignore the lake!

This year the color is a bit muted, a bit late, sometimes not there at all. Everyone has a theory about why that is.

Still pretty green back in the woods.

Maybe it’s the lack of rain earlier in the year. Or the above normal temperatures.

I found these way back on a dirt road while looking for a lake. Never found the lake but that was OK.

Maybe it’s because we haven’t had a frost yet.

Even without a lot of color I just had to stop at this field.

Maybe it’s all of that and more.

These maple trees made us stop and take notice.

For me, heading up north is usually about the Lake, and last week was no exception. But we did spend one day wandering the interior of the peninsula, looking for color where we could find it.

Color hides everywhere, even underfoot.

If you look you’ll see it’s there. Sometimes brilliant…

Glowing.

..sometimes more demure.

Shades of neutral fungus.

But it’s definitely there.

I hope you have the opportunity to get out and enjoy whatever’s around you too. Take a wander and share what you find with us!

Around here it won’t be long until winter descends. We need to make the best of these warmer temperatures while we still can!

A little blushing pink tucked underneath.


14 Comments

My drive home – a study in green (plus a few other colors)

Click on any photo and you’ll be able to scroll through larger versions of all the images above.

I stopped at a few places on the way home. What would have been a five hour drive turned into nine. And I got rained on. A lot. Still, it was so much fun.

I have lots of other things to show you, but they weren’t necessarily dominated by green…so they didn’t fit here. I suppose that will mean a post with random photos coming soon.

On the other hand, Katie-girl has much to say and you know how hard it is to silence a princess.