Monday, September 29, 2014

Lake Michigan

Did I mention it's been blue skies and sunshine for days on end here in the Bluegrass State . . .

Here's a couple of images I captured on my trip to Michigan.

Every day in Michigan we had beautiful blue skies along the lakeshore. Am I allowed to say I miss the lakeshore. It was so much fun near the water and walking on the beaches. Did you know aside from Florida, Michigan has some of the best beaches in America? I'm talking soft, fluffy sand. The kind of sand you can really sink your toes in too. ENJOY!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Yew Dell Gardens

All of the images from this week were taken at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Kentucky. Here's a simple collage of some of the images I captured last Sunday at Yew Dell.

Everyone have a fantastic weekend. The weather here in the Bluegrass State has been gorgeous all week with 'no' humidity and cool temps at night with beautiful blue sky days. Oh how blessed. Are you enjoying your first week of Fall? ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pale Clouded Butterfly

Poetry takes me back to my teen years when after school I would disappear into my room and read Rod McKuen's poetic phrases and envision that I could write such melodic thoughts. As a young girl, he was a God send taking me to far away places through his simplistic phrases allowing me to escape to a world I could never know. Today, occasionally I write my own poetic phrases. The words serve to give life to my photographs that I have captured among the settings I escape to today in a world I know very well. ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sunflower's Bounty

Summer's end brings many changes as Autumn takes hold.

As I walked among the trees, the shrubs, the plants, the flowers and the gardens of Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood on Sunday, I was reminded of Summer, but also of what is to come with this new season. The plants and flowers were beginning to show signs of want. I lingered among the tall stalks seeking to capture the moment. ENJOY!

Sunflowers stood tall in a small garden patch.
Flowers hung heavy on lanky stalks.
Leaves dried and brittle.
Blooms devoid of color.
Seeds the only proof of life.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Equinox

Fall weather is here in Kentucky, not to mention the leaves are showing signs of turning colors.
Pumpkins are showing up everywhere and fall decorations are adorning all of the gift shops.
Can warm bonfires on cold Fall evenings, pumpkins picked fresh from the patch,
hayrides bouncing you all over the rickety old wagon
and corn mazes twisting and turning you to and fro be far behind. 
Soon September will give way to October.

wicked witches with tall black hats and swishy black brooms,
black cats darting in front of you on a lonely country road,
skeletons legs dangling from a creaky old rocker, 
ghosts, ghouls and goblins whizzing by, eekk,
and big black spiders weaving huge sticky webs on the corner of the porch.

Soon it will be All Hallow's Eve. Have you got your 'Fall' on yet? ENJOY!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ode to a Pumpkin

It is that time of year. Are you seeing them everywhere you turn? Pumpkins. In shop windows, on front porches, in the pumpkin patch, in the front yard, on the sidewalk. Sitting on tables, sitting on chairs, sitting on patios. In, on and sitting everywhere.

There are carved pumpkins, painted pumpkins, appliqued pumpkins. There are pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread. There are orange pumpkins, black pumpkins, silver pumpkins. There are tall skinny pumpkins, short fat pumpkins, huge obese pumpkins sitting on their side. The pumpkin is the very essence of Fall in every way it is displayed, eaten and enjoyed. And so goes my Ode to a Pumpkin. And yes, I have pumpkins decorating my patio, my tables and even in my home office. ENJOY!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Waterfall, The Smokies

As I drove over to the far eastern side of the Smokies in the Spring, I stopped to capture a few images of the water coming down the side of the mountain next to the main road.
In previous posts you may remember my frustration photographing water. In this setting, there were at least a dozen cascades coming down in varying directions with tons of 'noise' all around. By noise I mean broken branches, twigs and well, in this case, one too many cascades that only lend to distract the viewer. Too many distractions can hender the overall composition of an image. Cropping is usually the order of the day to help fix some of these problems. It is so difficult getting the composition, the sharpness, the highlights, the low lights and the water flow itself all working together in unison. And I'll say it again, it is so difficult. I believe photographing water is what some photographers call the madness that is photography. I hope you enjoy this image. ENJOY!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Elk, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

On my visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park earlier this year, I drove to the far eastern side of the park where the Oconaluftee Visitor's Center is located, right outside of the small town of Cherokee. I had hoped to catch a glimpse of the Elk herd that had been seen in the fields the previous evening. I waited next to the field where the Elk had been the night before, but no Elk appeared.

So I moved on down to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in hopes of seeing them. One lone female Elk made an appearance that evening while I was there. And luckily, this she came out of the woods and moved almost all the way up to the edge of the Visitor Center. So I was able to get a few images, with my 300mm. As you can see, this Elk was not only tagged, but also bears a radio collar to track her movements. All of the Elk in the Smokies, both near Oconaluftee and in Cataloochee Valley were reintroduced into the park about ten years ago.

When I first arrived at the center, one of the park rangers standing at the edge of the parking lot mentioned to us that there was a possibility that the Elk may not come out to graze, as it was the height of the birthing season, and many of the female Elk were giving birth to new calves.

In the past, when I have photographed the Elk, it has been in Cataloochee Valley, which is also part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but is quite a distance from the main park boundaries, and is actually located in North Carolina. Aside from the added drive to reach this area of the park, the drive up and around the mountain to gain access to Cataloochee Valley itself is long and winding and, at times, arduous as you are hugging the side of the mountain. To make matters worse, the road is not paved, but gravel. So having an opportunity to see even one Elk on my trip, without having to make that drive to Cataloochee, was worth the waiting. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. The weather here has cooled off and will be in the 60's and 70's for the next week. Did I mention how happy that makes me. ENJOY!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Soaring by Elder Heart

As we approach the most colorful of seasons, I wanted to share an image I captured in Brown County, Indiana, in the small arts and crafts community of Nashville, this past weekend. Beautiful blue skies, fluffy white clouds, calm breezes and plentiful warm sunshine with a much cooler temp made for the perfect day to visit Nashville.

On the patio of the town's Visitor's Center, I captured a few images of the new art sculpture 'Soaring' that stands eighteen feet tall created by Southern Indiana Veterans, Elder Heart, under the guidance of local artist, Jim Connor. Elder Heart is a Veteran's organization that participates in many public and private projects around Southern Indiana. The metal sculpture featured huge colorful leaves, with single leaves at the top, and multiple leaves at the bottom, seemingly depicting falling leaves. It was the perfect image to bring you my favorite quote for Autumn by Albert Camus. ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ducklings, Holland State Park

An evening walk out onto the beach at Holland State Park in Michigan earlier this Summer, I noticed several Mallard Ducks floating on Lake Michigan near the large rocks along the breakwater.

And then I noticed this one little Duckling who decided to climb way up on top of one of the rocks. Not sure Mom was real happy about that as she looked on.

The water was such a wonderful blue that day.

There were quite a few Ducklings staying close to their parents that afternoon. I never really thought about Ducks and Geese having offspring later in the Summer, but apparently they do. The state park was really the perfect place to go swimming and sunbathing. It even had a huge concession stand. And Big Ben Lighthouse was right across the inlet so it was great for picture taking also. Thankfully the heat has dissipated and while tomorrow will be around 90, it hopefully, will be the last 90 degree day we have this year. Things I've noticed recently that you may have also made note of . . . pumpkins, mums, Halloween decor, talk of cool nights and Fall foliage changes coming. Oooohhhh. Love Fall. ENJOY!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Scarlet Cockscomb

As luck would have it on my journey today, I crossed paths with a very large scarlet Cockscomb blooming near a shop I visited. Today was the first day in many many weeks that I got outdoors to take photos.
Visiting Nashville, Indiana or as we locals call it 'Brown County' is a treat at the end of Summer and before Fall gets going in full swing. Most of the Summer's flowers are still blooming and the leaves haven't turned yet. Coupled with all of the colorful shops in the small arts and crafts town, well you guessed it. It's a fantastic place to take photos. And the icing on the cake is most of the Fall decor is out on display for fresh pickins'. The large Cockscomb plant I photographed was covered in 'bugs' in all shapes and sizes. In particular there were many 'lightning' bugs all over the blooms. Today was the first day in many weeks the temperature was a comfortable mid seventy and there was no humidity and my schedule was finally in my favor. And for that I am grateful. Back soon. ENJOY!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Varigated Hydrangea

Oh my how I love Hydrangeas, but this one in particular was absolutely gorgeous. This particular Hydrangea bush was blooming next to a black wrought iron fence that surrounded the tiny Visitor Center at Saugatuck, Michigan's downtown harbor area.

And even more beautiful...

I don't even have to ask if you agree. Surely, you must. Have a lovely Labor Day weekend all. Stay safe and if you are having a heat wave such as we are in Kentucky, stay cool. ENJOY!