Friday, January 23, 2015

The Beautiful Mute Swan

Last Winter in early January I spent a few hours at Cave Hill Cemetery, located in downtown Louisville, photographing the beautiful lake and a pair of Mute Swans that make their home there. The Swans are such graceful, beautiful creatures and watching them as they moved about the lake side by side, always staying within a few feet of each other, was heartwarming

There are so many aspects of Cave Hill I will miss as I soon make my way South to Nashville. Yet, I realize there are many new adventures waiting for me in Nashville. Percy Pierce Dam, the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake are just a few of the areas I plan to explore.

As many of you are aware if you live in the States, there is a fairly good sized storm making its way across the United States tonight heading northeast and yet a second storm will be moving through the Ohio River Valley later this weekend. Everyone travel safely. ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Late Fall Calicarpa Berries

As Fall approaches each year, I find these beautiful purple berries hanging off the stems of large bushes in Bernheim's Arboertum. Yet, I had never really Googled to find out what they are called. Earlier this week I was 'archive surfing' and found this photo I had captured in late Fall. Immediately I knew it would make for a great image to pair up with a Winter quote. After Googling I discovered these are Calicarpa Berries.

The bushes are best known in Asia, but are found in Australia and in North America. I didn't realize it, but the berries last well into Winter. All I really know is I love their hue. It is so warm and inviting and finding the perfect quotation to add to the image by John Steinbeck was so fitting. We have snow coming across from the Western states here in the United States moving East this week. It will get to Kentucky on Friday night and Saturday. I hope wherever you are you are staying warm and cozy. So far this Winter has been very very mild which only makes me wonder what February will bring. ENJOY!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Bluegrass Winter

Winter in Kentucky, the Bluegrass State.
Icicles form on every surface creating needle like patterns.
Evergreen branches hang low to the ground heavily laden with snow.
A snowy bridge crosses a soon frozen pond as bitter cold sets in.
A new blanket of snow hugs the sides of a Fir tree in the Arboretum.
Snow covered limestone steps lead to a path unknown.
Winter wind whips around the Pavilion while layers of snow lay across its rooftop.
Crab Apple trees sit dormant as a blanket of fresh snow covers every surface.
Freezing rain clings to every twig and branch forming an intricate patchwork of art.

Winter in the Bluegrass State brings snow and ice and bitter winds while we seek shelter from the cold.
Wood sits ready on hearths waiting its turn on the warm crackling fire.
Blankets hang loosely off the arm of the chair ready for wrapping ourselves in warmth.
Travel slowly on the icy snow covered roads and stay warm from the cold all. ENJOY!

Linking to The Scoop at Stonegable

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Winter's Landscape

At this time last year, there were several inches of fresh snow covering the ground at Bernheim. One of the many places I visited during that Winter was the Arboretum. I have spent many seasons at Bernheim. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I have walked the snow covered paths, felt the bitter cold seeping through my jacket and knew my toes would be frost bit soon if I did not soon retreat to the warmth of my car.

I have spent a considerable amount of time photographing here capturing countless images of the birds, the animals, the insects, the plants, the lakes, the flowers, the trees, the blooms. There is nothing so beautiful in Spring as the Arboretum. First comes the crocuses, and then the Daffodils break free from their Winter's ground. Later the Japanese Magnolias burst forth in bloom with varying colors of blush pink to bright yellow. Shortly thereafter, the Crab Apples sprout their tiny blossoms. Colors of bright pink and soft white cover the tree branches and hang low to the ground draped like a carpet surrounding the base of each tree.

As the days grow warmer and the sun shines longer in the sky, the Goslings begin to crack free of their shells. Slowly, they wobble their way among the reeds and grasses along Lake Nevin waddling in single file behind Mom and Dad, pecking about the ground for food. The Robins sing a new song heralding in Spring while the Butterflies begin to emerge from their cocoons and flitter away in the breeze.

Yet before these wondrous, beautiful scenes take place, there lies a carpet of white blanketing the landscape covering the bushes, the trees, the prairie. Tree branches lay bare whilst waiting for their buds to burst forth harkening Spring. Layer upon layer of buds cling to their twigs and branches as Winter's harsh winds blow through.

Winter, in all its wonder, is still and quiet now, while Spring patiently waits its turn. ENJOY!

NOTE: It has been a busy yet stressful week as I attempt to pick up my roots and slowly prepare to relocate my life. Thank you for all of your kind thoughts from my last post and for allowing me to share. Your words and comments give me strength.

Linking to Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Burnt Cove, Deer Isle, Maine

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in the midst of major controversy and upheaval. I found myself there these past few weeks. 
Some days I ask God why. Others days I say to God I will endure. Each day brings a new beginning and a hope for a better day.

When I seek strength and courage, I oftentimes look back at better days. And today I found refuge in a familiar place,
where I spent a good deal of time one midday in the Summer of 2008 capturing several images of this beautiful place called Burnt Cove, 
on remote Deer Isle, in Down East Maine.

My dream is to get back to Maine this year. Yet, I have a daunting task ahead of me.
I will find the strength and courage I am looking for, as I know it is within me.
The problem is whether I can find a way to help those around me better understand.

I realize more each day this is a difficult task to achieve . . . to find understanding.
This is where I find myself today. This is where I remind myself to step softly and pray for grace. 

And there it is . . . my resolution I made nonchalantly at the start of this new year. 
To be more kind and graceful. 
I have come full circle. 

Knowing I can be strong and courageous. 
Praying that I can find the grace to help others better understand.

How amazing life can be.  One can find what one needs from within.
But one cannot always find the words to help others better understand.

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you today.
You, my dear friends and followers, are also my refuge. ENJOY!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Beautiful Cade's Cove

Many years ago I captured this image of the beautiful sunshine highlighting the mosses growing on these hardwood trees along the auto tour in Cade's Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains. In every photographer's life, there are a mere handful of images that one considers their very favorites. This is one of mine.

Sunlit Sundays

Trees are one of my weaknesses. I love to photograph them because they stand tall and persevere against all of the odds. Wind and rain, in all seasons, and bitter cold, snow and ice, in the Winter months. They thrive literally to survive. And yet after these living creatures of Mother Earth fall to the ground, their life is not done. For they lay close to the Earth and provide a valuable source of food and refuge for animals and insects and small plant life. Their life seemingly goes on and on. I hope you like this image and wherever this day finds you, I wish you beautiful sunshine. ENJOY!

Linking to Sunlit Sundays
Linking to Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Red Barn & News

It is a beautiful red barn that you will find as you walk the grounds at Jim Beam Brands. The company transformed this old barn into one of the centerpieces on the distillery grounds. An old well sits just in front of the barn, while an old distillery building filled with whiskey barrels going through the aging process, sits directly behind it. This distillery is a great place to visit and tour. There is also a huge new grey barn with Jim Beam logos which is now a Stillhouse where visitors can wander in and out. You are welcome to walk the grounds and check out all of the beautiful buildings. Believe it or not, the distillery sits a mere quarter of a mile down the road from Bernheim Arboretum, my favorite stomping grounds.

And just a quick note to all of my friends and followers across the globe. As you may or may not know, I am based out of Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby and home to the Bluegrass Region with its beautiful horse farms. But soon I will living in Nashville, Tennessee, as my job as been transferred and I chose to stay on with my company and make this move. While this is not how I had planned to spend my January, pulling up stakes, and moving three hundreds miles south, I am looking at the positives. I will be two and a half hours from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which cuts that drive almost in half. And I will be able to visit the beautiful town of Franklin, south of Nashville, which is known for its rolling farm fields and quaint small town with wonderful shops and restaurants. And I will even be closer to the Land Between the Lakes which is in southwest Kentucky, but will be a shorter drive for me living in Nashville. There are many other positives too, I wanted to travel to Charleston and Savannah in the next few years on a photo trip. Well, now I will be able to drive there as it will be close enough to drive in an easy day's time. I hope that all of you will wish me well as I make my way South to the Country Music Capital of the World. ENJOY!

Linking to Barn Collective
Linking to Wednesday Around the World

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Painted Lady

The weather here in the Bluegrass State has been nothing short of dreary, rainy and well, of course, cold. I mean it is Winter after all so I really cannot expect much more.

So I interrupt this dreary, rainy and cold Winter's day in Kentucky to lighten the mood a little with this beautiful image I captured back in the Summer. As I snapped this photo, a very patient Painted Lady Butterfly sat on top of a Purple Astor, at least I think it is a Purple Asotr, and waited for me to finish. I got to thinking about Spring today and decided perhaps a quote would do us all some good. So I leave you with the hope that Winter will be short, Spring will arrive early and well, you get the general idea.

Life sometimes finds us in limbo and right now, to my total amazement, that is where I am. One chapter is ending and another is beginning. And I am trying to muster up all of my courage to soldier on. Any support you can send my way is truly welcome. ENJOY!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Year of Wildlife

As I perused my archives this morning, I was reminded of all of the photo opportunities I encountered throughout 2014 beginning with the prolific Winter earlier in the year to the beautiful foliage of this past Fall season. Come along as I journey back on this New Year's Day.

Row One:
Female Elk, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Redhead Ducks, Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana
Sandhill Cranes, Ewing Bottoms, Indiana
River Otter, Mustatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, Indiana
Row Two:
Whooping Cranes, Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana
Female Scarlet Tanager, Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest, Kentucky
Canadian Geese, Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest, Kentucky
Deer, Prospect, Kentucky
Row Three:
Pied Bill Grebe, Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana
Great Blue Heron, Lexington Reservoir, Kentucky
Cardinal, Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest, Kentucky
Deer, Bluegrass Scenic Byway, Kentucky
Row Four:
White Pelicans, Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana
Northern Shoveler, Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana
Barn Swallow, Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest, Kentucky
Mare and Colt, Bluegrass Scenic Byway, Kentucky

What a fantastic year! Journeys throughout my home state of Kentucky and into Indiana and Tennessee. This year found me photographing those beautiful White Pelicans at Goose Pond, not to mention those cute River Otters at Mustatatuck. And I can't fail to mention my journey to the beautiful state of Michigan, where I visited many of its charming beach towns along Lake Michigan and explored in and around Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I sincerely hope you had a great New Year's Eve and that you are not sporting a hangover today. Let us raise our cameras into the air and begin to photograph a new year filled with promise and possibilities. I can't wait. Happy New Year. ENJOY!

Linking to City Daily Photo
Linking to Rattlebridge Farm
Linking to Eileen's Saturday Critters
Linking to Mosaic Monday

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

To all of my friends and followers across the States and the globe, Happy New Year! Be safe. ENJOY!

Friday, December 26, 2014

One Thousand Posts

Way back in the year 2008, I began this blog with hopes of sharing my photographs with you. My blog started out as A Photographic Journal, and soon thereafter I changed the name to the one you find today. In the beginning I had no idea where this journey would take me or if anyone would follow along. Yet, along my journey I have found friends from half way across the globe in places like New Zealand and Australia. You come from places close by too such as Great Britain and Canada. And from places closer still such as Colorado and Maine and Massachusetts in the States.

You leave me comments. You compliment me. You inspire me. You are with me through good weather and bad, through remembrances and holidays, through every day and special days. And here on this landmark post, I find myself so very grateful for every word you have bestowed upon me. I leave you today with the hope that there are many more posts to come, in many years to come, provided you will have me. I also wanted to let you know that I am not moving my blog to my new website. My blog is staying right here so I can continue to share my journey with you. I promise to let you know when my website is up and running. And finally, I wanted to share a scene from a snowfall earlier in 2014 near my home in Louisville. This was during the 'winter that would not quit' as many of us folks here in the States now refer to it. THANK YOU!

Linking to Sunlit Sundays

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Peace on Earth

I give you this beautiful winter scene on the eve of this holiday and hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and sound this holiday. Have a wonderful Christmas all. ENJOY!

Linking to Good Fences, Run A Round Ranch Report

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas All

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, 
everything is softer and more beautiful.
                                             Norman Vincent Peale


Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Greylag Geese & Great News

At the Lexington Research Park on Saturday, I discovered a rather large gaggle of Greylag Geese. At least I think that is what they are after some research. The research park is a large building that houses research facilities for the University of Kentucky and there is a small lake housed right behind the building. I saw my first Belted Kingfisher fly way way off in the distance to a tree just as walked up to the edge of the lake. There were other birds that flew off as I approached. And then I spotted these geese, who in turned spotted me, and they hightailed it for the lake which was alright with me. If you are not familiar, these are domestic geese and could be hybrids.

Now on to some news...drum roll please. I have a new website being created which will be live in the next few weeks!!!! Envision visiting my website to view my photos in a gallery, buy prints, read about my workshops and more. And best of all I will still have my blog that you can follow through an RSS feed! You didn't think I would leave you guys behind did you. Never. Your encouragement inspires me every day. And wait until you hear about the workshops I am putting together. I have some great ideas that I am working on for a photography workshop in the Bluegrass 'Horse Farm' Region and around the bourbon distilleries. I pray you will follow me to my website when I make this move. I promise you will be the first to hear when it goes live. In the meantime I could use your thoughts pro or con about this adventure I am embarking on. So please leave me a note. ENJOY!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Great Blue Heron #2

As promised earlier on in a post, here's another view of the Great Blue Heron from the Lexington Reservoir.

He is a looker, don't you agree. Hope you had a great weekend. ENJOY!

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Great Blue Heron, Lexington Reservoir

It was drastically overcast today, but I still wanted to scout a new location near Maine Chance Farm close to Lexington where apparently a good deal of waterfowl are often visible. However, the roads to the lake were gated which means I need to know someone who knows someone to get into this area. I will investigate and report back. I did photograph a Belted Kingfisher, a 'life list' bird for me at a small lake at Kentucky Research Park just down the road. Sadly, the photo wasn't decent enough to post. I did manage to capture some Geese in the same lake that I will post soon. I need to confirm their identification first.

One more location in mind, I drove over to Lexington Reservoir to check out the waterfowl. With no birds in close proximity for a decent image, I decided to head home. Before I turned around, I happened to catch the form of a Great Blue Heron through some brush. Perched on the edge of a boat on a small dock, he was intently scanning the lake for a catch. I parked the car and walked over to take a few photographs. I managed to get quite a few poses as the Heron kept moving from one position to the next. It's amazing how one move can change how a Heron looks. They are such gorgeous birds that I absolutely love photographing. I promise to post a few more images of him this week. Look at the detail of his feathers, not to mention of his legs. Is he not beautiful. Thank you for posing Mr. Heron. ENJOY!

PHOTOGRAPHER'S NOTE: Check back later this week as I hope to have some fantastic news to share with you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Through the Woods

As I embarked upon a drive, while in the Great Smoky Mountains recently, I knew I would encounter scenes.
Scenes such as this, where the forest meets the floor, and the winding road through the woods,
gave way to the beauty of Fall. Along such a drive one finds oneself feeling small.
Small in a world filled with only the woods, the wind, the light. ENJOY!

Linking to Sunlit Sundays

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fall's Forest

A glimpse back as I peered through my lens at Fall's beautiful forest saturated in hues of yellow. 
The best part of capturing an image surely is the 'looking back'. 
For once you have captured an image, it is no longer present. It is past.
Looking back then becomes the necessity of enjoying its beauty. ENJOY!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

'Tis the Season

Holidays are known for many things, the least of which is all of the decor and finery displayed throughout the season. The traditional Christmas decor would not be complete without a beautiful tree to adorn a room. As I made my way out of Gatlinburg in October, passing through Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, I made a stop at The Christmas Place. The Christmas Place is the largest Christmas decor shop in the eastern United States.

At least a dozen trees or more were decorated in various themes displayed throughout the store. Tuscan, Christmas Carol, white and blue, and well, you name it they had a tree for it. But the traditional red and green and gold Christmas tree always pulls me in. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving for those of you in the States. I have a tad bit more decorating for the holiday to do and then I will be done. Have a wonderful weekend all. ENJOY!

Linking back to Stonegable Blog.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hurst Falls, Cove Springs Park

Cove Springs Park is a small park situated just north of Frankfort, Kentucky, and one of the few waterfalls found in northern Kentucky to my knowledge. Along with the park's forested areas, there is a signiciant wetland area and a waterfall, Hurst Falls. The waterfall was named after the Hursts who originally owned the land and wanted it preserved. Recently, I went on a scouting expedition to locate the park and the waterfall.

When I pulled into the parking lot, next to the entrance to the park, and looked up I found Hurst Falls flowing ever so gently over the cliff and down onto the rocky hillside. It wasn't gushing as I had seen in photos on the internet, but no doubt after a significant rain event, it would be. I love how the water streams down the rocks in tiny riplets on either side of the main flow. This was a test shot I captured just to get a handle on what the waterfall would look like. I decided to share it with you as it was a fairly decent image. Hopefully when I return to the park, the falls will be flowing much heavier. Don't you love it when you find a new location to photograph and it's practically right outside your back door meaning a quick drive and you're there. It not only makes me happy, but even happier when it involves a waterfall because you know how much I love to photograph water. ENJOY!