Friday, June 28, 2013

Wild & Free

For the last two years, I have been having a love affair with photography. I love everything I learn, from the simple reminders to keep back-up batteries with me, to learning depth-of-field, shutter speeds, etc. I see the world in a whole new way, not just the obvious, but sometimes even the mundane. Everything I see suddenly is a photograph in my mind. For quite awhile now, it has become an outlet for me also.
It's my outlet from grief, pain, awkward silence, raw emotion, and trying to put one foot in front of the other each and everyday. Let me explain a little...A few days after this past Christmas, my husband and I received the most dreaded phone call every parent never wants to experience. We were informed that my 26 yr. old step-son had died suddenly at his mother's home in Florida. I've been through a lot in my life, but nothing compares to the pain of losing a child. It has changed me in so many ways, I can't even describe.
I do know that now I try to cherish each day more, say "I love you" more to family and friends, worry more about my own children, and try to see the beauty in all that life has to offer. I see many things that remind me of my step-son, some happy and some sad, but this particular photo jumped out at me in regards to him.
With that in mind...there are all kinds of wild flowers growing along the roads at our summer place. Many of them are just weeds, but are really pretty in their own right with the colors, shapes, etc. The photo below is just a shot of the rows and rows of wild daisies growing along the side of the road on our street. This particular photo reminded me of my step-son, as the flowers are growing wild and free, and their simply beauty can put a smile on your face. Hope you enjoy and "Happy Friday!"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tail Up!

One of my days up north, I had just walked in, and saw this guy at my hummingbird feeder. Of course, I grabbed my camera as fast as I could since I have never seen a bird like this. He had beautiful orange and yellow colors, and definitely bigger than a hummingbird. I was able to grab a few quick shots before he flew away. This bird was so funny to watch, as he kept looking underneath the feeder, instead of trying to get some food from it. Really, he looked like he lost something and thought it would be found on the under side of the feeder! I think he was tipping the feeder to catch the drops of food that would spill out, due to his weight. I found out from one of my twitter friends (thanks Marianne!) that this particular bird is called an Oriole. It is actually the state bird of Maryland. While I am still trying to get my hummingbird shot, this guy gave me a great laugh watching him keep dipping under the feeder every few seconds, while I got my view of "Tail Up" the whole time! Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Visit From Jay

I was just sitting inside at our summer place, looking out the window into the woods at nothing in particular, except the rain. This little guy just flew over, and sat himself down on our deck. Of course, I grabbed my camera as fast as I could and tried to take a few photos. This is one of the best photos I was able to capture in the rain and through the window. Photographing moving animals is still something I really need to practice with, and is something I am going to pursue a lot more this summer. After I took this photo and the bird flew away, I went outside and suddenly there were dozens of these Bluejays flying around from tree to tree. I am not sure why there were so many in the area, as I have never seen so many at the same time. They continued to stay the entire week, darting around the yard and through the trees. They were fun to watch, and I was able to see a few more different birds while there. I will be posting photos of them soon. So for now here is a picture of "A Visit From Jay". Hope you like it!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fire in the Sky

One of the advantages of being surrounded by the Great Lakes of Michigan, we have the opportunity to see some truly beautiful and amazing sunrises and sunsets on the waters. At out summer place on Lake Huron, I only have to drive about 3 miles to go and watch the sunrise on the lake. To see a sunset on the same lake, I have to drive about 15 miles to see it. As you can see from this photo, the 15 mile drive is so worth it! When the sun finally starts to drop down into the water, the whole thing lasts only about 5 minutes, as it drops really fast. The beauty of the water with the backdrop of the changing sky is incredible to watch. This is something I could do everyday and never get tired of seeing. I hope you enjoy this "Fire in the Sky" as much as I did!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quack Me Up!

I took my Mom to one of our local parks last month to enjoy the warmth and sunshine that finally made it's way to this part of the country. There were a large number of Canadian Geese walking around looking for food. They just love it when people feed them, and some of them get pretty brave just walking right up and taking the food out of your hands. While I was there, along came this bunch of babies. There were about 7 or 8 or them just walking around exploring all that nature has to offer. It was really hard to get a good sharp photo of these little babies, as they would not stay still for any length of time at all. This is one area that I really need to practice some more, but these babies were too cute not to post a photo. I did add a vignette to accent them a little more than just the grass they were sitting on. Hope you like these cute little babies too!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Golden Honey

Just another flower in my garden, that has started to bloom! I really liked the way the sunlight was catching this bloom. It seems that all of my flowers are blooming, one at a time, but they are, oh so pretty! This yellow lily plant bloomed a few days ago, and the roses are all blooming now. I've had bronchitis for the last week, but I hope to get outside to get some photos soon. Watching the flowers grow are one of my favorite things about this time of year. I love watching them come up out of the ground from little sprouts, to eventual full grown, colorful blooms. Nature is such an amazing thing! Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Is It A Flower or Weed?

Here is a photo of one of the first blooms in my yard. When I moved a few years ago, I planted all perennials in my garden in the front of my house. This particular photo is a flower I never planted. It pops up every year and it is really pretty. I am wondering if it is really a flower or just some type of pretty weed. The blooms are really small (about the size of a quarter), and I have never seen any type of flower like this. Inquiring minds want to it a flower or a weed?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Real Babe in the Woods

On one of the last days of Memorial Weekend at our summer place in the thumb-area of Michigan, we found an unexpected surprise in the clearing, not too far from the woods. Laying there, curled up, and enjoying the beautiful sunlight was a newborn fawn! As I approached it, getting closer and closer, the baby continued to lay there, not moving. I thought it had been abandoned and was a little upset because I thought it would be destroyed by other prey once it became night. I was able to bend down and pet the baby fawn, while it continued to lay there soaking up the sunlight. I was in awe, as I have never had the opportunity to get this close to a deer of any kind. After a few hours of trying to figure out how to save this baby from anything bad, I finally had my answers. I called a local veterinarian and explained about the baby fawn, and he gave me a quick lesson on deer. Apparently, the mother will have one baby, and then will go up to 1/2 mile away and have another, etc. The mother gives birth to the fawn so far apart because of other predators. If one happens to get caught by prey, she will still have the others. He then explained that when the babies are old enough, the mother will then bring them together as a family. It made perfect sense to me then, and when we went to check on the fawn the next morning, she was gone. The mother came back for her sometime during the night to move her again. I did not go looking for the baby, as I was just happy to know that it was not abandoned, and that I had the awesome opportunity to be so close to this little baby fawn!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Show Me The Way!

Along the shores of the Great Lakes of Michigan, there are hundreds of nautical lighthouses that light the way for many sailors navigating the waters of our state. I recently had the opportunity to visit the Pt. Aux Barques Lighthouse which is one of the 10 oldest lighthouses in Michigan and sits on the shores of Lake Huron. This particular lighthouse was opened in 1848 and is 89 ft. tall. The most impressive thing about this lighthouse is that it is still active and operational today. The base of the lighthouse used to host the home of the lightkeeper. The furnishings are still there today, untouched from years ago. They include a kitchen, bedrooms, and even a baby nursery. The climb to the top is 89 narrow curving steps to the base of the beacons. At the base of the beacons, there is a small platform and 6 more small steps to climb. As you can see in the photo, there is also a guarded rail platform outside which I was unable to get to, as visitors are not allowed outside for liability reasons. It would have been great to go out on the platform to look out onto the Lake. This was my first time inside of a lighthouse, and the climb to the top was pretty narrow, but this one has been on my bucket list for a few years now. It was all that I expected to see and more. The history of this lighthouse is spectacular, along with the history of all of the shipwrecks that are still in the waters of Lake Huron. I had no idea that this lighthouse was still operational until I saw for myself that the two beacons are going around every second. I will have to take a trip back at night to see the beacons as they light the way for boaters on Lake Huron. Sorry, there are 5 photos in this post, but well worth a look. Enjoy!

Really Narrow Steps

The Base of the Beacon

Two Light Beacons Going Round