Some weeks ago, Dad and I ran away from the deck and other house projects to find the last traces of fall with our cameras. We had to go south a ways. Since it wasn’t the best day, we decided to make the trip double as a scouting expedition of Matthiessen State Park. We’d been to Starved Rock several times, but Matthiessen never got past “if we have time”.
It so happens lots of people wanted to enjoy the end of fall. There was also an enormous geology class field trip. However, both of us did manage to get a clear shot of the dells and some other photos of the scenery.
Next Time: Merry Christmas
My goal this year was to blog once a month. I’ve been a few hours late a couple of times, and I’ve used a good bit of “archive” shot in previous years, but I’m calling it close enough. One more blog in observance of Christmas is all I need.
I woke up this morning to find a thin, fresh layer of snow on the roads. It is the middle of April. This should not be. I want spring, and so does everyone else. We are in protest. My boss reportedly put his snow blower away weeks ago. I am not washing any more winter outerwear until I can put it away for the summer. The daffodils are trying, but they keep getting snowed on. Too bad. Some flowers would be really nice right now.
About a week ago after exercise class, I was commiserating with some ladies in the class. One said there were flowers at a local park. From her description, I was hoping they’d be grape hyacinths, but at this point, I’m not picky. There were two colors of what I believe are Scilla and some little yellow flowers. Quite small. I should have brought the macro, but the park is in a so-so area of town, so I was a bit insecure about it.
Old grass and leaves from the winter were still hanging on and refusing seasonal change.
There were ducks in the large cement water feature. It used to be more of a natural pond when I was young, but now it looks like a fountain close to the greenhouse and main gardens and rather like an industrial drainage ditch as you get farther away. The ducks don’t seem to mind though.
The whole world is full of both change and consistency, and here I am wanting to rush one thing on while complaining that another has changed. There will be beauty in the future, but there is also beauty now.
I purchased some ornamental gourds when I went to the apple orchard about a month ago. Since they were pretty and I spent money on them, I photographed them. Fall is just about over. The gourds have rotted and been tossed. But at least I still have the photos.
Next Time: Christmas
I should be able to put together a Christmas post in two weeks. Decorating is in process.
I had these lovely plans for how I would spend October weekends this year: weekly walks in the woods with my camera, apple orchards and doughnuts, and maybe even a road trip to a distant park. But my front stairs happened. They are wooden with a deck-like landing area, and they needed to be repainted and repaired. Despite my parents very kindly giving lots of time and effort to the project, the three of us spent most of October on my stairs.
Last weekend would have been beautiful for photography: good lighting, nice temperatures, and just about the peak for fall color. But alas, you guessed it, stairs. This weekend was definitely past prime for fall color and quite dreary most of the time. However, I was free. The stairs were done, the parks were beckoning, and the temperatures were not bad at all. So I stubbornly decided to grab the month of October by the tail and try to cram all the things I’d wanted to do all month into one weekend. I needed to experience Fall before it was over: to see, hear, and smell it all around me.
Friday night, I visited a small, hard to find park in my city. It was almost dark, so not much luck there. Saturday morning, despite the dullness of the day, I took a two-hour walk in one of my favorite parks. Photographic prospects were better:
After a few more weekend activities, I headed out to the local apple orchard for my annual sugar encrusted doughnut and hot spiced cider. The sun finally peaked out a bit.
My takeaway from all of this is that should plan on spending some time in November raking leaves in my parent’s large lawn, and I should start the deck refinishing project in April next year. Procrastination has consequences. You can cram a lot into one weekend, but it’s not quite the same as planning things and scheduling them appropriately.
A short distance from my home, there is a park with a lake. One lovely weekend morning, I decided to go walk the path by the lake. Morning or not, may other people were up and about fishing, biking, camping, and hiking. Maybe I should have gone out earlier – less crowding and better light. But it was still a pleasant excursion.
I liked the way the light was hitting the new foliage on these trees.
Farther down the path, I spotted these lovely wildflowers.
Humans weren’t the only ones out. Mommy duck and her babies were hanging out in the shade looking for food as the day got hotter.
Next Time: Milk
Yes, milk. June is Dairy Month, and I was a Midwestern 4-H kid for 10 years (no, I didn’t have any animals, not even a cat at the time). This means I spent the entire month of June promoting dairy like crazy for 10 years straight. I’ve never quite forgotten it.
Several weeks ago, I went out for my last Fall shoot of the year. There wasn’t much left, but the colors were vibrant.
Overall, 2014 was a good year of photographic explorations and blogging. I did some archive posts because of other things I was involved with, and I didn’t finish my video essay (yet). However, I did have some memorable explorations: two new cities, a new park, and some foggy conditions. That and a new camera for higher resolution and video capabilities. I explored and learned a lot. Below are some highlights from 2014:
As usual, I plan to keep blogging every other week and spend a lot of time in nature – all four season are beautiful. I also want to get back into more table top (it’s a skill I need to work at and winter isn’t just beautiful, it’s cold!). Hopefully, I will finish the video, shoot macro, post more good cat photos, and have a few adventures. Only time will tell.
It’s been cold lately. Cold enough that I wanted to go check out the ice formation in a nearby park. I remembered that the ice on the stream winding through this park formed in all sorts of interesting patterns several years ago. Unfortunately, it hasn’t really formed yet this year. Instead, an array of fallen leaves and semi-frozen water presented me with other photographic possibilities. With nature and other things in life, there are times I have to find the best in what is there, even when it’s not what I was hoping for. What there is can be just as good.
This applies more to US readers because we celebrate Thanksgiving here on Thursday, but I wanted to take a moment to remind us all to be thankful. I worry that we are losing a valuable holiday to consumerism. Thankfulness and reflecting on the good we have in life is healthy. Right now, I am thankful for nature, creativity, the ability to express myself through photography and language, the internet, the ability to easily communicate with people from all over the country and the world, and a holiday to spend with family.
What are you thankful for this week? Please share in the comments.
Fall is about over where I live. Fortunately, I was able to get out and take photos a few weeks ago to remind me of the beauty and color of the season.
This fungi is from one of my old favorite places to go shoot. I photographed this the same day as the fog photos in my last post.
Later, I explored a new park recommended by members of the photo club.
The park featured this amazing old oak tree and lovely yellow bush.
Good bye for now Fall. I have a few more photos I might post, but I think it is time to move indoors for a while.
Next Time: More Fall or Still Life
Halloween is a traditional time for foggy scenery, but these photos aren’t creepy. This is more of a we had some light fog yesterday morning post than a Halloween post. I haven’t played with fog much, so I was excited to get out and experiment a bit yesterday morning.
Next Time: Fall Nature
It’s so lovely out that I’ve been compelled to spend more time than usual shooting.
A week after my lone, cloudy weather excursion, I returned to the same park in sunny weather and accompanied by my father. Dad shoots with a view camera and 4″x5″ film. He was lured by the promise of aspen trees in their fall grandeur. I really wanted to check out the south trails of the park, which are farther down the curvy two-lane highway from the north trails I visited the previous week. Unfortunately, hunting is permitted in south trails all fall, and Dad and I had no desire to get accidentally shot. However, we were able to explore the large rock formations by the river.
After lunch, we headed back to the north section of the park. Dad found his aspens, and since I joined him in surveying, I thought I’d take a photo as well.
Later in the day, I found this tree. I loved how dramatically the sun was hitting it and illuminating the leaves.
Jewelry or archive portrait.
With fall upon us, I lament the lack of fall color this year. Maybe it’s because of the rain or the late warm temperatures we’ve had. However, a few trees did turn brilliant colors. Because of this select group, I decided to do a fall post similar to another post from several weeks ago (https://mycameramyfriend.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/vegitation-on-white/ ).
One maple in the front yard always turns and deep red.
The ash trees and the oak have also turned for the fall. Most of the maples are still green.
Pumpkins: fall just wouldn’t be so much fun without them.
Oak leaves and acorn.
Next Time: Late Fall Scenic
My father and I went out to explore and photograph a state park some distance from home. It featured steep trails, large limestone bluffs, and an unusually dry riverbed (wonderful drought we’ve had.)
Next Time: Archive Jewelry or Some Other Indoor Theme
Last week, I finally got out to the woods for a nice long walk. It just happened to be the peak weekend for fall color in my area. The trees were arrayed in brilliant red and yellow with the late afternoon sun highlighting them.
Next Time: More fall nature from a new (to me anyway) park.
Because of work and other obligations I had last week, this post is unfortunately late and archived. Exactly one year ago today, I went to visit an obscure park not so far from my home. My father found it driving home from work one day and suggested I check it out. The park was mostly pines and some drying prairie. Pretty much everything was sitting dormant waiting for the winter. I never got around to editing or posting these shots untill now.
Next Week: Archive or Controls
Controls as in dials, knobs, buttons, and thingamabobs.
It’s November, and it’s been windy out. In my area, that means most of the leaves are off the trees and blowing around the universe. You think you’ve raked, but there’s still more on the trees, and if your neighbors don’t bother, there’s no sense in doing it either. The last tree to drop leaves is the oak.
Way back when I was in kindergarten, I used to love collecting leaves. It was considered somewhat educational at that point in my life. Different species, basic plant parts, that kind of thing. The main concern of a leaf-collecting kindergarten kid? Pretty! I was always sad when they dried out and crumbled away.
Now, I enjoy photographing fall leaves in all their states, from still a bit green to all dried up. The variety is amazing.
This one is so pink on the back it looks artificial.
It’s narrow red counterpart wanted a darker background.
Next Week: The TV Experiment or My Adventures in Stock Photography
Several months ago, I saw a set of photographs someone took at the moment they turned off a CRT. I’d like to try it for myself.
The world is finally getting ready for summer up north. About time. Our trees are no longer bare, and the flowers are starting to bloom. I love the leaves when they first break out of their tiny buds. They’re so fine and delicate, not to mention the unique hues they take at first.
The bleeding heart bushes are beginning to catch up with their wild counterparts. My fringed bush shows off her clusters of embryonic flowers amidst fragile foliage.
My mother’s more traditional pink bush is way ahead of mine. It displays arching tresses of hearts.
Now is the time to enjoy what we’ve been waiting for: to drink it in knowing more will come. For awhile, at least, it will be here, and then the seasons will turn again.
Next Week: Indoor Abstracts or Rainy Day and Water Drops
The first would be a creative exercise in how I look at objects and how lighting and color affect form. The second would be trying to make something most people don’t like look good. Both have interesting potential.