Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Closing out 2015

At the end of each year, I enjoy looking back at the images I've taken and assessing which ones I like best.  Here are my favorites for 2015 and the reasons why I chose them.

I originally published this image on my blog, but in black and white.  I returned it to color here and think it does a good job of capturing the interesting skyline of Idyll Farms.

This late summer photo expresses the bucolic nature of Leelanau.  I like how the foreground hay roll guides your eye to the whole landscape.

I love my deer visitors!  Each spring I enjoy getting my first glimpses of the new fawns who visit my feeding station with their mothers.

Okay, okay.  You know how much I enjoy photographing my two-year old mini-GoldenDoodle, Gracie.  While she's usually quite active, I was able to capture her enjoying a more sedate moment on her dog bed.

In March of this year, we had a G-4 level geomagnetic storm, which produced the finest auroras in years.  This one from Peterson Park attests to the beauty that filled the sky that night. 

Living close to Lake Michigan, we often get to experience its raw power.  That was so true on this fall day at Empire Beach when the winds roiled the waters and laid the beach grass nearly flat against the sand.

On a trip to the Upper Peninsula in August, we crossed the Mackinaw Bridge on a windy, stormy day.  I think the clouds make this picture look almost like a painting.

Like our own Grand Traverse Lighthouse, the Point Betsie Lighhouse is roofed in red, which make it really stand out against the blue, blue sky.

Kehl Lake is one of my favorite haunts to photograph.  On this foggy, misty morning, I was struck by the atmospherics captured in this image.

It's not uncommon to have a sunrise or sunset photo be my favorite of the year, and 2015 is no different.  Taken from Peterson Park, this sunset with its dramatic backlit clouds painted the sky orange and only allowed occasional glimpses of the setting sun.  The drama of this sunset make it my favorite image of 2015. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Silent night, Holy night


All is calm, all is bright...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.  May you find peace, joy, and love of family and friends in the New Year.  I'm very grateful to all of you who support my photography blog throughout the year.     Karen

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Only A Dusting

The long range weather forecast said snow was coming.  Not a lot, and it wouldn't last long, but snow, nevertheless.  I'd begun to wonder whether we were going to have a white Christmas.   Up here, we have a white Christmas 95% of the time.  So, yes, I was excited that snow was coming.  I'd been itching to photograph some of those pristine winter snowscapes we have here.

The snow started falling Friday, as predicted.  But what we got here in Northport was only a dusting.  Just enough to whiten up the two-tracks.

And highlight the symmetrical rows of trees in the orchards. 

Just enough to envelop the waterfall and the Mill Pond.

And surround the swaying ornamental grasses that edge the marina parking lot.

Just enough to fill the swampy land behind these roadside cattails.

And accentuate the banks of Northport Creek as it flows into the bay.   Sometimes you don't get exactly what you hope for.  But you learn to work with whatever you have.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Lighting up for Christmas

My favorite parts of Christmas are the music and the lights.  When I was a child, my family would take Sunday afternoon drives around town to look at the all holiday decorations.  I believe that tradition sparked my life long love of Christmas lights.

In downtown Northport, the focal point of the lighting is the huge Christmas tree located on Nagonaba Street at the intersection of Waukazoo.  The tree is so large that it can be seen from several vantage points throughout the village, including when making the turns from M-201 into the village.

Merchants have decked out their businesses in holiday splendor too.  Here the Tamarack Gallery in Omena is resplendent with pink window dressings.

This Northport merchant has wrapped a tree outside her store in tiny white lights and has hung glittering balls from its limbs.

But my biggest surprise came when I drove towards the marina to turn around and head back through the village.  I saw the gazebo had been decked out in lights and even had its own Christmas tree in the center.  

Homes and yards throughout the village are festooned with lights also.  It seems weird, however, to have all these lights without any snow.  On Thursday I drove to Traverse City and my car's exterior temperature gauge read 55.  On December 10!

I have to wonder whether there is some correlation between all these gorgeous light displays and the unseasonably warm late fall days we're having.  As I was purchasing more lights for my own yard, the clerk in the hardware store said that lights and decorations had been flying off the shelves.

After all, who would want to be outdoors putting up all these wonderful decorations if there was a foot of snow on the ground and the temperatures were in the normal 30 degree range. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Signing this Saturday at Barb's Bakery

This Saturday I will be signing my new books from 9 am - noon at Barb's Bakery in Northport.  The books will be on holiday special for $20 and make a wonderful gift for anyone who loves Northport and the Leelanau Peninsula.  Hope to see you there for a donut and coffee too.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Break Forth, O Beauteous Light

It had all the promise of a summer sunrise.  When I stepped outside with the dogs this morning, the sky was nearly clear and a crescent moon stood out against a starry landscape.  I packed my gear and headed to the beach to catch the sunrise.

I set up as usual.  Camera on tripod, beach chair open, and anticipation high.  As I sat down and began the twenty minute wait until sunrise, I could see clouds had occluded the stars and the moon had taken on a hazy cast.

Disappointment mounted as an unwelcome cloud bank filled the horizon.  I wondered whether I would be able to catch a sunrise on this particular day, even though the forecast had called for clear and sunny skies.

Being at the beach was enough, however.  I enjoyed the the solitude of being alone without the dog walkers I'm accustomed to seeing on typical summer mornings.

Beach grass swayed in the cool breeze.  The benches were empty and golden leaves sprinkled the beach.  It is December 5th, after all.

While the time for the sunrise had come and gone, the sound of waves crashing on the beach lulled me into enjoying this rare, late fall moment.

I could see a show developing behind the cloud bank, however, as I turned my focus back towards the water and the Eastern horizon.  Excitement and hope grew in me with each golden hue that appeared.

The cloud bank started to come apart and I was teased with occasional glimpses of the sun.  I was going to see a sunrise after all!  Although a bit later than I'd planned.

As the full sun freed itself from the clouds, I was reminded of the words from Bach's famous hymn poem:  "Break forth, O beauteous heav'nly light; And usher in the morning."  It just seemed to fit the anticipation, dashed hopes, renewed excitement, and pure joy I felt as this particular sunrise evolved.