Tag Archives: Photography

Exchanging gray for golden

Someone on my Facebook feed posted a bunch of sunset photos this week, and I thought, “I could use more of that.”

Everything about sunsets is good. The landscape is bathed in golden light, and time stops for a second as the sun dips over the horizon. It’s not day, it’s not night; it’s happy hour. In order to enjoy a sunset, you have to take a break for a moment.

I suppose I enjoy most sunsets when I’m on vacation, so I don’t associate them much with winter, and so pictures of the setting sun are a great escape right now when winter seems unending and the whole world is cast in various shades of gray.

fall day

Browsing through my recently organized family photos (prepare thyself for a vacation slide show, friend), I found only one picture of a sunset taken from my house. This shot was taken from the deck of my former house.

illinois sunset

I took this picture while walking my dog around my husband’s cousin’s yard, where we camped for a couple of months in 2017 when we were living in our RV. Cornfields were never so beautiful.

florida sunset

Here’s my most recent sunset shot, taken on my my recent vacation, a short business/pleasure trip to Fort Myers Beach in December. If you look closely, you can see this photo was taken through the screen on the deck.

sunet set selfie in 2015

Here’s another Florida sunset. Oh, those are some of the best, I’d say, what with all the water to reflect grandiosity. This selfie was taken in 2015 along the Florida Keys near Marathon.

croatia sunset

Getting warmer yet? This exotic sunset photo was taken off the deck of a mountaintop restaurant in Omis, Croatia.

2014 lake sunset

I don’t have to travel half way around the world to find a pretty sunset. This picture was taken off my sister’s deck at her lakeside home in central Minnesota. You can practically hear the loon calling over the water.

mom and dad at sunset

One of my favorite sunset shots doesn’t have the sun in it, but you can tell the sun was setting by the long shadow of the photographer (me) in this shot. This is an early spring picture of my parents walking hand-in-hand up the road in front of their house. That’s the Leaf River meandering by on the right, and that slough might be considered a swamp by some. But dripping in the sun’s golden rays, the whole scene gives off a warm glow.


rhododendron pink

Some campgrounds aren’t worth remembering, but if a place has a distinctive feature, I’ll probably find it while walking my dog.

In Fort Bragg, California, the memorable thing was the rhododendrons . Only I didn’t know what to call them until SimplyPut536 stopped by for my post about northern California’s coast and mentioned the rhododendrons in Fort Bragg.

A little bit of time spend with Google revealed that Fort Bragg is a hot bed (or should I say, hot-house?) for rhododendrons (or rhodies, if you’re hip and in the know) because of its cool coastal climate and uniquely rich soil. So they’re hard to miss because they’re everywhere.

rhododendron white

The bees love ’em.

rhododendron bee

Part of the reason they’ll catch your eye is because they’re like lilacs–not just one blossom or a bunch, they come in towering bushes.

rhododendron far away

Usually, but not always, under huge trees (because that’s how they grow ’em on the West Coast).

I found some other eye-catching blossoms while in Fort Bragg, too, but I can’t identify them without some help. There were these yellow gems on the shore:

rhododendron yellow

And this iridescent blue beauties of which I just had to take a picture, even while handling the dog.

rhododendron blue

Mooning about

If you think you’ve heard about supermoons a lot this year, you’re not mistaken. Today’s full moon (occurring at exactly 6:05 this afternoon in Chicagoland) is the fifth supermoon of the year, following similar displays in April, May, October and November.

A supermoon is a full moon when the moon is in its closest orbit to earth. We won’t get another supermoon of the magnitude of November’s impressive display until 2034, but today’s full moon is also considered a supermoon. Some will call it a Full Cold Moon because it falls so close to Winter Solstice. I’m calling it Stone Cold Awesome (apologies to WWE fans).

Astrologically (if you’re into star signs and horoscopes), people get loony when the moon is full so theoretically, they go super crazy in a supermoon. Are you going super crazy? I go super crazy with every full moon because I believe anew that I can get a good picture of it.


I’ve tried and failed to take decent photographs of the moon, but the camera on my iPhone is just not designed for night photography. This is a photo I snapped during last month’s full moon. That’s no filter; as blurry as this image is, it could be a watercolor painting.

You might also notice the lack of snow cover a month ago. We have plenty now, thanks to Jack Frost and his army of nimble flakes.

Here’s to the last full moon of the year. Wishing you lunacy.

“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.”

~ George Carlin



Beneath the white tree

What brought they from the foundered land
Over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones
And one white tree.
~J.R.R. Tolkien

Boundaries make good neighbors

Suburbs have a multitude of boundaries, both physical and socioeconomic. Setting apart the obvious societal lines between inner cities and suburbs, let’s discuss those physical boundaries today in honor of the WordPress weekly photo challenge.

There are streets, of course. Then curb and gutter (two boundaries if we’re counting). Boulevards are nice, and for dog walkers like me and the adorable schnauzer, sidewalks are useful. 

Now we’re at the property line. We’ve got a nice, usually green buffer in the yard. An upscale suburban house certainly has landscaping around the house — bushes, usually, and maybe pretty flowers, as here in this tony Detroit suburb’s clear signage at the subdivision entrance (we’re visiting a friend here in Motor City). Don’t forget the rocks or mulch, and if you’re very particular, plastic edging between the mulch and the grass.

Finally, we get to such boundaries as siding, walls and doors.

Whew! After reading a novel set in 19th century London where the protagonist finds himself poverty-stricken and grateful to find a job that includes housing in the form of a cot with a blanket in a dormitory, I’m pretty grateful for modern boundaries. I’m glad I can’t hear my neighbor snoring.

Splendid marigold sun

willow river trees

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1842

Taking advantage of proximity and timing, I enjoyed an hour-long trail run on Labor Day morning along the Willow River in Willow River State Park near Hudson, Wis. I was rewarded for my labors with a magnificent view of the lake just above the dam.

Sunset cruise

And the sun winks out on the end of the day, the last day of the week. Ahh, rest.

A day at the beach

blog sandy toes

Noble color, noble intentions

On the theory that seeing warm colors warms you up, I present this gallery of beautiful flowers on the warm side of the color wheel.

(There is no theory that viewing warm colors warms you up, but I think you’ll enjoy these images that make the most of the Rule of Thirds more than pictures of yellow snow.)

yellow flower

coral flower

red flower

fuscia flower

purple flower

Wherever men are noble, they love bright colour; and wherever they can live healthily, bright colour is given them—in sky, sea, flowers, and living creatures.

~ John Ruskin (1819–1900)



This monument of classical Greek columns, supporting nothing but the sky, rises out of nowhere in the middle of the Florida Everglades as a tribute to Barron Collier, a New York City advertising mogul and real estate developer.

Collier, namesake of the county in which this monument stands, moved into Southwest Florida a century ago and built the Tamiami Trail, an alligator-infested highway that crosses the expansive wetlands that comprise the southern half of the state.

The iconic, perfectly symmetrical architecture is juxtaposed with the surrounding wilderness of mangroves, palm trees and saw grass. I caught a glimpse of it today when I attended the Jammin’ in the Hammock Bluegrass Festival.

A hammock, in ecological terms as it is surely defined here, is a stand of hardwood trees in the midst of a wetlands. Bluegrass and the music for which it is named, as defined here, is native to Kentucky and Appalachia.

All these things — a New York real estate mogul, Greek architecture, bluegrass music and the Everglades — came together under sunny skies this afternoon.

The seasons come, the seasons go.
We get a little sunshine, rain and snow.
Just a way that it was planned to be.