Hanging at The Mackinac Bridge Visitor’s Center- Michigan

Well everyone it is almost Thanksgiving. In approximately 14 days, those of you that celebrate will get together for some fun and fellowship with family and friends. I hope that in all the hustle and preparation we can all pause for a moment and focus on what is truly important…. Our relationships with others.

Colonial Michilimackinac Visitors Center
Colonial Michilimackinac Visitors Center

I thought that I was almost done posting Michigan photos, but then I ran across these beauties. Surprised that I could forget them: The Colonial Michilimackinac Visitors Center was easily one of the favorite spots of my whole trip. Located right off of I-75 in Mackinaw City, the  visitors center entrance is literally under the Mackinac Bridge. It is also near the fort, which I did not visit and within the state park. The visitor’s center was easily the priciest of all the places that I visited by far, but there are still plenty of things to see and do without breaking your budget, if you had one like me.

Welcome
Welcome

I like this area mainly because you can walk right under the Mackinac bridge and this alone made for some really interesting photo opportunities. I witnessed dozens of people trying to find the right angle and little kids skipping the large, round smooth stones that litter the shore. There are plenty of things to see, like the Keeper’s quarters, and the lighthouse; This is actually one of the few that you can go up into. Not into walking? There are plenty of benches and picnic tables to rest on.

This shoreline is also known as the Straights of Mackinac, it gives you a great place in which to photograph and view the lake and the entire bridge…a feat for sure. As you walk along and look out across the shores of Lake Michigan, you can even see Mackinac Island from this vantage point. I can only imagine the shots I could have come away with, had I had a nicer camera with a bigger lens,,,but I digress. If you are looking for a place where you can walk on the beach, see beautiful sights, take in some history and enjoy a nice picnic lunch…this is it.

I hope you truly enjoy the photos. Happy Thanksgiving.

A Walk In The Woods- Northern Michigan

As I finish the last few photo edits from my trip, I can hardly believe that it is already November. I don’t even want to think of another year passing so fast. I trust that everyone made it through Halloween without eating too much candy….I did not. 🙂 But sometimes you have to enjoy the chocolate.

As promised in my last post, today I am sharing a collection of native Michigan mushrooms. Almost the weirdest thing I have ever photographed…you will notice that I did not identify any of the mushrooms by name. I try my very best to attach information to the photos I post; Just in case anyone actually cares, but mushrooms or fungus specifically, are one of those things that you just do not take someone’s word for. Eating or touching the wrong mushrooms can make you sick or worse. So I am not naming these mushrooms, I am going to leave that to the fungus experts.

Recreation Area
Welcome to the Recreation Area

     One of the most relaxing and my favorite thing to do, is walk in the woods. Recently I got a chance to spend some time with my very best childhood friend, and we filled our time getting back to nature.

     I have to say waking up early and walking (our target 10,000 steps a day) did not thrill me in the least, mainly because I caught a nasty bug in St. Ignace, but once we hit the woods, I was forever hooked. My friend and I both dabble in photography and it’s nice when you can share a common interest with someone you love so dearly. The place she suggested turned out to be a treasure trove of beautiful and unique things to see and photograph. Of course we both had our cameras and could not resist photographing anything that caught our eyes. Of all things in wooded abundance, we found the most colorful and unusual mushrooms I have ever seen. Yep…mushrooms. Pink, purple, white….. even mushrooms that look like birds-nest coral (for all my ocean enthusiasts). I have never thought much about mushrooms (fungus) … and know that many of them are poisonous, but I assure you we did not pick any, we only photographed them. Until the next time, I hope you enjoy this walk in the woods with friends. Enjoy!

St. Ignace Curio Fair: More Michigan Photos

Happy Wednesday, can you believe that it is almost the end of October? I am still editing my trip photos: upcoming photos will include a series of Michigan flowers and mushrooms I found along the way.

Today we are visiting The Curio Fair tower, located just outside of St. Ignace, Michigan. The tower climb is very entertaining , and the views of Lake Michigan and the Mackinaw Bridge are pretty spectacular. The Curio Fair building is pretty cool, the doors are heavy steel and the walls are rock and embedded sea shells. The gift shop on the main level is packed (walls/ceilings) with so may things,,,it would take hours to sift through everything. Although I do not usually purchase souvenirs, this day I did  purchase some Guatemalan worry dolls, to remember my trip and gift to others.

After ringing up our purchases and paying a small fee, we were directed to a door at the back of the room, where we started our climb up several levels to the top of the tower’s viewing deck. One thing is immediately apparent, graffiti is encouraged and lots of people do it. I didn’t, because once again I did not want to burden myself with anything but my camera. No change, no camera, some girl scout I am.

My party and I stopped frequently to admire some people’s artwork and others’ sense of humor. One bonus stopping frequently has, is that it helps take your mind off the fact that you are continually climbing up, and that the whole structure feels like it is swaying with the wind. Once at the top there are many windows in which you can securely view the Mackinac Bridge, as well as the surrounding lake and countryside. Or if you have the nerve step outside on the viewing deck, the views are pretty nice from this vantage point.

All in all we had a great time and saw some new and unusual things in the gift shop. All it took was an hour or two of our time, a few dollars and we created some lasting memories; Isn’t that what we are all trying to do?  As always I hope you enjoy the photos.

Michigan In September

Hello Again Dear Reader,

It has been a very long time. I just returned from a trip up North to visit family and friends….as always I loved seeing everyone, but hate the eventual goodbyes. Regardless, though my time was very much spoken for with traveling and other activities, I still had the chance to sight-see and take a few interesting photos. These were taken in St. Ignace Michigan, a small lake side city, just the other side of the Mackinaw Bridge.

IMG_7643This town is something right out of a Norman Rockwell Photo. There is a beautiful Lighthouse right in the middle of town, IMG_7670 surrounded by hillside houses and picturesque churches. IMG_7671

I enjoyed my time here very much and even thought, if I did not have such an aversion to the bitter cold, I could die here. But I cannot even imagine the cold wind that blows off the great lakes here…it was September and the temperature was in the high 40’s, very brisk for this Florida girl. IMG_7661

I could have spent hours trying to photograph the city, the lighthouse, which is directly across from Mackinaw Island, the crystal clear waters, but the sun was fading fast and it was getting colder. So I focused on what I could see and hoped I could capture how beautiful this little city was to me. So as always, enjoy!

It’s Wednesday—- What Can I say?

Hello Again Dear Reader,

     Much has happened since I last posted. Independence day has come and gone, and I have had a few family and personal emergencies to attend to. It really is a pity that life never gives us a heads up, before pulling the rug out from under us. But “Such is life” as my father always said..

     I do hope that you all had a safe and memorable holiday. It was a good day for me.  Full of many things to photograph. And although I did not come home with a million photographs of actual fireworks, I did spend a leisurely day out and about exploring new places.

     This day my companion and I chose a state park that borders the ocean and inlet to the Indian river. I always enjoy spending time watching the various boats that pass through the inlet, as well as taking in the sights and sounds native to this area. One sail-boat in particular piqued my interest, as it reminded me of a video game I like to play. For anyone actually interested, BioShock Infinite and Songbird is what it reads (pictured below). I love how witty and creative boat owners are, it is one of the best things about boat watching.

SongBird
SongBird

     Besides the constant passing in and out of watercraft through the inlet, walking through the state park recreational area is just as enjoyable. There are many areas on the beach and littered around the park that family and friends can gather. The park has many pavilions, and bar-b-q sites, for those wanting to spend the day, or you can just take a rest under any one of the sea grape, or palm trees that line the inlet shoreline.  This side of the inlet, the Jetty is on the opposite side, is almost identical in that you can access both the ocean and the inlet from the park.

     This day our journey started up a pole studded path, that opened up onto a nice, white sandy beach.

IMG_5989

Waiting for The Wave
Waiting for The Wave

     There are always surfers, waiting for any wave; sunbathers, fisherman, and just families enjoying the sunshine and water here. I found plenty to photograph in the park, and would really enjoy visiting this particular area again.

     We spent most of our time, as I said on the inlet side, watching the boats zoom in and out.  Mainly out, as once inside the inlet, signs warn boaters to slow down as Manatee frequent this area. All in all a good day. So as always, I hope you enjoy.

Independance Day 2015

Hello Dear Reader,

     Can you believe that it’s already July? It seemed like just yesterday was January, and now the year is just a touch past half over. I know that my parents and grandparents spoke the truth now, when they said time gets faster as we get older. Anyway…. I am planning to find some firework display to view, somewhere in celebration of the patriotic occasion.

     The dry conditions here currently give me pause, as brush-fires are always a threat, no matter how much rain this state experiences. The fires seem to go hand-in-hand with hurricane season. Even so I am going to try and take some firework photos. Night photography has always been a challenge for me and I have very little experience with it, so I am eager for a chance to see what I get, so to speak. I know that I should post my firework photos after the event, but just in case the fireworks, or festivities are either cancelled, or rained out :), I am going to share my last years photos first. Maybe by digging them up and posting them I can see if I have gotten any better at taking them. Keep your fingers crossed. So until next time, Enjoy! Please have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

     Last year my family and I celebrated the fourth in Eustis Florida, where the Independence celebration is paired with the city’s First Friday celebration. The day long street party kicks off in Ferran Park, set alongside picturesque and enormous Lake Eustis. There are eats and treats and a few booths thrown in, plus games and rides and for kids. They also have an outdoor concert stage that is gorgeous when lit up at night. The performers in my photos were an Eagles Tribute Band. I do not remember their names.

Weary Wednesday – Finally Working on Colorado Photos

Here Kitty Kitty
Here Kitty Kitty

Happy Wednesday Dear Reader,

    I know the headline says weary, and my salutation says happy…but I am weary and as sad as that sounds happy for it. There is no amount of time that could explain this statement or my own struggles, but suffice it to say that even though everything may not be right in the world…I am happy to just be in it. So today I am finally going to start posting the rest of my Colorado trip photos. I will also attempt to identify the places and things correctly, a side effect of putting things off, and coincidentally my biggest pet peeve, but never the less.

     In the meantime I am currently working on a few more Gurushots. This time it is Fun With Shadows, this is a new one for me, because although I am always aware of shadows and how they can be used to enhance, or ruin a photo, I never really thought to make them picturesque. Not to be undone by any challenge I set out looking for opportunities, to advance my shadow skill set and it did not take long before the setting sun and my kitties (KiKi & Aimee), gave me just that opportunity. As always until we meet again…enjoy!