Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 208, Another Beach Day

Another wonderful day at the beach. Lake Michigan water temps were in the upper 70s, the air temps were in the upper 80s, and the beach was the place to be. (No that's not me in the picture.)

DPS Image: Water

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 206, Birthday Boy

It's Kaj's 3rd birthday today. He was spoiled rotten, as was his due.

DPS Image: Time

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 204, A Red Letter Day

I went in with a list of 4 items. I left the store with just those 4 items and spent less than $100. This is one for the record books!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 202, This Week in My Garden

The lavender is still hanging on but it's past its peak.

There's a pink Rose of Sharon (thank you, Apple!) blooming in the neighbor's yard (and also in mine ;-) .

This is the largest bloom in my yard, a giant hibiscus.

My butterfly bush is still in the early stages of blooming. (No butterflies yet)

Most of my roses are pausing before blooming again, except for this little bush rose. It's still going to town with bright, beautiful blossoms. I think the heat wave we've been having is taking its toll on my garden.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 200, A Day at the Vineyard

It wasn't sunny enough for a beach day today so we visited a local winery, Round Barn Winery in Baroda. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. They have a winery, a distillery, and a brewery... something for everyone. We had lunch at the outdoor cafe while listening to some live music (blues) and sampled some wonderful beer and wines.

DPS Image: Summer

Day 199, Beach Blessing

I love to photograph sunsets. I do it often. One of my favorite places to photograph a sunset is on Silver Beach in St Joseph, Michigan. It is here, on this beach, that I can most often and easily find a story in the sunset. And that's how I like photograph... finding the story.

Silver Beach is interesting because there is always a story there. Sometimes the story is in the sky colors at sunset, sometimes it's in the waves crashing on the shore. There are times when the story is all about the people in the lake... swimming, boating, surfing, or kite boarding. And there are times when the story is to be found while people-watching at the beach... children building sandcastles, young hard bodies playing beach volleyball, or an elderly couple sitting on a bench watching the sun go down while they hold hands.

So here is tonight's story.

Calm water, calm sky, a couple of boats anchored near the shore, and a group of young people being baptized in the waters of Lake Michigan.

For me, sunsets are a spiritual experience. But these folks have taken it to a whole other level. Peace be with you all.

DPS Image: Summer

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 198, Hot Sun on a Cool Lake

Lake Michigan was the place to be today. The water was almost 80F. It doesn't get much warmer than that in the big lake. It was still cool enough to be refreshing in the near 100 degree heat though.

DPS Image: Summer

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 197, Beatin' the Heat in Motown

Today was a hot one! We got up to 96F today (4th day in a row over 90 degrees) and with the humidity figured in it felt like it was over 100F outside. There are rolling brown-outs around the metro area as DTE Energy struggles to keep up with the demand on the power grid. I thought I'd take a drive and see how my fellow Michiganders are coping with the heat here on the east side of the state.

Here's a family sitting along the shores of Newburgh Lake.

The geese were all staying in the shade. I'm surprised they weren't in the water.

This guy was kicked back enjoying a good book.

This fellow was fishing. I'm not sure how much luck he was having. He didn't pull anything in while I was there.

Some folks choose to catch a breeze anyway they can. There's a plane up there. See it?

This goldfinch was blending into the scenery and singin' his heart out.

It's kinda hard to see but at the base of the tree to the left there's a guy on a picnic table. If I were him I'd be gazing out at the golden glow of the setting sun on the deep blue lake.

But he had a different way of spending time at the lake! <grin>

Tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter than today. I wonder how people will be coping then...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 196, End of An Era

Farewell friend. I will miss you. You have been a part of my life since my college days on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Borders was THEE bookstore in town back in those days. After I graduated from college and moved from Ann Arbor I shopped in your stores for baby books, and books for my babies. I selected Christmas gifts from your shelves and sipped coffee in your cafes. I bought gift cards, CDs, DVDs, and enough books to fill a home library. You were always my connection back to Ann Arbor and the place I could go to buy education and entertainment. Your staff was always knowledgeable and helpful. Your customers were my kind of people... smart, savvy, curious, & conscientious. How I hate to see you go.

"Such a fine memory, I think I'm gonna take it with me." ~ Bob Seger

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 195, This Week in My Garden

We have a couple new comers this week and a few old standbys. Making it's first blooms of the season, we have the butterfly bush...

...and this little beauty. The bush is actually in my neighbor's yard but there are stems with flowers in my yard. What is it? Hollyhock?

And a few of my dear old friends, the roses, are blooming again.

This Peace rose has brown edges on the flower petals. I'm guessing it's a result of heat stress or drought.

The same is true for this Abraham Lincoln. The color is rich, possibly too rich, and the petals looked stressed too. Poor babies. This heat is tough on all of us!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 194, The Quintessential Summer Day in St Joseph

This photo really captures summer in St. Joseph... blue skies, even deeper blue water, sailing, lighthouses, festivals, fun, and music! Ahh, summer. How I love thee!

DPS Image: Summer

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 193, Success!

I've been trying to get this photo for three years and I finally got it! Believe me when I tell you it isn't easy to get a fireworks shot with the St. Joseph lighthouses in the background. Now don't tell me you can't see them (click to enlarge image), they're in the lower right corner. Yes, they're small but that's the challenge... to get a good perspective that will accommodate a large enough fireworks burst to cast light on the lighthouses, a nice reflection on the water, and both lighthouse lights on at the same time. And, I managed to get a couple other shots like this tonight too. It was a good night for the shutterbug! :-)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 192, Venetian Festival

Music, midway rides, games of chance, food, boats, fireworks, sand castles, and so much more. St Joseph's Venetian Festival is a big hit every year. It's the largest of the city's many festivals. You can't hear the music as you look at the picture but trust me, it was rock n' roll!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 191, Night Shift

It's not all fun and pleasure on hot summer nights on Lake Michigan. This crew was working long hours dredging a channel.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 190, Green of Summer

This is the last of my selective color series. This pic was taken at Nankin Lake.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 189, State Flower of Michigan

We joke about it here in Michigan... as soon as we get a break from the winter weather, the orange barrels bloom all over the state. They maintain their bright colors all throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. Since they reappear each year we've deemed them pain in the ass perennials.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 188, A Day of Yellow

I planned my usual "this week in my garden" series for today but my garden is in sad shape. Virtually all the blossoms are spent. There are a few new buds which give me hope for some new blooms later in the week but for now you'll have to settle for my new cookie jar. Yep, it's my old buddies Charlie Brown and Snoopy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 187, A Day of Aqua

When it's over 90F it's a good time to head for the pool. My niece and nephews were happy to splash around in the cool water this afternoon.

DPS Image: Family

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 186, A Day of Green

It was a steamy, hot day at the 11th Annual Wayne County PolkaFest, but that didn't keep people from dancing. There were more slow dances than Polkas to begin with but you just couldn't keep this crowd down. Before long they were clamoring for Polkas and Polkas is what they got! Fun!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 185, A Day of Pink

I visited my mom's grave at the cemetery today. I brought flowers in memory of her birthday which is 2 days away. She always loved roses so I brought her some pink ones. I love the shade/sun drama that plays against the bright pink flowers in this picture.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 184, A Day of Blue

I love selective color and I take a lot of photos using this feature. This will be a theme of mine for the next week or so. This is a photo taken of my TV screen. It's from an ad for U of M Hospital. There's something about this boy that moves me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 183, The Halfway Point

As of today, I'm halfway through my 365 project. The image above (click on image to make larger), represents my blog posts to date. The blocks with text instead of an image are placeholders for images I directly uploaded and thus they don't appear in my Blogger photo album. These aren't all the images that appear on this blog, just one from each day.

It's interesting to look back on the last 6 month's images. Sometimes I feel like I photograph the same old subjects over and over again. But looking at this, I see that I don't. There is plenty of variety here. Lots of memories that's for sure. And over all I'd say it's a pretty good representation of my life, minus the people in it. With a couple exceptions, I've tried to steer clear of including family members in my photographs.

There are a couple things that are not natural for me when it comes to photography and this 365 project. 1) I typically photograph people on almost all my photo shoots. 2) I don't typically take pictures every day.

I may try to work in some people shots. It will give me a good challenge to find ways to include people without revealing their identity. I like that idea.

I'll probably continue with the daily photographs for the sake of the project but I doubt if I'll continue that pace when the year is up. Honestly, there are plenty of days when taking photos just doesn't occur to me. You'd think it would have become a habit by now but that's not the case. All too often I find myself walking around the house at 11pm trying to think of something to take a photograph of because I didn't think to pick up my camera during the day. And that's not going to make me a better photographer. I usually don't even like the photos I come up with under those circumstances but I post them anyway for the sake of the project.

I like to put more thought into my photography... plan my shots to tell a story. I do that once in a while now but I have no real commitment to do that. That's the sort of commitment that I think will make me a better photographer. I'm thinking that when this 365 project is up I'll try something different. I'm considering a "Project 52" where I go out on a planned photo shoot once a week, I take a series of shots, and I post them throughout the week. I could still end up with 365 photos at the end of the project but they'd be grouped by subject/style/theme. I have to give that idea some more thought but I think it might work better for me.

I also want to try playing with more filters, try more black and white shots, and maybe trying my hand at some HD photography. Stay tuned and see what I come up with in the next 6 months!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Day 182, This Week in My Garden

The shrub roses are in full bloom now. Some blossoms are already spent.

The day lilies are looking lovely. Such a happy shade of yellow!

Here's Mr. Squirrel who lives in my backyard. He's a cutie, isn't he?

I just love the soft shade of pink on these shrub roses. They look like part of a layout from Victorian magazine.

The clematis has topped the trellis now.

The Tropicana roses are past peak but there are more buds with the promise of more blossoms. :-)

Well who's this fellow? It's Kaj! He was out in the garden with me today.