This was taken in September 2004. We were taking a vacation in Northern Michigan (makes me think of the Kid Rock song . . .), and decided to take a day trip up to Whitefish Point and Tahquamenon Falls, in the Upper Peninsula. Our first stop was Whitefish Point. I was amazed at all the beautiful stones along the Lake Superior beach! There were so many amazing shapes and colors. We spent a good while just rock-hunting. The water was chilly, but once you were in it you got use to it really fast. We got right in and were just amazed at all the different, beautiful rocks. I could have spent hours there. We did tour the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum while we were there, as Whitefish Point is known as the "Graveyard of Ships." Fascinating place!
These Black-eyed Susans (I think) were on the trail up to "Ol' Smoky" (a.k.a. Clingman's Dome) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of them were as tall as we were! Whenever I see wildflowers like this, I always think of these verses from the Bible . . .
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The brilliant kernel of the night,
The flaming lightroom circles me:
I sit within a blaze of light
Held high above the dusky sea.
Far off the surf doth break and roar
Along bleak miles of moonlit shore,
Where through the tides the tumbling wave
Falls in an avalanche of foam
And drives its churned waters home
Up many an undercliff and cave.
"How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! "
This picture was actually taken at sunset, not sunrise. But, I love the way this stream is in the shadow of the Smokies, and you can see the sun on another mountain in the background. These woods and mountains are so diverse, they fascinate me. What a wonderful piece of Creation! The Smokies always remind me a bit of Hinds' Feet on High Places, and the journey of "Much Afraid." I can't help thinking about that story whenever I'm there.
"From the heights we leap and go
To the valleys down below,
Always answering to the call,
To the lowest place of all."
Dahlias remind me of my grandma. For as long as I can remember, she's had these fabulous gardens, full of marigolds, dahlias, zinnias, roses, and a multitude of other gorgeous flowers. But, I always loved dahlias. This particular one was in my mother-in-law's garden. With a dahlia, you could try to count the petals, but you would soon become frustrated. They have so many—they are so detailed! And I love how they are curled up close to the center. Ah, the wonderful detail and minutia of Creation!
I love this cherry orchard. Gosh, I wish I could remember what road this is on. All I know is that it's on the way from Honor to Leland, MI. But, when the trees are in bloom, it's well worth a stop—even if you're not taking pictures. It's just so beautiful!
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
I remember taking this picture on a trail in Northern Michigan, in Benzie County. I can't remember what trail, but there was a wetland along the way. I don't live in Michigan anymore (at least for now), but I miss the woods of Northern Michigan. Cedars are a fascinating tree, and they abound in this particular area. The needles are flat. Gwen Frostic's shop wraps your purchases in her specialty paper and they garnish the packages with a Cedar sprig. I think the needles are really . . . I don't know . . . fresh, clean, woodsy, soft, and pure.
For years, my in-laws have taken a Fall vacation in Northern Michigan on Intermediate Lake, in the Jordan River Valley and Chain of Lakes area. Usually, the whole family (whoever can make it) joins them. This particular year (I believe it was 2007), my husband was not able to join us, but I was able to go. I made it a personal goal to get up before sunrise each morning to catch the sunrise and journal by the lake (and get one of the first showers—hehe). The morning in this photo was a particularly beautiful morning, and I had to snap the shot. I even heard a loon on the lake that morning! It was so amazingly beautiful and peaceful.
This Spring, my husband and I were taking a walk in a local park. As often happens, he stopped to do a little birding and I started snapping photos. I was carrying our daughter in a wrap, and found this Robin's nest in the brush nearby. It was tricky, trying to pull twigs out of the way, so my daughter wouldn't get poked. But, I ended up with this shot, in the end. I love the blue of the eggs against the neutral colors of the nest. There's just nothing that says "Spring" like a Robin's nest.
Today is also my Mom's birthday, so "Happy Birthday," to her!