That Certain Slant of Light

Camping on the east end of Canada’s Manitoulin Island.

This week Tina Schell is hosting the Lens-Artist Challenge and her topic is “It’s All About Light.” Her post and others I have read have been truly “enlightening” and it really “lit” my fire. Oh how I love the morning light – those moments when night is being cast aside by the light of a new day. When the sun starts to peak over the horizon calling the earth to show forth its colors.

How wonderful to hold a mug of coffee while being gently lifted into the day with a cool breeze and the soft light of the sun filtered through thin morning clouds. But I find I have to get up early and it is only occasionally that the light is a perfect match for my morning rising. The light changes very quickly so I have to catch it before it fully blooms.

Manitoulin Island

I especially love watching the early sunrise light come across a body of water, but in my home county there is only one place I know to go that gives me this gift – Lime Lake. Lime Lake was created from a limestone quarry and has a county park on the west side of the lake. It is primarily used by people for fishing and picnicking, and students from the college a couple of miles up the road who need to go someplace to be with someone special. In spring and fall I can count on some morning mist hanging over the lake. The trees across the lake are a part of my cousin’s woodlot.

Lime Lake – a few miles from my home in Michigan.

And what joy it is to first hear a flock of Sandhill Cranes and then to see them flying overhead with the rising sun illuminating their underside.

Surprise in a Red Pod

I saw these red seed pods as I was photographing my way around the Naples Botanical Garden in Florida last winter. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any tags to identify the plant among the foliage. What a surprise to see the seed elegantly tucked inside the golden interior.

My first thought was what a beautiful way to present the gift of new plants but something is wrong with the gift. I’ll leave it to the storytellers among us to give suggestions on story plots for the prickly, gold-lined gift of seeds.

Jude inspired me with her suggestion of quirky reds for this month’s Life in Colour.

If you know the name of this topical plant please inform us in the comments – maybe even share a photo of the flower.

Natural Light

I am always amazed at how the right natural light can make the common-place on a country road look extraordinary.

My inspiration comes from Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week challenge of “Natural Lighting.

Someone Else’s Hideaway

We spent a few days in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan this past week. One day Jim and I took off to explore some backroads. One of them led to a boat launch to this beautiful sandy-bottom lake. There were no houses on the lake and there was a sign that said catch and release fishing with only lures. There was a couple already there with their kayaks.

We commented on how beautiful the lake is and they said it is their hiding place. I apologized for finding them and their place, and they were gracious. They live in the area so they shared lots of interesting information about the lake, the storm damage from the night before, and what it is like living next to the government national guard training grounds. We also shared stories about getting wet while canoeing and loosing valuables. I sure wish kayaks had been available when we were younger, or maybe I wish I was agile enough to kayak now. My artificial knees make it hard to get my feet far enough under me to get out so I would have to roll over into the water. Not very graceful.

Our friend, Lynn, shared an interesting conversation she had with someone who hadn’t lived in Michigan. She was talking about going to the UP (Upper Peninsula) and the other person said something about the LP. Lynn had to stifle a laugh because she had never heard the Lower Peninsula referred to as the LP. Me neither. We live in the Lower Peninsula and go the the UP for vacations. I wonder if people who live in the Upper Peninsula refer to where we live as the LP.

There is a political/social history to these regions that is probably familiar to all territories. Before the Big Mac bridge was built in 1957 connecting the lower and upper, there was a ferry that made travel slow and expensive. The state capital, Lansing, is in the lower part of the lower peninsula and people in the UP felt very isolated both economically and politically. People especially on the western end of the upper peninsula have felt more connected to Wisconsin then to Michigan. They still do. I’ve been wondering if our references to these two regions reflects the fact that the lower peninsula is economically and politically more powerful or if it is just a pattern of speech that is reversed depending on where we live. Next time we visit the UP I’ll have to talk to some Yoopers to find out.

Notice the sign background is of the Upper Peninsula. Lake Superior to the north, Lake Michigan & Huron to the south, Wisconsin and Minnesota to the west.

Red Flowers on a White Brick Wall

I think this mural was what drew me downtown to try out my new camera. Every time we drive by I marvel at the beautiful work the artist did. The flower above is esthetically pleasing to look at but it is a part of a larger mural painted by David Rice in 2019.

There is so much depth to still life that I fell like I could reach out a pull out one of the flowers – except I would scare one of the butterflies.

I don’t seem to take photos of many things in red except for old barns so I though it a good selection for Jude’s “Life in Colour” challenge for August of “red”.