Early May Up North

I traveled north and spent the weekend camped at the D.H. Day Campground at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  This gave me an opportunity to both in the early morning and around sunset.  I started my day on the Grasshopper Loop of the Brown Bridge Quiet Area trail south of Traverse City.  I spent some time waiting in a meadow for the sun to rise to get this shot.  As I anticipated, the rising set this amazing larch tree on fire!Brown Bridge Quiet Area 7934-s

From the meadow I walked along the board walk.

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I seem to be intrigued by roots these days.  This next set of roots appears to be reaching out to me.

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Dutchman’s breeches along the Kettles trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The U.S. Forest Service site reports that the flower has many different common names around the country. One is ” Little Blue Staggers,” so called because the plant is known to induce a drunken stagger when cattle graze on it because of narcotic and toxic substances in the poppy-related genus.

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Cedars along the shore of Tucker Lake.

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A view of Glen Lake from the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

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Some shots atop Sleeping Bear Dune at sunset.

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The weekend was the weekend of the new moon.  The sky was perfectly clear, offering the perfect opportunity for my first attempt at astrophotography, a photo of the Milky Way.

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A Morning at Saugatuck Dunes State Park

I visited Saugatuck Dunes State Park yesterday morning. Here are some photos.

I arrived early, an hour before sunrise, to take advantage of the light during the “blue hour.”  The water in this vernal pond reflects the brightening sky.Saugatuck Dunes - -2

This tree, with its exposed roots, captured by attention and held it for some time.Saugatuck Dunes - -7839

I experimented with a technique called “photo stacking,” in which I took several photos focusing first close by and then successively deeper into the photograph. Photo stacking is used to get a tack-sharp photo throughout the image.Saugatuck Dunes - -7849

I stacked 5 photographs for this image.Saugatuck Dunes - -7864

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Birches at Houdek Dunes

Yesterday, I explored the Houdek Dunes Natural Area. Houdek Dunes is five miles north of Leland on M-22. The property is owned by the Leelanau Conservancy. It comprises 330 acres and has about 3 miles of trails that take you through open dunes and several types of forests. What stood out to me yesterday morning were the birch trees, many of which, protected by the dunes, have lived for over 100 years. That’s quite unusual for a birch tree. With their white bark, the birches caught my eye for this series of photographs.Houdek Dunes 7660Houdek Dunes-7685Houdek Dunes 7220-2Houdek Dunes-7726Houdek Dunes-7730

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Cedar Roots

Cedar roots on the shore of Lime Lake in the Teichner Preserve in Leelanau County.  CBS News correspondent Martha Teichner donated the first 20 acres for this 43-acre preserve and then mortgaged her apartment in Manhattan to join with the Jean Raymond Family to double its size.  Teichner was born in Traverse City and graduated from East Grand Rapids High School, before attending Wellesley College and getting an MBA from the University of Chicago.Cedar Roots - Teichner Preserve 7781

A Last Bit of Winter Photography

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I made one more visit the the Leelanau Peninsula near the end of March to have one more shot at winter photography.  I headed straight to Good Harbor Bay to get some shots of Shalda Creek before sunrise.  I had great light for about 15 minutes and made the most of it.  Then the clouds rolled in.

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After the clouds rolled in I wandered around the park taking random shots.

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A sudden burst of sunlight

I drove up to Sleeping Bear in the snow early Saturday morning. The sky was a dull gray and the light was uninspiring. Then all of the sudden the sun broke through for about a half hour. I made the most of it, climbing an 8-foot pile of snow to capture this photo.

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I have shot this building several times  and always like returning to it.  I don’t know what the building was used for.  It is adjacent to an old farmhouse, which was equally stunning in the bright sunshine against the dark sky.  The red barn was an added accent.

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