If you walk Lake Michigan’s beaches, you may come across black sand that has a hint of red it in. Oil spill? No. The black sand is actually a mineral called magnetite. Another mineral, hematite, gives the sand its red color. Magnetite and hematite are naturally occurring. They were ground into sand by the receding glaciers and occasionally find their way ashore, delivered by waves and wind. Yesterday, I shot these photographs of abstracts of sand. (Click on an image to see them larger.)
I went to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park yesterday and was shooting photos of a group of sculptures on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Those photos did not turn out well, but as I was leaving the rooftop garden where they are on display, I saw this flowering plant by the exit. I really like how the image came out.
After months of working at home, we spent a week physical distancing in Leelanau County. I rose early each morning to shoot as the sun rose.
Sunrise in Glen Haven
One of my goals for the week was to practice panoramic photographs. It involves taking several overlapping photographs and stitching them together using Photoshop. I had some pretty dramatic sunrises looking across Sleeping Bear Bay toward Pyramid Point.
Glen Haven was once a bustling port. One of the remaining buildings in the village the Glen Haven Canning Company, owned by D.H. Day.
Dew on the beach grass creates specular highlights in this photo.
Even without dramatic clouds, the sunrise on Sleeping Bear Bay is breathtaking.
Finding My Roots
Lately, I have been intrigued by the roots of trees. So another goal for our trip was to try to take some interesting photos of them. I visited Bass Lake, where the shore is lined by cedar trees.
I also visited the Teichner Preserve on Lime Lake where cedars again line the shore.
These cedar roots are the last thing keeping these three trees from falling into the lake.
I took this shot along the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in Glen Arbor.
Port Oneida Rural Historic District
I return frequently to the Port Oneida Rural Historic District, where the farms were established in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For a time, the National Park Service was letting the farms decay, with the intention of turning Sleeping Bear Dunes into a wilderness area. That plan has changed, and with the help of Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear, a not-for-profit, the farms buildings are being restored and preserved.
This is a panoramic photo of the outbuildings of the Thoreson Farm. The red building is the granary.
I have taken so many photos of this granary, one of the few remaining buildings on the Peter and Jenny Burfiend Farm.
Omena, Michigan, is a tiny town on the Leelanau Peninsula, between Sutton’s Bay and Northport. It has a few charming buildings, including the local post office . . .
and the Omena Bay Country Store, which has unfortunately closed.
The Omena Presbyterian Church was dedicated in 1858. It holds services only in the summer, with visiting ministers.
But, services were suspended this year because of the Covid-19 virus.
Photographing the church, I noticed the cemetery behind it. The cemetery was unlike any I have visited before. Most of the graves were marked by blank, roughcut headstones.
A marker explained.
Sunset over Lake Michigan and South Manitou Island
One of our traditions when vacationing in Glen Arbor is watching the sun set each evening. The show was dramatic on our second evening, as the sun set amidst a clearing storm.
On the afternoon of Saturday, May 30, peaceful protesters met in Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids and marched in silence to protest the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Their message of outrage was clear. As night fell, a different crowd took to the streets and the evening turned violent as rioters smashed the windows of downtown businesses, burned police cars and caused other mayhem.
The following morning, volunteers from the community came downtown and cleaned up the mess leaving, behind boarded up businesses. Most of the business remain covered in plywood. But, the plywood has become a canvas for artists to send a message to the community about racism, redemption, and Black Lives Matter.
Someday soon, the plywood will come down, replaced by glass. The artwork will be auctioned off. While it is wonderful that the artwork will be preserved, it may lose some of its impact when it no longer appears together. So today I walked around downtown today to capture these photos. (Click on an image to see it larger.)
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
Some peaceful images after a terrible night in our city and across the country.
I figure I spent close to two hours this weekend (2 separate visits) standing in the middle of a stream that feeds into Honey Creek. What a great way to start the day, listening to the burbling of the stream as it passes over the rocks on its way to the larger creek. On this morning’s visit I was rewarded with mayapple flowers, which are hidden beneath a canopy of leaves. Mayapples grow in colonies from a single root system. Their leaves obscure the beautiful flower that blossoms in late April or May.
Recently, I joined an organization of nature photographers who dedicate themselves to principles to limit their impact as they practice their art. I was reminded of this yesterday morning as I was exploring Seidman Park and Honey Creek once again. As I bushwacked off the trail, I followed deer trails so as to avoid stepping on newly emerging flowers that decorated to the forest floor. I also resisted the urge to investigate and backed off immediately when I accidentally flushed a hen turkey from her nest of eight eggs. I would have loved to have taken a closer look, but knew that my presence would keep the hen from returning to the next and might attract the interest of other people enjoying the park.
We can’t help but have an impact on the land whenever we go out into nature. But we can learn to limit that impact. Members of Nature First commit to 7 principles:
THE NATURE FIRST PRINCIPLES
Prioritize the well-being of nature over photography.
Educate yourself about the places you photograph.
Reflect on the possible impact of your actions.
Use discretion if sharing locations.
Know and follow rules and regulations.
Always follow Leave No Trace principles and strive to leave places better than you found them.
Actively promote and educate others about these principles
You can learn more about Nature First Principles by visiting their website here. You can learn more about Leave No Trace principles by visitng LNT.org.
I submitted three photographs to Lenswork Magazine today for possible inclusion in a book they will publish this fall titled, “Our Magnificent Planet.” They will select 300 photographs from those submitted. Fingers crossed, they will select one of these. (Click on images to see them full size.)
After our 6:00 a.m. commando visit to the grocery store (complete with face masks, gloves and hand sanitizer), I escaped our new Covid-19 reality and went out to Seidman Park with my camera to see what Spring looks like. (Click images to see them full size.)