Once in a Blue Moon

On Saturday, we had a full moon for the second time in October. The moon set at 8:10 a.m., so I thought it would be good time to capture a photo of the moon close to the horizon. Things didn’t quite go as I had planned, but it was a wonderful morning for photography.

Prior to my trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, I used a couple of apps to find the right spot to shoot the setting moon. I needed something of interest in the foreground. What I hadn’t considered was that it would be dark and cold. I hadn’t given enough thought about how to balance a dark foreground against the brilliant light of a full moon. Still, I got this shot, which I like very much.

I chose to shoot the setting moon at a familiar spot, the Peter and Jenny Burfiend farm at Point Oneida in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Sunrise would follow the moonset by about 15 minutes, so as I stood in a field, the sky became brighter, allowing enough light that the granary was no longer silhouetted.

According to a map I have of Point Oneida, this is the old pig house on the Burfiend farm.

As the sun came up, I was surprised to see the beautiful fall colors still on the trees. This is the house on the Burfiend farm.

After the sun came up, I stopped by Bass Lake. I had stopped there three weeks earlier when the colors were just coming on

The colors were stunning.

After stopping at Bass Lake, I drove to nearby Narada Lake. The corner of the lake near the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail had a thin layer of ice that would disappear later in the day.

The view across Narada Lake was every bit as stunning as that on Bass Lake.

In the shadows of Narada Lake I saw this reflection of the leaves and a single dead tree that was bleached white.

Lily pads were frozen in ice.

This is the barn on the Lawr farm, which adjoins the Burfiend farm.

George and Louisa Lawr established the farm in the 1890s and and continued to farm there until 1945.

My last site for shooting was along Westman Road, in the wetlands north of Tucker Lake. These berries caught my eye.

The bright yellow tree is a tamarack, also known as an Eastern Larch. Tamaracks are conifers that grow in the wet soils around swamps and bogs and near lakes. Unlike other conifers, each fall their needles turn bright yellow and fall to the ground.

These maples leaves had fallen onto the ice in the wetlands near Tucker Lake.

The weather forecast called for snow on the Leelanau Peninsula last evening. I am sure the next time I venture north, the area will present starkly different things to photograph.

Chasing Fall Colors

On Saturday I headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore hoping to find fall colors. I got an early start, as usual, arriving an hour before sunrise. Before the sun came up I shot several photos, experimenting with intentional camera movement. No two photos are the same. And sometimes the result is surprising.

The forecast was for a cloudless sky, which was basically true. But this band of clouds appeared and stretched across the sky.

As the band of clouds moved south, it caught the light of the sun, which was still below the horizon.

Shalda Creek flows into Good Harbor Bay. The salmon were running, heading upstream to spawn.

In the northern part of the park, the trees had not reached their peak color, but I was able to isolate some patches of color reflected in Bass Lake.

Birch trees at Point Oneida. The trees are no longer alive. They have been drowned by an expanding beaver pond and now serve as food for the beavers.

Looking down at North Bar Lake from stop number 10 on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This view shows just how green it was close to Lake Michigan.

The fall colors became much more vivid as I got a bit more inland from Lake Michigan. So I stopped at the Brown Bridge Quiet Area near Traverse City for some quick shots before coming home.

The meadow in the Brown Bridge Quiet Area used to be under a pond that was created when they dammed the Boardman River. The dam was removed in the summer of 2012.

Morning in the Point Oneida Rural Historic District

I spent yesterday morning photographing in the Point Oneida Rural Historic District of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We’ve had so many clear blue skies lately, it was exciting to have some clouds to bring some interest to the sky. As I drove up from Grand Rapids, I wasn’t sure where I was going to start photographing, but once I saw the clouds passing by the moon in the western sky, I knew exactly the shot I wanted to start with.

The granary on the Pete and Jennie Burfiend farm in the Point Oneida Rural Historic District has a special charm and simplicity.  This photo was taken 45 forty-five minutes before sunrise, and the clouds quickly moved by the waning moon._MG_9295-2

I found my next composition in the field behind the house and farm buildings on the Thoreson farm.  Here, the rising sun reaches the remnants of the “new orchard.”_MG_9372

While waiting for the light to strike the tree at the center of the photo, I noticed the setting moon over the pasture and the birches that line the road.

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I have had my eye on an old McCormick-Deering hand-crank tractor in the barn of the John and May Burfiend farm on Port Oneida Road.  It always seems to be in the shadows as I go by. But, yesterday the sun was just right to light up the grill of this beauty.

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Also along the Port Oneida Road is the farm of Carsten and Elizabeth Burfiend.  The farm includes two houses and a number of outbuildings.  Here’ the shop and the granary.

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The barn on the Burfiend farm is gone but the foundation remains.

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A roller is among the old farm equipment left of the farm.

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Here’s the entrance to the brooder coop and a few detail shots.

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(Click on an image to see it larger.)

This house was built for Pete and Jennie Burfiend in 1893. Pete took over the farm when Carsten became too old to work it. Eventually, Pete’s son Howard operated the farm._MG_9463

Howard and Orpha Burfiend built this house in 1928.

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The Burfiend’s beach on Sleeping Bear Bay.
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