Rainy with a bit of snow today at Sleeping Bear Dunes. I got caught in quite a downpour when I hiked the Pyramid Point Trail loop (2.7 miles). Fortunately, my camera gear and I were both well under wraps. Lots of leaves and lots of color. A pleasant day of shooting, even if the weather was a bit nasty.
I had a conference this past week in Santa Fe and went a day early so I could drive up to Taos. I traveled up the High Road, stopping in Las Trampas to visit the San José de Gracia Church in Las Trampas, New Mexico. Built between 1760 and 1776, San José de Gracia is a National Historic Landmark.
Last May, I shot several photos along the top of the Rio Grande Gorge, northwest of Taos. On this trip, I wanted to get down to the base of the gorgeand found a road leading down to the John Dunn Bridge. The area is quite popular with fishers and paddlers. It is also the site of hot springs that attracts locals. Here are photos taken around the bridge, as well as one photo back at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
The Enchanted Circle is an 85 mile trip around Mount Wheeler, northeast of Taos. The road rises up to an elevation of 9,820 feet at Bobcat pass. Here are three photos I shots along the way. The first is of three pine trees reflected in Fawn Lakes near Red River. The second is of aspen trees that had lost their leaves, new Bobcat Pass. The third is a view of snow capped Mount Wheeler, looking through the entrance to a ranch north of Eagles Nest, New Mexico.
Yesterday, I left Grand Rapids at 4:20 a.m. to get to Bass Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore an hour before sunrise. I had shot some photos at Bass Lake and the adjacent Otter Lake back in July. Back then I thought what a great place to visit in the fall, when the trees had some color. Driving north yesterday in the dark, I was filled with anticipation. But, when the sun came up, the trees gave only a hint of fall. That was true throughout the park – it is all still really green.
Still, the scene was beautiful and worth the drive.
As I waited for the sun to rise, I watched the setting moon reflected among the reeds in the water.
After breakfast, I headed over to Point Oneida, an area the always intrigues me. Driving along Baker Road, a two track road that bisects the point, I spied this view of the Carsten Burfield farm, with Lake Michigan in the background.
Turning the camera just a bit gave me this view of Sleeping Bear Dunes.
The farm buildings on Point Oneida are striking in their simplicity.
While there was little color at Sleeping Bear, I witnessed some beautiful color on the drive home. I stopped by the High Rollaway Overlook near Buckley, which I visited in September. Though not at peak, the colors were still breathtaking.
The fall colors have generally yet to come to our area in West Michigan. We are in the midst of a mini-drought (the third driest September since 1892). We are seeing a lot of leaves simply dry up and fall off the trees with revealing their spectacular colors.
Still there are signs of fall. The morning air has turned much cooler with lows dipping into the low forties and high thirties. This causes fog to form in low lying fields and especially around bodies of water, which still retain some of the warmth from our 80 and 90 degree temperatures from just a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday morning, in my wanderings, I drove across the Grand River in Ada and saw the mist rising from the water. I turned around and found a boat launch where I could park and explore the waters edge. Here are some photos.
From the shores of the Grand it was just a short trip to Seidman Park and Honey Creek. I brought along my waders so I could get down into the creek and get closer to the rocks.
I headed north early yesterday morning to the Sleeping Bear Dunes trail in Glen Haven, Michigan. It was a beautiful morning. I had climbed to the top of a dune an hour before sunrise and got to enjoy the stars as I planned my first shots of the day. As always, the stars were beautiful, with Orion and his belt showing off in the southern sky. (Click on a photo to see a larger view.)
The moon over Lake Michigan, as seen from the Sleeping Bear Dune Trail.
After shooting across Sleeping Bear Bay, I headed further along the the Sleeping Bear Dune Trail to the Ghost Forest, which is always fun to shoot in the morning light. To me, photos of these trees that were once buried in sand and have now risen from the dead look best in black and white.
There were few signs of color up north, but I founds some hints of fall at Tucker Lake in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Near Tucker Lake are the headwaters of the Crystal River, a 6.3 mile shallow stream that winds through the forest from Fisher Lake to Lake Michigan. Here is a photograph taken from the bridge where the river first crosses Crystal View Road (County Road 675).
Before leaving Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to return home, I stopped at Lane Road Beach on Sleeping Bear Bay in the Point Oneida Rural Historic District.
The dappled light brought out the colors of the stones in the water.
On my day trips up north, I shoot early in the morning, setting up before dawn (yesterday at 6:15 a.m.), until that special morning light is gone. After about three hours it is off to breakfast and then some additional shooting and scouting. On my way back from the Leelanau Peninsula, I stopped at the High Rollaway Overlook near Buckley. It offers an incredible view of the valley. I wanted to see it for the first time and take a test shot in the hopes that I can return during peak color this fall. The rollaway was used by logging companies in the 18th century. They rolled their logs down the steep embankment to the Manistee River. From there, the logs were floated down river to a sawmill.
The Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, is one of eight dedicated temples of the Bahá’í faith in the world. Construction was begin in 1922 and the finished temple was dedicated in May 1953. The House of Worship is the oldest Bahá’í House of Worship in the world.
It is an incredibly beautiful building. I spent an hour photographing the temple last evening. Struck by its beauty, I returned this morning to take some additional photos. Here are a number of my photos. I had difficult time choosing among them. As the evening sun set and the morning sun rose, the lighting changed continuously. Each change inspired another photo, as a I tried to capture the soul of this amazing building.