A September Day Shooting Photos at Sleeping Bear

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.)

Sleeping Bear Bay from atop the dune on 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.

Tucker Lake 2

Tucker Lake 3

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).

Crystal River 2

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.

Sleeping Bear Bay

The dappled light brought out the colors of the stones in the water.

Sleeping Bear Bay Stones

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.

Highbanks Rollaway

The Bahá’í House of Worship of North America

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.Bahai Temple-0282

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.

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Bahai Temple-

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Bahai Temple-0324


Ordered Chaos

DTE recently replaced the substation in East Grand Rapids. Someone apparently forgot to remind DTE to turn off the lights to conserve energy.  The lights remain on all night long, but make for interesting pictures, I think.  The challenge is to find the angles that bring some order to the wires and equipment.  I hope I have done so here.





Sunsets from Sleeping Bear Point

I was able to spend a couple of nights on the Leelanau Peninsula this weekend to continue my efforts to capture this beautiful area in photos that do it justice.  Since I stayed on the Peninsula rather than taking a day trip, I was able to try my hand at capturing the sunsets.

Each night, I climbed the dune at Sleeping Bear Point, near Glen Haven, to get 360 degree view.  To the west was Lake Michigan, the Manitou Passage and South Manitou Island.

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To the east was the town of Glen Arbor on Sleeping Bear Bay, pictured in the lingering glow after the sun had set.


Neither of the sunsets I witnessed were anywhere near as stunning as some of the spectacular sunsets my family and I have witnessed sitting on the beach, but even a so-so sunset on the Peninsula is pretty awe inspiring.



Fouch Cemetery

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All around the countryside in Michigan are little, family cemeteries.  Many have been overgrown and are forgotten.  That was true of the Fouch Cemetery in Leelanau County until 2010, when John Sawyer, a retired Traverse City Light & Power maintenance employee, was driving on Fouch Road and noticed an American flag along the side of the road. Upon investigating, he realized the flag marked the grave of John Beatty (“J.B.”) Thacker, a Civil War veteran.  Next to Thacker’s grave was that of his wife, Emily Fouch Thacker, who died in late 1868.  Sawyer determined to restore the cemetery and set about doing that with the assistance of some local businesses.  The whole story is retold here, in the Traverse City Record Eagle

I stopped briefly at the cemetery the other day and took a few photos.  The 50-by-100 foot cemetery is home to seven graves:

  • Fouch, Hanerah, b. May 07, 1878, d. Aug 30, 1893
  • Fouch, William, b. Mar 28, 1870, d. Dec 25, 1890
  • Fox, George, b. Sep 05, 1854, d. Sep 14, 1942
  • Fox, Mary, b. Oct 05, 1859, d. Oct 08, 1933
  • Fox, William H., b. Jul 30, 1894, d. Feb 03, 1919
  • Thacker, Emily Fouch, b. Oct 31, 1838, d. Dec 02, 1869
  • Thacker, John Beatty, b. Mar 29, 1824, d. Mar 13, 1893