Archive for the 'Sunset' Category

The Drive North of Duluth, Minnesota

One of the ways I enjoy spending time on vacation is getting in the truck and driving.  I may not know what I am looking for, but I am always looking.  It is invaluable to have paper maps and GPS in hand.

After spending some time scouting for hawks at the Hawk Ridge area and not being successful, the pavement gave it familiar call.  Wanting to take it kind of easy, I stayed on the hard road.  Driving north along Lake Superior there were many sites to be seen.  Houses, beaches, places to eat and islands peaking through the tree lined shoreline.

It was starting to be get dark out and I had not found the image I was looking to capture with camera.  As mentioned, the hawks did not come in as I had hoped.  Driving, I saw a lot of pretty sites, but none that really moved me.

Using the topo maps on the GPS, I saw an island coming up ahead.  Islands are always worth investigating further.  I could see there was a road leading down to a place where the island was view able.  So many times, that does not happen.   There are trees in the way, or other obstructions making picture not possible.  Driving down a narrow steep road, the days plans came together.


The sun had all but gone down, and there was a glow on the opposite horizon.  The island was picking up some of the last light.  I had  a foreground on top of that.  I love wide angle photography.  That is my first love in photography.  Getting out tripod, I did say tripod, I brought camera close to ground.  Using a remote shutter release, I started capturing time as it moved on in front of me.  Light was changing and time was working for and against me.  Against me, as I did not have much time.  For me, as it was painting the scene in front of me.


Knowing there is always more that one image in a picture, I rotated camera and recomposed.

When, scene, light, and time come together, magic happens.  This was one of those moments.

Fridays are Golden


140425_022_n1_p_e_1It has been a long week.  After work I moved some flower pots around the backyard and enjoyed seeing what prairie plants are popping up in my backyard.  Then for a little relaxation in the big chair in the living room.  Two episodes of Duck Dynasty to set the mood for the rest of the evening.  Grabbing camera I headed for Spitler Woods State Park.  The woodland flowers are coming up all over.  Bluebells, trout lily, dutchmans breeches, and red trillium are what you can see.

Not long before the sun set, I was looking for something that had the glow of the setting sun on it.  Most of the forest floor was in the shade.  Gold, I see.  Great light on the flower and background.  Getting the legs spread out to get my tripod on the ground, I lay down on the ground.  Then the unthinkable.  Coming down the trail are a mother and young son.  I just took all the effort to get down here and they show up.  I gave in and moved some and they gave in and walked around me.  I am grateful for that.

Back to the flower, getting out a reflector to add more light and time to capture light.  That is what photography is all about.  Capturing light.

Heading home, I put the canopy over the swing in the backyard.  I took it down for the winter.  Then I sat in the swing for an hour listening to all the sounds and spending some time reading a book on my phone.

The end of the week was great.  I found the pot of gold in several ways.  I hope you enjoy the one part I can share and I hope it brightens your day.

Change of Plans


Last week a friend and  I took a day to go to Wolf Creek on Lake Shelbyville to photograph some deer.  After driving around and talking with some DNR people, we decided to change plans.  DNR said that the deer counts were really down.  Blue Tongue Disease has been getting to the deer the last two years.  So we decided to do a little GEO Caching.  We found one in the park by going online.  We loaded the info into the GPS and off we trekked.  It took us to a cemetery in the park.  After about 10 minutes we found the cache.  It was originally placed in a 35mm film canister.  After reading through some posts, we found it had been changed to a mint can.  To make things worse, there were leaves all over the place covering and filling all the hiding spots.  But we had success.

Then it was back on the road.  Driving around Shelby County we saw an eagle’s nest I found last year.  It is deep on someones property so there was no access to photograph.  The nest still looked to be in good shape.


So, we looked for old barns.  The sun was right and the golden light was upon us.  So the change of plans was good.  We found a Geo-cache, and eagles nest, and some old barns.  It was a good way to get out, relax and explore.

Tree Line Glow

Friday after a day of GeoCaching driving back to town the sky was taking on color.  I always enjoy sunsets.  The colors and forms are always a surprise.  One moment nothing then the jackpot.  Friday was no different.  This group of trees grabbed me so out came the tripod and it all started for about 10 minutes.  Nothing like a colorful end to the day.

Tree Line Glow

Birds, Water And More Birds

Migration is going on, and Macon County is being treated with some great birding.  Pelicans, Great Egrets and more are ready to be seen.

Pelicans, Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons on Macon County, Illinois water

American White Pelicans are unusual for our area.  It was not untill the last few years that they visited us.  It seems they are moving east of the Mississippi River during migration now.  That is good.  These pelicans nest in the Boreal Forest of Canada and winter in the Southern States and Central America.

The American White Pelican has a wingspan up to 114 inches

American White Pelican - Macon County, Illinois

Great Egrets nest in Illinois and are Summer residents.  Most nesting is done in trees with some nests on the ground.  They spend the winter months in the Southern States and Central America.  Wing span of the Great Egret can be as wide as 157 inches.

Great Egret - Macon County, Illinois

 After a day of photographing, a sunset is always welcome.  Sunsets are always fun to photograph.  Reflections on water give a different perspective to wildlife on water as it does with these pelicans.  Sometimes people leave too early when waiting around for 20 minutes gives new opportunities.

Pelicans in Macon County, Illinois on water at sunset

Sunset in Macon County, Illinois

There is so much to see out there.  Take some time this fall while we have great weather to see nature at it finest.  Along with the fall migration, the leaves are ready to turn.  Hopefully we will have a great year for that.  I am looking forward to hearing leaves under my feet as I walk the woodland trails.  There is always something to look forward to as the seasons change.  Just don’t forget to enjoy the season we have now. 

Fish Hook

I became a little restless this afternoon and went for a drive to Fish Hook.  Fish Hook is a wildlife management area on Lake Shelbyville.  Talking with the Corps of Engineers earlier this week there was a possibility of some shorebirds in the area.  I was hoping to photograph some, but no luck.  There were none to be seen.  It may have been the dove hunting on top of the hill had scared them away.  Also, the area had a large group of people down by the water talking and enjoying the sights.

Looking areound, the mud flats had a lot of shorebird tracks and some raccoon tracks also, so the area has been holding a lot of birds.  Hopefully I will have better luck next time.


 That being said, I worked with what was available.  The trees and scrub brush has always intrigued me the few times I have been here.  I wanted to take a walk down the bank, but the mud was really soft.  So I took some images from the area around the parking lot.  I talked with a some fishermen and a family walking some dogs.  They agree the area is a great resource for recreation.


 The sun had set behind the treeline and was starting to give off it’s photographers glow.  Reflections and rocks are always a plus.


Even the drive home gave up some beauty.  This was taken south of Sullivan near one of the marina’s.  The light was going fast, so I had to work fast to get this one.

This was a great way to end a three day weekend.