Apostle Islands

 

 

It really was a magical night!  I’ve never seen Lake Superior so calm, therefore the boat ride to Michigan Island was so pleasant.  It was dark by the time we arrived and without a cloud in the sky!  There is a pretty little lighthouse up top, after climbing 126 stairs!  We spent maybe two hours up there, and then moved down to the beach where the Aurora Borealis was just beginning to put on a show.  We knew there was a chance, but it’s never a sure thing until it shows.  It’s amazing how the camera sees colors not seen by the naked eye.  We sat on the beach for quite a long time, just enjoying the show.  If you look carefully, you can see the Big Dipper in the aurora.  We didn’t return to Madeline Island until maybe 3:00 AM!

 

 

Persistence

This tree was in our city park, Ridge Run, since we moved here to West Bend, 42 years ago.  It stood over the pond as if a sentinel guarding the entrance to the park.  It must have been leaning ever so slightly but gradually more over the years as to be unnoticeable, and it seemed as if it would always be there.  I went back to the park this winter after another Wisconsin snowstorm to find the tree no longer there.  The tree was not in the pond, but the snow was too deep to look for a stump.  I was so surprised and saddened by its absence, but also grateful to have images from last year’s storm.  The title, “Persistence”, seems an apt title.

Tioga Road

What an amazing day!  When we left Yosemite, the temp was 60 and it was a beautiful spring day.  The waterfalls had all been amazing with the snow melt, the scenery knocked my socks off, and this park is truly a treasure.  We had decided to leave by way of Tioga Road, which had been closed the day before.  I believe we left during the few hours before the road closed again.  The temperature up on the road was 10°, the wind chill was quite a bit below zero, and it was snowing!  All along the way, I jumped out of the car, set up the tripod with camera, quickly took just a few images, and jumped back in.  The road goes over the mountains and ends up at Mono Lake.  I recommend that drive out of Yosemite!

Old Red Barn

We were in Vermont that fall for the colors.  It had been rainy in New Hampshire with very gray days and muted colors.  After a night in charming Montpelier, we awoke to snow, maybe 2 inches!  My hopes were dashed because I was sure the colors would be covered with snow.  Actually the opposite was true because the the snow enhanced the scenery around us.  It melted rather quickly and was gone by the time we came to the end of Hwy. 100.  A north to south drive not to be missed anytime, but mostly in the fall.  It is a two lane road that meanders through quaint small towns and beautiful scenery.  Make plans for next fall!

Tunnel View

Another incredible view in Yosemite.  Bridal Veil Falls can be seen from Tunnel View, just after entering the park.  Because it was spring, all of the falls were grand.  Definitely a time of year I would recommend a visit, although winter and fall would also be on my list.

Un Negozio

Negozio means “shop” in Italian, explaining the name of this image.  We came upon this shop as we strolled through Orvieto, a charming town about an hour north of Rome by train.  Orvieto has a gorgeous cathedral that demands a stop there.  The countryside surrounding Orvieto is lovely with olive groves and vineyards, and there are small roads to go exploring.  Worth a night or two!

Slovenia

 

So if you haven’t been to Slovenia, it’s time to go!  Autumn has to be the best time of year for a visit.  It’s an amazingly beautiful country just east of Italy with many photo opportunities.  The capital city, Ljubljana, is an architectural wonder.  Jože Plečnik, famous in the field of architecture, designed a great many of the buildings and bridges in the old part of Ljubljana; it is often referred to as “Plečnik’s Ljubljana”.  Modeled after Athens, it is often referred to as one of the 20th century’s most important total works of art.  So, architecture photographers, this is the place.

One morning we woke up quite early, hoping for a beautiful sunrise in Ljubljana, but stepped outside to a very dense fog.  No sunrise, but the fog was amazing!  The bridges over the Ljubjanica River were well-lit with lovely street lights.  An unforgettable morning!

 

A 45 minute drive from Ljubljana is Bled, which is at the foot of the Julian Alps and a perfect spot from which to make day trips. Bled is on a beautiful little lake with a small island crowned by a quaint little church and a medieval castle high above the lake that overlooks the town. 

Nearby is Vintgar Gorge which is not to be missed.  The Radovna River has cut a mile long gorge with canyon walls that soar 160 to 300 feet high.  It took us almost two hours to hike the gorge because there were photo opportunities at every turn.  Bring a tripod, because you will find that some exposures will be longer than can be handheld.  I always use a remote cord too.

 

You will find rapids, quiet azure or golden pools and waterfalls. 

 

From Bled one can make side trips into the mountains where there are small villages to explore, mountain lakes, and beautiful drives.  Add Slovenia to your bucket list!