Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

May you have a meaningful Christmas and safe New Year. May there be peace on earth and goodwill to all. See you all next year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Remember Whensday - Outdoor Wednesday

I found this "old" 1946 wrecker waiting for a new coat of paint and a new life. I guess I should be careful about what I call "old."

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Tree of Life - MyWorld Tuesday

I call this the "tree of life" because of the twisted branches. To me the branches represent the various paths that can be taken in life - some twisted, some straight, but all of them reaching outward toward the future. I don't know what kind of tree this is. It has beautiful flowers in the spring and amazing red leaves in the fall. I often pass this tree while at work - and I always stop to contemplate it's structure. Enjoy!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

MIchigan Lighthouse - SkyWatch Friday

Michigan is surrounded on three sides by 4 of the 5 great lakes. We have 3,288 miles of shoreline. We have a lot of freighter traffic on our great lakes as long as the water isn't frozen. Because we are so far north we also have some terrific storms on the open waters which results in danger to the freighters. The lighthouses along our coastlines are becons of light and hope during the storms. This is just one of Michigan's 116 lighthouses which is located on the western coast of the lower pennisula. Have a great weekend.

P.S. For those of you who think this is a minature - enlarge the picture and check out the people on the left side of the photo to compare the size. Thanks for all your comments.

For more SkyWatch Friday pictures from photographers around the world click here.

The Answer

In their time these were quite the thing. These are plates that go into a planter to space out the seeds. You load the seed into a planter hopper - and these plates are at the bottom of the hopper. They go around as you move the planter and "somehow" only one seed is released for a certain distance that the planter travels. I am a visual learner - so I don't entirely get this or even how to explain it.

Each type of seed has a different size planter. These are for corn. Before this invention came about, there wasn't any way to automatically control how many seeds were planted at a time - unless you did it by hand. I believe these were used around the 1940's.

I liked this picture because of the texture of both the wood background and the old parts. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is this? Remember Whensday

These were found hanging on the wall in the shop of an old farmstead - They haven't been used for years - and probably almost everyone who looked at them forgot or never knew what they are. When you leave a comment, take a guess. If nobody gets this right, I'll answer Friday morning. Thanks for stopping by.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Wind Power - MyWorld

This is an old windmill - no longer able to do it's job. The blades are missing as are most of the other moving parts. It used to bring water up out of the ground powered by the wind. I liked the way the sun hit the structure and then the dark dreary sky provided contrast.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Last Time - SkyWatch Friday

For some reason I am really resisting going into winter this year. It is upon us now, the wind is really blowing hard, the temperatures are in the teens (F), the skies have turned grey and cloudy - but taking this picture is still fresh in my memory. Standing on a country road, listening to the Canadian geese as they gather for their flight south - I think about the day when I'll be able to follow them. In the mean time, I'll be waiting for spring.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Mother Nature's Pearls - MyWorld Tuesday and Outdoor Wednesday

Mother Nature is truly amazing. Need I say more? Enjoy

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Water Over the Dam - SkyWatch Friday - Watery Wednesday

The influence of Henry Ford can be seen all over the world. But here in southern Michigan we have some special places. Henry Ford built many of these dams in small farming communities. He needed parts for his assembly line. So he built dams on the river, to generate electricity to run the small manufacturing plants. He hired local farmers during their off season. Everybody benefited. Farmers received money to help get them through their off season and Mr. Ford had the parts he needed built close to his assembly locations. Many are now recognized as historic locations and have been restored and opened to the public to enjoy them. This one is located in Dundee Michigan.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good Old Fashion School House - Remember Whensday

Built in 1875. Currently being used as a private residence. That's a good thing - at least it isn't falling down only to disappear. However, I do wonder about the turquoise door. I went to a two room school house like this for grades K-6. Brings back a lot of memories - we had to walk to school, up hill, both ways, in all kinds of weather - for real!

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to the Future - MyWorld Tuesday

While driving around enjoying this weekend we just had to stop and watch this young man as he plowed this field. It was amazing. 1: He was working with 6 horses all by himself (well - he did have his dog with him). 2. The furrow was absolutely straight. 3. The amazing part was that he was balanced on this plow while moving around the field. He didn't have a seat or a special place for his feet. His balance was remarkable - he didn't use the reins for balance - in fact, he had nothing to hold on to. The horses were so well behaved we just had to stare at him as he went around and around. At each corner the horses patiently side stepped and swung around ready to start again in a different direction. A perfect example of teamwork - not to mention hard work.

P.S. We did ask him if we could take his picture and he agreed as long as we didn't take his face.

If you want to see more pictures from this weekend click here.

If you want to see a lot more Amish pictures taken earlier this summer while cutting and shocking the wheat in their field click here.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If Only These Walls Could Talk - Outdoor Wednesday

What would they be able to tell us? I often think of this when I am around old, empty, abandoned buildings. Sometimes I can hear the sounds and smell the smells. It's good to stop once in a while and ponder the past. We owe much to those who came before us. Be thankful for them.

If you would like to see the rest of the pictures of the abandoned barn taken this past weekend follow the link by clicking here.

To see other Outdoor Wednesday photos click here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Going Going Gone! - MyWorld Tuesday

It makes me sad when a family farm disappears. The youngest generation does not see the value of the hard work and long hours of their ancestors. They don't appear to care that their heritage is dismantled and sold to strangers. It's sad to see the buildings falling down, and even worse to see antique family photos sold for their antique frame. We stopped by such a sale this weekend - and decided to document the buildings - before they disappeared. I'll share a couple more photos with you later. Remember to celebrate Thanksgiving this week - we have a lot to be thankful for.

This picture was difficult for me - because I wanted all the lines to be straight. But in reality either the window or the siding had to be straight not both - unless I wanted to tamper with reality. In fact this building was sagging in all 4 directions and nothing was straight. It happens!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

CHOICES....CHOICES - SkyWatch Friday

We all make choices every day and those choices effect today and tomorrow. Some choices seem like big things while others may seem small - but each choices determines a different path you will travel. On a serious note: If you wanted to go swimming and had this choice what would you choose? Chlorine or salt water. Enjoy and have a great weekend.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rural Gas Station - Outdoor Wednesday

Did you ever think about all those tractors working in the fields and wonder where their gas station is? In the process of planting and harvesting a farmer can use a lot of fuel - so they have tanks available on their farms. This one caught Greg's eye - I liked it because of the pretty colors.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Land of Plenty -----MyWorld Tuesday

This picture reminds me that we are indeed living in a land of plenty. I don't know what this farmer was planning on doing with all of these pumpkins, but now it's too late. Frost has killed the vines, and they will rot in the fields. Another sign of the changing seasons.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alone on the Beach SkyWatchFriday

Another glorious morning. Never alone......ya just gotta be walking with the master of the universe.

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Meet Fred

Fred is a big (no huge) dog belonging to our friends. He still thinks he is a puppy, and if you sit in his chair he will try to climb into your lap. Despite his grumpy look, he is a very happy pup. Lives on a farm, with a huge yard, plenty of horses, chickens, cats and a goat to chase. Always something to get into. Inside the house we have come to an agreement - instead of sitting on my lap, he sits on my feet. In fact, he sits on everybody's feet! It's hard to get him to sit still for a formal portrait - so this will have to do. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Window View ----- Outdoor Wednesday

The downtown historic city of Deland Florida has about a dozen large building size murals depicting their history. This three story building showed an unusual series of paintings by covering some of the windows and then painting a story as if you were looking thru the window. This set of windows caught my eye, because of the texture of the building, and the stairs, intruding on the scene. Click to enlarge and investigate the lower set of windows. I can hear the glass breaking can't you?

For more Outdoor Wednesday pictures from around the world click here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Outdoor dining MyWorld

I finally got around to working on some pictures from our quick trip to Florida last month to visit mom and dad. We had a wonderful breakfast at this local gathering spot. Being from the cold north, we always appreciate being able to eat outside in October. It was fun looking at all of the old license plates.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look To the Heavens SkyWatch Friday

This reminds me of an artist's pallet with dobs of different colored paint slashed everywhere. The yellow, greens, oranges, reds all blended together on a sky blue background. Can life get any better?

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Swan Lake WateryWednesday

The last of the migratory birds have gathered in flocks, are looking for their friends and getting ready to travel south for the winter. Soon they too, like the colorful leaves, will be gone. Fair thee well. We'll be looking forward to seeing you again in the spring.

Click on the link at the left to find more water pictures from around the world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Road Is Paved with Gold MyWorld Tuesday

Greg took this picture less than a week ago. Today, the leaves are gone - only a memory is left. How quickly our world can change. It is a reminder to stop and enjoy each day while you can - because soon it will be only a memory.

Enjoy other MyWorld pictures from around the world by clicking on the MyWorld picture on the right.

Alone Mello Yellow

I found this lonely red branch amongst all of the overwhelming yellow leaves. Sometimes it is good to stand out. Check out more yellow from around the world by clicking on the picture at the right.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ride the Rails SkyWatch Friday

This time of the year you just have to take your camera every where. The sun has been shining on the trees and our moody Michigan sky has been working together to make this one of the most gorgeous fall seasons that I can remember. A great reminder of who is in charge and what miracles he can perform.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weeping Willow Watery Wednesday

Even the Willow trees over the river have put on their fall colors. I kind of liked this plain picture because of the contrast with the cool blues of the water and the warm yellows of the tree leaves. Enjoy. Check out other beautiful water pictures from around the world by click on the WateryWednesday picture on the right.

Monday, October 26, 2009

On the Street Where I Live MyWorld

I took this picture last week on a very gloomy day. The leaves have already started to drop. We are fortunate that a few people in our area have taken the time and paid the expense to keep these old buildings (house and barn) in good repair. Please be sure to visit other locations around the world by clicking on the MyWorld badge at the right. Enjoy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Night Time on the River

Here is a totally different picture for me. Taken after dark with a tripod. One of my favorite places. A board walk along the St. John river with spanish moss hanging from the tree. I had to remove the blue cast, and increase the contrast. I cropped it really tight and removed some distracting lights in the background. I don't know where to go from here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wild Grass --- SkyWatch Friday

The sun was hitting this wild grass along the rode as we were driving around looking for fall colors. No reds or yellow - but still pretty. Check out the other SkyWatch Friday entries from around the world by clicking on the badge to the right.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On the Street Where I Lived ------- Outdoor Wednesday

This is a memory picture for me. I grew up on a small farm in rural southern Michigan. We lived on a gravel road. Some things change and some things don't. This is our neighbor's house. The road is still gravel and the house is still owned by the same family. It still looks the same. I wanted to capture the feeling of fall. The corn is ready to harvest, the trees are in their fall colors and the sky was beautiful. Life is good........

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Roll Out the Red Carpet - MyWorld Tuesday

Two confessions: I don't have any idea whose house this is. The huge red maple tree shedding it's leaves caught my attention. Next: The leaves were so red I didn't even adjust the saturation or vibrancy. Enjoy. To view MyWorld from around the world - click on the picture at the right. Have a great day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reflections of Fall Mello Yellow

Yes, fall is in the air. We finally got a frost which killed all of our tender summer flowers. Southern Michigan is very beautiful this week. This is actually a reflection in the windows at the Power Center on the campus at the University of Michigan. Enjoy

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Field of Gold SkyWatch - Friday

I have been watching a local field of soybeans, waiting for it to put on it's fall colors so that I could capture this old abandoned barn. Everything came together when the cloud formation seemed to be pointing at the barn. Have a great weekend.

Maze & Blue

This is just a nonsensical fun picture. I couldn't resist - where else would you find a "maze & blue" fire hydrant but in Ann Arbor. What really makes this funny (at least to me) is that it was in the front yard of a veterinary clinic - a prop for dogs to use before they went inside to visit the doctor.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Field Spider

This clever piece of art caught my eye and made me smile. We had to turn around to snap a pic. This is another piece of art made from a round bale of hay. The center bale is about 5 feet in diameter and the legs are field tile. The facial features are pumpkins and gords.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The End of the Season MyWorld

These wheels are waiting for somebody to load their golf clubs and enjoy the few remaining good weather days for golfing. I was first attracted to this location because of the sunrise being reflected in the window, but then noticed the interesting pattern created with these wheels. To see other sights from around the world click on MyWord at the right. Enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Prickley Monday

Monday already. Sometimes I feel prickly on Monday - because it is the beginning of the week and I have to get thru 5 days until the weekend. So many things to do - so much to be done. I found this huge pricker plant on the ground while I was looking for some fall color pictures. I guess it pays to look down sometimes. We had our first frost yesterday, so things will start looking different. I like patterns in nature and this plant was interesting because of the way it radiated out from the center. I increased the contrast a bit and darkened the edges. It's just a fun ordinary picture!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Demon Drop SkyWatch Friday

Another picture from the Hillsdale fair last week. It goes with last week's picture. This is not for me....... the most pleasing ride for me is the Merry-Go-Round. Check out the other SkyWatch pictures by clicking on the badge on the right side of this blog. Have a great weekend.

Ready for Market

The next county over from us has very rich black soil and many truck farms. This view caught my attention because of the perspective rows - they appear to lead your eye toward the horizon and the moody sky. I also like the way the leaves were being backlit - the light made them glow. Last night the temperature was in the mid 30's (F) - I hope they got these to out of the field and to the market in time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hay You !

Actually these are straw bales (not hay) put together by some creative farmer to celebrate fall. It's hard to get this work of art into perspective unless you realize that this creation is made up of giant bales of straw crafted into this unique design. The bale that consists of his body (with the orange wrap) is about 5 feet tall, and the round bale of his chest is about 6 feet in diameter. Enjoy.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Inside MyWorld

I pass this farm on the way to work every day. This farm is kind of interesting in that the farm has belonged to the same family for over 100 years. They are proud of this fact, and have put their family name in neon lights on the silo. Enjoy.

Butterfly and Mello Yellow

It's hard to believe that it was only 2 weeks ago that I took this picture at the Irish Hills festival. They had an outdoor butterfly exhibit. You could actually go inside and feed the butterflies. Of course I had to wait my turn in line and then I had to patiently wait for the kids to finish, but I think it was worth it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Riding High Sky Watch Friday

Another picture at the fair - taken after dark. For more Sky Watch pictures click on the badge at the right. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Last Fair of the Year in Michigan

Hillsdale Fair marks the end of the fair season in Michigan and the beginning of fall. I liked this picture of the fair because it shows two of the activities at a fair - the fair food (which really gets my taste buds going - can't you just smell the fried onions, corn dogs, and elephant ears) and the grandstands where you can see everything from horse racing, demolition derby, tractor pull and music concerts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lake Michigan SkyWatch Friday

This is an example of the Lake Michigan shoreline. Lake Michigan has over 1600 miles of shoreline. Wonderful beaches. A great opportunity to walk hand in hand with someone you love, enjoy the solitude and sound of the waves.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall is in the Air Outdoor Wednesday

Well it certainly is starting to look like fall. Colors are changing everywhere. The morning light on this tree caught my eye. Usually I try to avoid poison ivy, but just couldn't resist a quick snap.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Watery Wednesday

I found this rather interesting water fall in the botanical gardens this summer. I liked listening to the water running over the rocks. It was very peaceful. The little pond was surrounded by little yellow flowers. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Food For Thoughts MyWorld

Even though I hate it that winter is getting so close, fall is my favorite time of the year. I love to see the colors and see the harvesting in the fields. In MyWorld, the above process has begun. Does anybody know what crop they are harvesting? Where will they take it next? "Who" will be the end user? Answers will appear tomorrow. Click on MyWorld badge to the right and see what's going on around the world? Have a great day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Smile Today's Flowers Mellow Yellow

Sunflowers always make me smile. They seem to be happy flowers. Birds love them too! Be sure to click on Today's Flowers and Mellow Yellow to see more beautiful pictures.

Friday, September 18, 2009

MIS SkyWatch Friday

Greg took this picture last Friday, Sept 11, when we went to MIS (Michigan International Speedway) to donate blood. Each year on 9-11 they have a blood drive (they got 1197 pints this year), and they allow you to ride around on the track and give you access to the Champion's Club house plus provide a really great dinner. While we were in the Club House Greg snapped this picture. I liked it because the color of the seats repeat the colors in the setting sun and also because the rows of seats and the turn on the race track lead your eye over to the sky. Have a great weekend.

After is on top - before is below. Increased contrast, increased saturation, sharpened (probably not enough). Thanks for the suggestions.