Flowering Nature

As a follow up to my last post of butterflies I’ve photographed, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the flowers I’ve found. Always a nice surprise when I run across them in my travels, they offer all of us an opportunity to appreciate natural beauty. Alone Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice Flower1_MG_3926yes2bcbeatle FieldOfFlowers JoePye Sunshine Chic2 GoldenSummit daisies white violet1 Orchid1 pollination2 risingflowers spider butterflymilkweed ParkFlowers butterflybeauty pink heartshapedPink Lady Slipper OrchidJewelweedflowerJapaneseBeetle2WiltingFlowerCarpetOfColorLupinSwallowtailc1daisyStarkYellowroses

Butterfly Encounters

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the opportunity to see so many butterflies in one day. It looks like my timing was just right as I found and photographed a few today. The first I discovered was a Little Wood-Satyr shown below:

LIttle Wood SatyrPhotos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

I used my Canon 50mm Macro lens. I’ve found it rare that butterflies will allow me to approach so closely in nature, but this and others today didn’t seem to be disturbed in the least by my presence, no matter how close I was.

The next was a small butterfly enjoying butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).I spotted it at the base of a fairly steep hill about 40 feet away, but I was determined to get close enough to use my macro lens and reveal the beautiful detail I knew would be there.

butterfly_weed

Finally, I saw an area of milkweed that several Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies were busy gathering nectar from. Again, this one and others allowed me to get in as close as I liked with my macro lens:

OrangeBeauty1It was a pleasure to see the variety of these special creatures that I had encountered so closely today near Hastings, Michigan. I hope as you visit my blog and see the beauty that awaits you, it might serve as an inspiration for you to venture out yourself and enjoy nature.

Tulip Time Begins!

Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan begins this weekend. Visitors are drawn to the area’s main attraction – approximately 4.5 million tulip bulbs! They are located throughout the city. You can see a few I’ve photographed below. If you visit the area, be prepared to see parades, dutch dancers in wooden shoes, and lots of smiles :)

Learn more at http://www.tuliptime.com/

Photos by Jeffrey Foltice
Alone FireTulips Single_Purpletulip

Appreciation of Nature and the Outdoors

I recently created this video showing some of the work I’ve done. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Frozen Under the Sun

Todays_Sun_1
Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

I found this lone photographer on the icy beach in South Haven near frozen Lake Michigan as the sun was beginning to set today. I also took advantage of the opportunity to capture the image below of the Lighthouse and pier that was close by. The lighthouse has been standing sentinel there since 1903.

Sun_Lighthouse_1

Winter Light

Pier_Cove

Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

Along the icy shores of Lake Michigan today at Pier Cove, I captured the orange/yellow afterglow of the sunset. Three hikers are shown on the far left, providing a sense of scale to the beautiful scene. Ice, sand and free flowing lake waters mix to provide an amazing landscape, bringing pleasure to the eye…

Michigan’s Waterfall Wonders

Falls_Grouping

Photos and Story Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

Above from left- Sable Falls, Chapel Falls, Agate Falls and Munising Falls

The waterfalls of Northern Michigan stir feelings of power, renewal, wonder, tranquility and beauty as they rush forward in their never-ending journey that is part of nature’s wonder. There are many to be seen in my home state, although driving to some near the Michigan, Wisconsin border from where I live in Southwest Michigan would be the equivalent of driving past Pittsburgh, Pa. That’s about nine hours of nonstop driving over a distance of about 500 miles. However, if you take a shortcut via Muskegon’s Lake Express Car Ferry, the drive from Milwaukee is about 300 miles or 5 1hours of driving.

Bond_1

Bond Falls

Two of the falls to visit in the far western Upper Peninsula are Agate Falls and Bond Falls. The pair are great to see in autumn with the colored trees accenting the beauty of whitewater spilling over dark rock formations.

Upstream from Bond Falls is an amazing palette of colors reflecting in the water before it travels further downstream where the water is less tranquil.

Bond_Color

The falls themselves can be viewed from the sides or straight on with any angle being an impressive sight.

Bond_2

Bond Falls

And Agate Falls is no less striking with its dark slate rocks over which a constant tumult of water cascades.

Agate_Falls

Agate Falls

For those who enjoy a nice hike, Chapel Falls near Munising might be a great place to visit. Close to the end of a hike of 1 12 miles and through a forested trail, a distinct rumble eventually turns into a roar as the forest opens into a clearing. There the 60-foot tall waterfall presents itself surrounded by trees, which are beautifully colored in the fall.

Chapel_2

Chapel Falls

For more easy access there are other choices in Michigan including the more modest but still beautiful Scott Falls near Au Train and Haven Falls near Lac la Belle. Both are located just off the road. Each of the falls has its own unique character.

Scott1

Scott Falls

haven_1

Haven Falls

Sable Falls near Grand Marais has a much different look than the others. With a more gentle slope over a longer area, water cascades 75 feet down several cliffs until it reaches Lake Superior.

Sable

Sable Falls

Perhaps the most well known waterfall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the renowned Tahquamenon Falls. Aside from the world famous Niagara Falls, Tahquamenon is the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River at about 200 feet wide with a 50 foot drop. Its water has a distinct brown color. About a 1 12 hour drive north of the Mackinac Bridge, Tahquamenon Falls, appropriately is located in Paradise.

Frozen_Waterfall2_small

Tahquamenon Falls in Winter

For those who would brave the cold and snow of winter in the Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon along with its sister waterfalls are marvelous to see in their frozen state as well. Any season is a great time to see these wonders of nature in Michigan.

InfoGraphicWaterfalls

Changing Sky

BarnHeaven

Photos Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

The sunset was amazing tonight in Southwest, Michigan. The colors intensified and changed during and after the sun went below the horizon. I was in an agricultural area and found the barn pictured above made for an interesting subject in the foreground.

MichiganSunset

For the next image I found this tangle of trees to look interesting as they stood starkly against the blazing sky…

RedSun

For the final image I combined a man made element of some farm architecture with a grouping of trees as the sky turned a more deep red color.

Nature’s Decorations

NaturalDecorations

Copyright Jeffrey Foltice

These birds reminded me of Christmas tree ornaments as they rested on the branches of a pine tree.