Archive for the ‘Door County’ Category

What a wonderful challenge idea Cee.

Here is my story of water – from droplet to ocean and back again. I hope you enjoy the rather lengthy journey.

The first stop is two drops of water that are held by bits of moss.

Raindrops on moss

Raindrops on moss

While much of this water will sink back into the earth to replenish aquifers or run off to do duty elsewhere, some will evaporate. Evaporated these two water drops band together with millions of billions of others to form clouds that can be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Rural Railroad Crossing - July 19, 2013 - 73

However, those same water drops can become nightmarishly dangerous if you are driving on a rural highway in the blinding rain.

Traveling America - Downpour on Highway 2-2

Of course these water drop can also fall in the form of snow …

In the Cascades - April 17, 2013 - 43

or may become ice and form gigantic glaciers or the most delicate of structures.

Flight.

The gathering of water is among the most common sights on earth given that more than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water.

Water readily forms puddles …

Circlepalooza - April 19, 2013

and ponds.

Spring at Army Ammunition Plant - May 05, 2014 - 068

Left to its own devices  it will gather into cleansing wetlands.

Cherokee Marsh in the Fog - September 26, 2013 - 53

Water is the great way station and play station for a myriad of wildlife from Canadian Geese

Goose Prepares for Flight - October 02, 2013 - 68-E

to bald eagles (here an immature bald eagle)

Immature Bald Eagle - January 10, 2014 - 15

to Sandhill cranes.

Sandhill Cranes1

When the drops of water do not sink into the ground, they gather together first into streams …

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0038

that lead to great lakes like Lake Michigan

Sunset on Lake Michigan

and mighty rivers like the Columbia River

Columbia River Gorge  - April 21, 2013 - 0416

… all inexorably making their way to the oceans.

Here we see two surfers in the Pacific near Cannon  Beach in Oregon,

Surfers near Cannon Beach. OR

while the view of the Pacific in Monterey is much more peaceful.

There is a House Back There

It is in the oceans that the water, heated by the sun, drives the climate. Eventually that water freshened by evaporation raises itself again and ultimately gathers itself into the weather systems we watch for and when the rain falls we see in it our own renewal.

Self-portrait

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I have had this blog for less than one year and recently I posted my 365th post so I decided to memorialize the occasion. Point-of-View.com has been pretty difficult for me. I suffer from a chronic disease that makes it hard to concentrate and to stay focused and I am often in pain and quite tired (thus the “fog”). When I started this blog I had no idea how much energy it would take and what a challenge it was going to be (thus the “war”).

I started this photo blog in part because the writing that used to come so easily to me now comes slowly and messily like the last bits of toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. Until relatively recently, I was able to work at least part-time in the career I had long pursued (I was an attorney working with intellectual property and technology law). That work is no longer available to me because it requires more energy, a better memory, and greater nimbleness of mind than I currently possess. I tell my friends that I am not dumber, but I am slower.

During the early days of my illness, boredom was a constant companion. Then, a few years ago, my wife bought me a new camera. While I had always enjoyed photography, suddenly I had a lot of time available in which to pursue it. So off I went on a photo binge. Many of my photos are taken of things very close to home – typically in our yard or neighborhood; indeed I have a category in my blog for “Photos Taken within 100 Meters of Our Home.” Many others are taken on the way to visit or at my in-laws. (My wife has a great family!)

As the years went by and the shutter clicked, hundreds and then thousands of images filled up space on my hard drive(s) and I began to think about sharing my photos. I am and always will be an amateur photographer. I do not have the energy nor do I have the desire to sell any of my work (although I do donate my work to non-profit auctions and the like).  Eventually I decided to try blogging and started start Points-of-view.com.

Keeping up with this blog has been difficult for me. What has made this easier is that many of you who have visited this blog have been extraordinarily generous with your thoughts about my photos. I am not too proud to admit that when someone says a photo of mine is “stunning” or “wonderful” or “amazing” it makes me feel good. That isn’t the sole reason for the blog, but it sure doesn’t hurt! More important for someone who had spent all too much time just sitting at home is that my blog brought me into a community of people from around the world whose blogging about their lives and travels has made boredom impossible and made frustration, fatigue and pain more bearable. While it is still so very much more difficult to write than it used to be, I have all of the time I want to do it and so it is okay.

This post contains some of my favorite photos from my first 365 posts. When I was looking through the posts to put together this collection, my biggest thought was how thankful I am that I have had this opportunity. Mostly I thank all of the people who have visited my blog. I also want to give a shout out to WordPress because I really doubt I would have had a “Post 366” had I not been blogging with WordPress, which has made setting it up my blog and keeping it going so much easier for me than would otherwise have been the case.

I hope you enjoy this collection.

The original photo is of a group of Hostas with their flowers almost ready to bloom. I focused on one of the “pre-flowers” because it looked like it sort of had open arms and I could do some things with it.

Hosta - September 12, 2013 - 0228

In the second photo, I cropped the photo to focus on the opened-armed flower. I used Photoshop and as well as Topaz Lab’s ReStyle Plug-in to make the Hosta “Pre-flower” look like a star performer. perhaps at the end of a song and dance routine an adoring audience.

Backyard - September 12, 2013 - 010-(Wheat and Bluebonnets)

 

The final photo uses principally the “pre-flower” element from the original photo (selected using Photoshop’s Quick Selection Tool, Lasso Tool and cloning tool for clean up) along with some background from the Filter Forge filter mentioned below. The flower’s coloring was revised and enhanced using Topaz Lab’s ReStyle filter. Applying “The Epic Perspective Filter” available using Filter Forge (they are available on the website at no added charge; filters are primarily created by Filter Forge users), I made the pre-flower “star” into what might be many things from a quirky photo of part of a Hosta to what might be a stylized metaphor of a publicity shot or commentary on the ego accompanying stardom? Most likely, it was just me having fun:).

Hosta Epic - September 12, 2013 - 0228

I hope you enjoy my first contribution to Sonel’s Photo-Editing Challenge: Macro and/or Close-up.

Lake Michigan Sunset

I had been walking around the shore of Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin for about an hour as the sunset approached. While I got better photos of the sun, they lacked the one thing this photo has – foreground interest. I recall that I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted this man watching the sunset. He adds quite a bit of appeal to the photo. I took this several years ago and had forgotten about it until my photo mining project helped me to rediscover it.

DC-Gills Rock Sunset - 52-Edit

Gils Rock is a small village near the tip of Door County. Door County is the peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan. It is a popular vacation area and is one of Wisconsin’s 11 coastal counties. Few people would think of Wisconsin as a coastal state since it lies squarely in the middle of North America. However, Wisconsin has more than 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) of Great Lakes coastline and nearly 200 miles (325 kilometers) of Mississippi River shoreline along its boundaries. Wisconsin also has more than 15,000 lakes and 13,500 miles (21,700 kilometers) of navigable streams and rivers. In fact almost 3% of Wisconsin’s surface area, nearly a million acres, is lakes.

Door County - Gills Rock Sunset

If you look in a thesaurus, you will discover that a boat is a ship and a ship is a boat. However, the fact of the matter is that while a ship might be a boat it would have to be a large boat in order to quality as a ship, unless it was a submarine, in which case it is always a boat. A good way to keep the whole ship/boat issue clear (should you ever feel the need to do that) is that a ship is a boat that is large enough to carry life boats. Another good way to keep in mind the difference is that a boat is routinely removed from the water, while a ship is only rarely removed (e.g., when dry-docked). This is unfortunate because I have some kind of interesting or at least different photos of a boat that carried life rafts and thus was a ship that I considered sharing for this challenge, but I guess will now wait for a bit. As to boat photos, since I live close to a busy lake where sometimes it seems like you could hop across the lake going from boat to boat, you might think this would be easy pickings for the word a week photo challenge and actually it is, just not because of my local lake. Rather it is because one of my favorite photos is of a few boats (two quite sleek ones in particular) docked at a tiny marina in Gills Rock in Door County, Wisconsin. It was a nice, very still and peaceful evening with a little chill in the air as the day slipped away without even a whisper of wind. Door County is basically the peninsula on the eastern side of Wisconsin that extends into Lake Michigan and Gills Rock is a small town near the end of the peninsula.