A Cool Day at Lake Michigan

My husband and I spent a few hours driving along the west coast of Michigan several days ago.  The skies were a clear, deep blue, and the water was a very icy blue!  Snow was piled at the edge of the beach, deep in some places; the wind was
strong, but the sun was bright and warm on our backs.

We decided to stop at Tunnel Park, near the town of Holland, MI.   At Tunnel Park,
you can walk through a tunnel in the dunes to get to the beach, or you can climb over the dunes on the wooden stairway.  We chose to climb.  Unfortunately, the stairs were
mostly covered with snow, so we had to grip the railing and use a “hand over hand” method of pulling ourselves up the steps!  The other choice would have been to slip backwards down the stairway!  It was good exercise!

And indeed….the view at the top, and down the other side of the dune was worth it!

 

Climbing over the dune at Tunnel Park, Holland, MI.

Climbing over the dune at Tunnel Park, Holland, MI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Lake Michigan.

Beautiful Lake Michigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking up from the beach..

Looking up from the beach..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed our cool Lake Michigan trip!   After all, it’s not spring yet here!

Thanks for bearing with my infrequent posts as I struggle to keep up two blogs and
one photo class….a second photo class begins soon.  I appreciate all of you!

 

If you’re interested in seeing my classwork…my other blog is:

http://dancingwithlightandshadow.wordpress.com

Thanks for visiting!  Hugs to all….xoxo
Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2013 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Siena Cathedral~the interior….

My dear blogging friends…..

 I have been incredibly busy with community, church, and home “work”.  I’ve had many things on my “to do” list and I have no idea what happened to January!  Did anyone else feel that way?  I kept trying to get here….but ran out of time.

I also started an online photography class with Kim Klassen.  If you’re interested in seeing what I do, I have a new blog for those assignments.  Most of it is learning!  My blog is:
http://dancingwithlightandshadow.wordpress.com

I’ve finished editing my photos from Siena.  I love the interior of that beautiful black and white marble cathedral.  Enjoy!

Thanks for viewing!

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2013 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Christmas in New York~

Hello to my fellow bloggers!  I’m sorry for my long absence.  I’ve missed all of you and missed reading your blogs too.

I was unfortunate enough to get the flu twice.  But then I was really fortunate to fly to NYC with some girlfriends last week!

I’m sharing some of the New York City holiday spirit with you today.  And I’m wishing all of you a very, very wonderful holiday with those you love.  Enjoy!
** click to enlarge**

Approaching Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry.

Approaching Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry.

The Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree.

Looking down a row of angels toward the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree.

Huge red ornaments sit on a fountain in front of a business in New York.

Huge red ornaments piled on a fountain in front of a business in New York.

"Believe" sparkles on the side of Macy's Department Store.

“Believe” sparkles on the side of Macy’s Department Store.

Sending love and Blessings to you and yours this holiday season….
Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Loess Hills

While visiting the kids in Omaha we took a short trip to the Loess Hills in  Western Iowa.  It was a short trip from Omaha, NE.  Council Bluffs, IA, is actually located in the Loess Hills.

The Loess Hills is a geographical area of porous, gritty, lightweight material and minerals covered by grasses, trees and plants.  Loess (pronounced “luss”) is not unusual, but what makes this area in Iowa so important, is because of the depth of the loess material.  The only other area that has loess of this depth and more can be found in China. 

On this trip, we visited the Hitchcock Nature Center in the Loess Hills.  The nature center is a wonderful place to learn about raptors and other birds of the area. There are many hiking trails around the center and an observation tower makes a good place to watch for the birds, too.

Loess Hills

bird watchers!

** click for a larger image.


Even though it was November, there was a lot to see. Grasses glowed with golden hues,  bare-branched trees reached toward the sky,  hills showed off their rounded or angular shapes, and the occasional bird soared by.

We did see an eagle on our hike, but I missed it with my camera!

To learn more about the Loess Hills, click here.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Thanks for visiting!

Judy

All text and images are copyright © 2002-2012 and are the exclusive property of Judy Johnson (unless otherwise indicated). All Rights Reserved. All Images are protected under United States and International copyright laws. None of the images on this site are in the Public Domain.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green ~ “Taliesin”

I happen to be a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Spring Green, Wisconsin, is the location of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin.

The land was very lush and green when we visited two years ago.

Taliesin…..front view.

click on image to see a larger view.

Thanks for visiting.

Judy

 

Siena’s Spectacular Cathedral

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This gallery contains 12 photos.

The stats are in.  I should never post late at night. I got the history of Siena’s Cathedral mixed up in my last post. The cathedral we see today was built between 1215 and 1263.  Years later, the Sienese planned … Continue reading

WaterDragon Sunday Post: City~ “Siena, Italy”

Siena, Italy,  is the capital of the region called Tuscany.  The Province of Siena consists of 36 comuni (comunes), which we would call municipalities or townships.
Siena is not a large city, compared to Rome or Florence.  However, the city’s population is 54,000.  It remains a walled city since the 12th-15th centuries, when the first Gothic buildings and wall were built.  The Cathedral of Siena was started in 1284 on the lower section, a stunning showpiece with its black and white striped interior and exterior marble walls.

…..

I was able to get this particular shot of Siena’s Basilica, Bell Tower and Duomo, as I was standing on top of the wall of the first cathedral, which was never finished,  The first cathedral was intended to be the largest in the world. Then the plague hit Siena, cutting their population nearly in half.  With fewer people, they could no longer support a cathedral that large, and they began to build the smaller present cathedral. ( Although we think it’s still very large!) The original nave with arched door, 3 walls and stone floor still remain.  The wall above the nave is available as a viewpoint for looking at the rest of the city and the surrounding countryside.

Judy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign~ “Signs”

Hi everyone!  Today’s weekly photo challenge is “Foreign”.  One of the dictionary’s definitions is: unfamiliar or strange.  That just about describes my post perfectly.
As you know, we returned from beautiful Italy ten days ago, and we had a wonderful time.  I must say…every Italian we met was extremely helpful and kind, they did not make us feel foreign.

We rented a car to drive the autostrada through Tuscany….from Florence to Rome, with visits in San Gimignano, Siena and Assisi along the way.  This was where we had a deep feeling of being foreign!  We were definitely in unfamiliar territory with some strange highway signs.  But we had no trouble arriving at each of our destinations.

The Italians, like other countries, are making more universal signs, appealing to visitors and natives alike.  However, when traveling 70-80 km in the rain….the signs seem to appear out of nowhere and fly past you in a nano-second!   The signs also have many towns listed with arrows going in opposite directions!  The conversation in our car: “Did you see Assisi on that sign?”  “No, did you?”  

I started taking photos of the signs so I could refer to it after we’d passed them by!  I apologize for blurriness…as the rain and speed didn’t help!
I love to take photos of road signs in other countries, anyway…here’s my example of FOREIGN.  Enjoy!

Above….
We start out easy.  Lots of towns listed here.  All are going in the same direction.  Universal signs at the bottom.  Piece of cake.

Above…
A little trickier.  At first sight it can confuse you. Some universal signage combined with foreign words.  Tutte means “ALL”, so everyone needs to veer in the left direction for Parking.  It’s not good to go straight. 😉

EEEEK!   I couldn’t get my camera to snap fast enough!  Some universal signage and several towns…but going in different directions.  If you were driving in the rain..as we were…this was definitely a whopper!  I still can’t figure out the middle two triangles…but we made it to Assisi just fine!  We saw beautiful countryside all along the way…even in the rain!

I recommend the drive to anyone.  (but avoid the cities!) 😉

Judy

Florence’s Magnificent Cathedral~Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

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This gallery contains 16 photos.

In English, “Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore” translates to “Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower”.  It is a stunning example of Gothic design, which was started in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio.  Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore … Continue reading

Florence~Rich in Art and Architecture

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This gallery contains 21 photos.

Florence is a beautiful city, busy, bustling and full of people, walking, riding bikes, Vespas, motorcycles and driving cars.  The Arno River runs through the city and under several bridges that were built in the 1200-1300”s.  Only the Ponte Vecchio … Continue reading