A walk in the Woods

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I was sitting at my office desk dreaming about a walk in the woods.   I know I had just been on a beautiful trail in Maine that was full of interesting forest fauna growing every where with the sound of water flowing through the stream.  The peace and tranquility there amongst the trees can’t be compared to anything else.  The weather is starting to turn colder and I was not sure if there would be any thing to see.

Friends are great. LOL They drag me out into the great unknown and have me get up at 4:30 am to see if we can catch a sunrise that would take an hour drive north to find.  I am glad for Garmin in the morning who faithfully directs me to unknown locations.  We headed up to Wildcat Den Park in Muscatine to take pictures of the grist mill.  Which of course was being repaired and had scaffolding right next to it. untitled-2-26

So this is my attempt to get a picture of the grist mill on the side without scaffolding.  And to the left of this photo is a large boom in vibrant blue.  Both items diminished the scene and I still wanted a shot of the mill because the wood siding color variation was beautiful.  So no waterfall in this one but maybe next year when we go back.

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We followed a trail called Punch Bowl and it leads down to what is pictured above.  A place where water has carved out the rock.  A beautiful walk here with the feeling of isolation and stunning color all around me and I was really enjoying myself.  It always amazes me how the world doesn’t seem to exist on a walk like this.  I was looking around trying not to miss any of the autumn color and beauty.

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We didn’t have the greatest light and the sky was overcast.  The temperature was 32 degrees when we started that morning and had warmed up to 36 degrees.   There wasn’t any wind and the forest was quiet except for the call of the birds.  I wondered what it would be like to walk in something like this everyday.  I wondered if a person would still appreciate the beauty of a place like this if it became commonplace in their lives?  I know for me the beauty would not go unnoticed.

But, out of all of this I was able to go for my walk.  I was in a place where I could enjoy the cold because I was dressed for it.  I could enjoy the color before me with my camera and take photos at leisure with no pressure.  I could relax and just be me out in nature for a time.  If I could do this everyday I would but until then I will enjoy what I find along the way.

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Our lives our reflections I think our what we believe on the inside.  I want to be like this tree displaying a wonderful variant of color.  Which is interesting because I have started to notice water reflections this year.  If maybe because I have been in more places with water to photograph but it has caught my eye.  This photo was on the drive toward Burlington on the scenic route.  It always amazes me what I can find here.  I need to investigate the parks in Iowa more.  Just because my little corner of the state doesn’t seem to have exciting scenes doesn’t mean they don’t exist a little further up the road.

Fall this year has been a success for me photography wise.  Some years the color and my opportunities haven’t been abundant.  This year I wasn’t disappointed and wondering why I even have a camera if I never get to use it.  This year was a good year.

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Maine and Fall Color

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I don’t think I will ever view fall color the same after being to Maine.  Where I live we get color but nothing to rival the colors of the trees here.  This was a dream trip and a place that I had always wanted to visit.

I traveled out to Maine for a photography workshop with Jennifer King and she based the workshop in Acadia National Park.   The workshop lasted 4 days and the time was well spent taking advantage of all the fall color.  The coast has a lot to offer and the area just begs to be photographed.  Jennifer always picks some wonderful locations and she didn’t disappoint here.

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We spent time on a walk doing macro along a river in the park.  Mushrooms were growing everywhere and leaves were falling to the ground.  This is one of my favorite kind of locations to be in the trees and walking on the path.  The coolness from the cover above and the peaceful sounds of water running by in the river.  A person could spend hours walking up and down the path photographing the small details of nature.

Water and the leaves floating through is such fun to photograph.  The color and reflection solidifies the feeling of fall.  It’s almost like I feel if I don’t take the photo the leaves will float down the stream and the moment lost.

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Even the mushrooms were showing off their color as they cling to trees and roots on the forest floor.  The tree with the flaking bark and the color from the mushroom made this a hard to resist photo.  I was using my Canon ef 70-200 mm lens for these photos.  I find that it is easier than a macro in that I like to handhold more than setting up the tripod.  I can zoom in and still get detail and easily move on to the next  subject.

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Trees and water just go together and add some reflection and color and it elevates it to bliss.  The parks are busy and some shots had to be chosen with the least amount of people walking through them.  We also had a lot of cloud cover so the sky wasn’t adding much to the photos.  I would just not use it in the composition or crop it out later.

Maine is busy even in the 2nd week of October.  I can’t believe all of the other nature lovers  out enjoying the color blast before the snow falls.  The park was full of people driving through and many of the notable places were hard to find a parking spot.  Patience is required.

I still find it hard to believe that I was able to go to Maine get get these photos.  Even harder to go back to my home town and take pictures of fall color knowing that  ours doesn’t even compare to the diversity there.  I will have to make a plan to go back again.  Once isn’t enough.