What a beautiful ,sunshiny, day we had today. With temperatures near 40 degrees, Spring was in the air… or at least the hope of Spring. I saw this barren tree on the frozen, snow covered shore of Lake Huron. The blue sky provides a beautiful backdrop for the lacy branches of the tree. It is still winter, but Spring is just around the corner.
The Autumn Olive is in full bloom. The fragrance of the blossoms fills the air. When I see an Autumn Olive, it reminds me of an earlier time. We lived in an old farmhouse and decided to plant 100 Autumn Olive trees we purchased from the county. Our lab puppy Sheba, was keeping me company while I was planting the trees. One by one, I would push the spade into the earth to open a crevice to plant each little sapling. I was happy to be nearing the end of my planting task, there were about five more to plant, when I looked back to survey my progress. Much to my dismay, Sheba had pulled up each of the baby trees, just as quick as I had planted them. All the little trees I had planted lay strewn about the yard and Sheba was standing there wagging her tail, waiting for me to plant the next tree.
Spring is here, the grass is green, tulips are in full bloom, and the trees have buds on them. This is another shot of the tree from Day 47, when I blogged about the gray days of winter. My daughter Amanda came up with the idea to shoot this same tree each season, so she could have the series on her wall. The difference between today’s conditions and those of Day 47 were huge. First, instead of a “gray” day, we had a beautiful sun filled day today. The temperature was about 20 degrees warmer, and this shot has the golden glow of the “golden hour”. I shot this photo just before the sun dropped below the horizon. There are still no leaves on the tree, but if you look closely, you will be able to see some buds on the ends of the branches. I am looking forward to the summer shot, when the tree will be full of leaves.
Today was another “Gray” day. The temperature got high enough to melt the remaining snow and the sun stayed away all day. I met Vicki for lunch and decided to take my camera to try and get a couple of nice photo opportunities. It was so bland out that I was losing my inspiration, when I saw the tree standing out in the field. I really like the way the branches feather out into little tiny strands at the end. The grayness of the sky made it possible to show the detail of these branches. In my mind, my picture would be a black and white photo emphasizing the contrast between the sky and the fine branches. As I sat down at the computer and uploaded my images I started to tinker around in Photoshop. Now, I can get carried away in Photoshop, I lose all track of time. So reduced the saturation level all the way until I had the monochrome image you see to the left. Then I played with HDR Toning, something new to me. The result is the surreal colorful photo in the middle. I really like the detail and the saturated colors; what a great way to brighten up a gray day. The photo at the right is the original color shot. I decided I like all three together.
The tree in the field looks so lonely, yet somewhat majestic with it’s outreaching branches. I like to see the lone tree out in the middle of a farm field. It’s like the tree has earned the respect of the farmer. Kind of brings that saying to mind, “only the strong survive”. The surrounding colors, or lack there of, make for a melancholy message, winter still has a grip on Michigan. Winter in Michigan is pretty dull and gray when there is no snow. Rarely are we treated to a sunny day in February. This is a typical winter day, gray sky, brown dirt or mud, and hardly any green. Today we had temperatures in the 40’s again. We have had minimal snow this winter and most of us Michiganders feel that “the big one” is still lurking. Just when you think you are out of winter and heading for spring; bam, a blizzard hits and we get buried when we least expect it. I enjoy the big snow storms that catch us by surprise. They help to brighten the gray days of winter.