This photo “won” Best in Show


This Fall I decided to sponsor a contest to determine which photo, among several entries I expected to receive, was “Best in Show.” There was one rule to this contest. Only one candidate could submit photos, and that person had to be me. You might wonder if the contest was rigged, and it most definitely was. While I made many photos of changing colors on trees and other vegetation during October and November this year, I was not at all happy with what I accumulated. Hues were generally too flat, too few or totally missing. Like “reds.” But, being a dedicated photo enthusiast I boldly went forth week after week to try to find that “perfect composition” I could look at and say something like “wow.” Alas, it was not to be. Compared to the spectacular compositions I was fortunate to find last year, Fall 2017 was a disappointment. I had about given up, but one day I decided to give it one more shot. And, I was rewarded. This image captures for me the “look” I was seeking. The contrasting colors and lighting in the farm scene made me smile. So much so that when it was entered into my “contest” it won. I was shocked when I was notified my photo had been so selected. You just never know what will happen. Well, maybe we do know in a one-person photo contest.

What a difference …

This year’s Fall colors in the mountains of SW Virginia and North Carolina hardly compare (to me at least) to what I saw exactly one year ago. I know this to be a fair comparison because I saw photos our daughter just made around Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina where I was a year ago. This year’s colors seem far less vibrant and generally dull. Why this is the case I can only speculate and I won’t. I’ll just show two photos I made last year near Grandfather Mountain. What a difference one year makes. I certainly hope better views lie ahead for us this year because I’ll definitely be out looking.




In Between

It’s what I’m calling an “in between season” when our daytime temperatures suggest it’s still Summer, while our eyes tell us it’s Fall. So far this year, tree colors are not what I’d expect for mid October. Certainly not what I saw a year ago, but maybe things will improve as October moves on and temperatures cool off, especially at night. I’m fine with it overall. Having a camera with me all the time (iPhone, Fujifilm or Panasonic) makes it easy to document what I see. The following made this week off the front porch of our home.




Dogwoods in Color

It’s that time of year again. Our neighborhood thankfully has lots of Dogwood trees (first and second photo) and others that “get their color” early in the fall. It helps having good light (sun rise) when you make a photo of trees and leaves. Backlighting is also really nice as in the second image. Dogwoods are one of my favorites. Very colorful in the spring and equally so in the fall.

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A Favorite Mountain View … for me


There is no doubt that, for me and my cameras, the 2016 Fall Season was the most scenic and spectacular I’ve ever experienced. For the first time, I was able to visit the mountains of Western North Carolina during a time when colors were at their peak. My experience over many years there and along the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Western Virginia proved that if one missed “peak” by just a few days, winds and rain could make most of the most vibrant colors fade, as leaves fell to the ground. This year I was just lucky, because my visit to Western North Carolina was timed not for the leaves, but for other reasons. Whatever, it worked out extremely well. Adding to this special time was the opportunity to share my experiences with two grandsons, recently moved to the mountains from the flat, drab and often dusty landscape of North Texas. So, as we now close in to the end of the year, with leaves mostly on the ground, and with colder weather at hand, I share this photo, which as the title says, is one of my favorites.

Smith River Colors … and a Bee


One great aspect of living where we do in Henry County and Martinsville, Virginia is the tremendous outdoor recreational activities available. The Smith River lies at the center of that. Trout fishing, canoeing, kayaking and trail hiking along its banks are very popular with visitors and residents alike. I decided the other day to take a look at a river access point near our home, and found some nice colors awaiting. I was especially happy to see the yellow colors in the river itself, as a result of seasonal changing river vegetation I’d not seen before. So, I wandered about the bank looking for possible photo compositions.



Later, I spotted some flowers still in bloom, given the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. And on one flower sat this lone Bumblebee, most likely feeding one last time before going to places unknown to me, perhaps Bee heaven. It made for a great photo.


Spectacular Fall in 2016


The last time I was sort of overwhelmed with the beauty of nature all around me for a short period of time was when my wife and I visited Alaska. Everywhere I looked I saw a great “keeper” photo. The same thing happened to me a week ago when I was in the high mountains of Western North Carolina. The colors this year were spectacular. My camera lens smiled, as did I.




On Top of Mt. Mitchell, NC


Mt. Mitchell,NC is, at 6684 ft, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. I’ve always wanted to go on top; now in my mid-70s via car, but when I was younger perhaps via foot. So, recently with my son-in-law and two grandsons, we did just that, right when the 2016 Fall colors were perfect … for us. Beauty all around. Just wonderful. This, my friends, is why I love making photos!