Monthly Archives: October 2015

High waves on the lake

Lake Erie - high waves

Lake Erie – high waves

10.29.2015

I don’t have a lot of time to write this evening, way too much to do and I’m behind! It’s been that kind of a week at work and at home. But it’s okay. I’m glad I have a job and a nice home!

I did sneak out at lunch time to capture this shot of the high waves near the main lighthouse on Presque Isle (with the house attached). Is that the land lighthouse? I don’t remember exactly what it’s called.

I’m glad tomorrow is Friday. It’s been a couple of rough weeks and I need some down time . . . . mostly rest!

~ melissa michelle

Reflections

Colorful reflections

Colorful reflections

10.28.2015

I wasn’t able to take photos today – it was very windy and rainy. I wanted to photograph the high Lake Erie waves pounding the shoreline but the rain impeded my efforts. I may try tomorrow.

For now, enjoy this photo from yesterday – I love the reflections in the water.

Don’t forget I’m also on Facebook – Photo Life Journal. So far my page has been viewed in 22 States, 10 countries, and in 7 languages. Wahoo!

~ melissa michelle

Look around

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Reflections

Reflections

10.27.2015

I hope folks aren’t getting tired of photos with great blue herons. I’m having a blast photographing them! Once again during my lunch I was at Presque Isle State Park. Driving around with no particular destination, my eyes zeroed in on this heron across the lagoon near where kayaks often launch. The top photo was actually taken after the bottom one. I watched this bird for about 20 minutes taking many photos and waiting, hoping he would take flight. I was pleased my patience paid off!

I’ve been stressed at work so taking this break during the day really helps to focus my thoughts and energy. My afternoons are less hectic because I feel more at ease. I just have to keep that feeling with me more often!

There were many other photos of this beautiful creature but I need to focus on some studying and reading this evening. I’ll post more from today’s shoot soon.

I haven’t said it for a while so I will now . . . . thanks for reading my blog and contributing your comments. I’m having so much fun exploring and photographing nature around me. I hope all of you get out or at least look around your corner of the world to appreciate what’s there.

~ melissa michelle

Unplug & enjoy the journey

Autumn Colors

Autumn Colors

Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park

Water inlet at Presque Isle

Water inlet at Presque Isle

Another view

Another view

More colors

More colors

10.26.2015

I could not decide which photos to post this evening so I added all of them! This fall has been spectacular – all the vibrant colors are so beautiful and make you pause to look around.

I read an article over the weekend which talked about unplugging every so often. I thought about that while I was walking Chase after work. My job has been stressful lately so getting outside without my phone, no emails, no text messages, etc. is so relaxing. When you add nature’s beauty it’s all the more relaxing to me.

Everyone’s time is so valuable – we have so little of it, a limited amount that we’re given. I resent people wasting my time lately. I’m trying to study for an hour every week day; I like to spend an hour every day reading for fun (even more so on the weekends); I try to spend at least an hour running / exercising; and, I’m trying to get more sleep. There’s so much I want to accomplish in my life. I have goals and dreams. People have tried to derail me, saying things about being selfish that I never married or had a family, that I’m overweight, and not following the path every woman should. I realized that I don’t have much in common with people my age. I have taken my own journey and I don’t apologize for that to anyone.

I have a really good life. I’m very happy and content, and always improving, learning, and getting better. This year has been amazing – I’ve had a lot of “first” experiences . . . visiting new places, doing things I’ve never done, experiencing more than most people do in a lifetime just this past year!

So until you walk a mile in someone’s shoes, don’t judge. Focus on your own journey and if you’re not happy, change it instead of dissing me and my journey. You can be happy too . . . that is, if you choose to be.

~ melissa michelle

Taking a break but moving foward

Nature's beauty

Nature’s beauty

10.20.2015

Work has been stressful lately. One problem was resolved. However, the wake left behind will have effects for months to come I’m afraid. I got several pieces of rather depressing news about my projects today that by lunchtime I seriously needed to take a break in nature.

In some parts of the country right now Mother Nature has been very unkind and many people have been displaced and have lost their homes. But here, in Erie, PA, Mother Nature is in her splendor and showing her autumn colors beautifully.

It’s amazing how taking a few deep breaths and looking through the lens at something so beautiful, can relax the troubled soul.

Over the past few weeks I have been contemplating a career decision. I made up my mind and have taken the first step towards a new future for myself. My goal is to have everything done by the end of next year. It’s aggressive but doable. Only after I made the decision did it dawn on me that my oldest brother also made a career move when he was 43. So although I may be a little late, I think that I now have the confidence to move forward to better myself and advance my career. More details on this later . . . . .

So what are you doing to advance your life?

~ melissa michelle

3rd Place!!!!!

Butler Farm Show

Butler Farm Show

10.19.2015

GUESS WHAT?!?! I learned last Friday that the above photo took 3rd place in the Butler County Tourism summer photo contest! I was pretty stoked to hear that! It’s exciting that I’m having so much fun doing this and also being recognized for it!

I’ve been sick for a few days now, just a cold. But that means I haven’t been out doing photography. I hope to get out there again soon though. And I’ll post more great photos. Keep coming back!

~ melissa michelle

And the winner is . . . .

Great Blue Heron in flight

Great Blue Heron in flight

10.14.2015

I am super stoked!! I entered this photo in a contest and although I didn’t win, it was ranked in the top 25%!!!! Yay!!!

I have learned so much this year. And that’s good. But I’ve also gained some confidence. I’ve only entered maybe two contests before this year. I just didn’t think I was good enough. But you know what, I was telling myself a lie. I am good enough. The ranking was based on my peers as well as experts reviewing the photos. I’m pretty proud of that, but especially proud that I entered. I let my work be judged and I didn’t fail.

So, even though I didn’t win the contest, I won for myself.

~ melissa michelle

Taking a deep breath & looking around nature

Waterfalls at Hells Hollow McConnells Mill State Park

Waterfalls at Hells Hollow McConnells Mill State Park

Autumn painting

Autumn painting

On trail to Hells Hollow

Along the trail to Hells Hollow

IMG_20151011_152915

10.11.2015

Sometimes life is just better when you’re outside in nature. Nature engulfs you, clearing the head, and allowing you to breathe. It forces you to acknowledge her and appreciate the beauty around you. Especially this time of the year – autumn.

The photos above are from Hells Hollow at McConnells Mill State Park. It’s about five mils from the covered bridge and Mill. I was there in the spring but because the water level was so high I couldn’t get down to water level to photograph the falls. This time water was still to the last step but I was able to navigate using rocks not covered to get some photos.

The last photo is at the farm I visit nearly every weekend. The pond on the property provides stunning reflections from the trees changing colors. This year the colors are so vivid and brilliant. They soothe the soul and relaxes the mind.

While at McConnells Mill I also photographed another waterfall I had not seen before. I’ll share that photo soon.

So remember the next time you’re in a funk or something is bothering you, if you can, take a deep breath and get out into nature. She’ll set your mind at ease, or at least let you forget for a few minutes.

~ melissa michelle

Fungus or beauty?

Mushrooms and wildflowers

Mushrooms and wildflowers

Upturned mushroom

Upturned mushroom

Hey! A spider!

Hey! A spider!

10.07.2015

On my photo bucket list I had mushrooms! No, seriously. I have seen many magnificent photos of them and always wanted to get a great shot. I think I’ve accomplished this, finally!

I was mowing the lawn after work and saw these by the pine trees. I couldn’t wait to finish so I could head out with the camera. I know, it’s kind of silly to photograph fungus; however, I think there’s some beauty there too!

I don’t know exactly why but lately I’ve been having so much fun with my photography. Maybe it’s the new lens (although these photos were taken with an older lens), or perhaps the change of season, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m doing what I love and having fun!

What do you enjoy doing that’s fun?

~ melissa michelle

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron in flight

Great Blue Heron in flight

Directing the geese

Directing the geese

Hiding in the weeds

Hiding in the weeds

I'm outta here

I’m outta here

10.06.2015

I needed to get away from work today so during lunch I headed to Presque Isle State Park. I didn’t have a particular place in mind; I was just enjoying fresh air and being away for a few minutes. Then I came upon this Great Blue Heron. He let me get pretty close, plus I used the 400mm lens (love that lens). I also love the results. I think these are pretty good photos, if I do say so myself.

The first two photos were at one location; the next two at another place. It was fun to spot them and I enjoyed practicing.

When I got back to work I was feeling better for having been out in nature for a few minutes. It’s amazing so get out there an enjoy!

~ melissa michelle