Favorite Nature Photos of 2016

Every year J and I make a calendar from our highlights of the previous year’s (horizontal) photos. And this year I thought, why not share our favorites images with you as well?

coral-bells

Coral bells. There’s just something about the green leaves and brilliant red flowers that I adore.

crabapple-blossom

Crabapple blossoms. Making spring feel like a fairy wonderland.

dutch-iris

Dutch iris. Tiny bursts of brilliant color.

forsythia

Forsythia. I love the way these shrubs glow in the sunlight, even as J prefers them against a brilliant blue sky.

geranium

Geraniums. The smell. The soft colors. The dainty elegance. Geraniums are delightful.

hellebore-lenten-rose

Lenten roses bloom early in the spring, and every year it’s a struggle to get an image of these that I enjoy. This year: success!

lady-slipper-orchid

Lady slipper orchids. Until this last summer, I’d never seen these in the wild. Discovering bunches of them in growing in roadside ditches in northern Minnesota was thrilling.

lilies-red-orange-yellow

Lilies. Brilliant red lilies might be my favorite, but there’s something wildly joyous about mixing and matching the bold colors.

orange-brown-lily

Part of me hates this color combination on the lily, and yet I find myself loving the photo in spite of myself. Even if it does look like a rotting banana.

pasque-flowers

Pasque flowers. I noticed these flowers for the first time this spring, and found myself obsessed with them. The fuzziness. The soft lavender. The blinding yellow centers. When everything else was brown and muddy, these buds signaled the hope of spring.

pink-coneflower

Pink coneflower. Coneflowers aren’t my favorite in bouquets, but there’s an indescribable magic about them in photographs. The way the light makes them brilliant and ultra neon totally catches my fancy.

pink-crocus

Pink crocus. I find hope when flowers pop up in seemingly barren places.

pink-flowers

Raspberry splash lungwort. The intense color changes on the flowers — pink to purple to blue — fascinate me.

pink-lily

Pink lily. Lily pollen makes me sneezy. But, I’m so happy with the lighting on the lily, the sneezing fit was worth it.

pink-orange-lilies

Lilies. I’m so happy to have gotten a lily photo from our yard where the lilies weren’t covered by ants.

pink-tulips

I (heart) pink tulips.

purple-crocus

Crocus. Crocus beckon me outside with my camera as winter shifts to spring.

purple-iris-bunch

Iris. These flowers remind me of my mother every time I photograph them. These are similar to the varieties of iris I remember my dad picking up for my mom from the grocery store every spring.

purple-pasque-flowers

Pasque flowers. Dark purple and fabulous.

purple-tulip

Purple tulip. It’s sassy, and I dig that.

red-dahlia

Dahlia. Giant, fluffy flowers as big as my head? Yes, please.

red-tulip

Red tulip. Tulips are splendid as they turn translucent in sunlight. It’s my favorite way to photograph them.

snowdrops

Snowdrops. Dainty, spotless white flowers. Finding speckle-free white flowers is nearly impossible, which is why I usually avoid white flowers as subjects. Especially as I prefer not to photoshop my images.

water-lily

Water lilies. The ombre effect of the flower petals intrigues me. And that a flower this big springs up out of the water still boggles my mind.

yellow-red-lily

Lily. Experimenting with different angles yields more interesting photographs.

yellow-tulips

Tulips. Perhaps what I like most about this photo is the color combinations. The photo just makes me happy when I look at it. And that’s enough for me.

On spring, writing and avoiding riotous thought monkeys

Twitter reminds me repeatedly through various posts, “writers write.” I want to be a writer.

Today, however, I don’t want to do the grueling work. Instead, I’d like to gloss over the mess gurgling in me. Lately, I’ll eagerly write other bits, Tasty Thursday posts, or things that feel somehow outside of me. I dutifully post to honor commitments I made to my accountability partner and my husband. Continue reading

It’s beginning to look a lot like spring.

I had a few spare moments to hike with my camera this morning, and here’s a few of my favorite snaps from the trip. Pasque flowers are still my new favorite this year.

Spring flowers are popping up!

Happy Spring, everyone!

In spite of the snow in Minnesota this morning, the crocus, iris and pasque flowers are opening up! I was thrilled to get outside with my camera, even if I got snowed on before I was done with my adventure. I’m a bit obsessed with pasque flowers right now. I love their fluffy fuzziness that glows in the light!

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from this morning.