The World Through My Lens


Week #24, Theme #6 “Forsaken”

Whitey's Barn

As you know from earlier posts, I was born in south-central Michigan and spent my first 13 years of life there; my three oldest siblings still call the area “home”. In an earlier Challenge, maybe two years ago, I posted a picture of a barn located near where my oldest brother and sister (and their spouses) live. The farmer we all called “Whitey” owned and worked the farm until he passed away several years ago. For a long time, the farmhouse was empty and it looked the kids were going to just let it go. But low and behold, they repaired the old barn last year; gave it a new coat of red paint with white trim and even put a new metal roof on it!

Anyway, last fall, while visiting my siblings, I walked over to the farm place, camera in hand, and found a door to the old barn unlocked. Nobody lives there now so I let myself in the barn, and it was like stepping back in time! Pieces of old farm equipment that looked like they hadn’t been moved in years were scattered about. The smell of old hay filled the cavernous structure as streaks of sunlight poured in through cracks in the old wood siding and the floor boards creaked as I made my way to the room pictured above. I’m not sure how or when this stuff was placed here but I figured it would make for an interesting picture. After reviewing my recent activity and comparing it with my list of themes, I settled on this picture for the theme, “Forsaken”.


Week #23, Theme#9 “Product”

JD Corn Picker

When I was a boy, growing up in south-central Michigan (between Grand Rapids and Lansing), I always loved the fall of the year….for a number of reasons. Cooler weather was always accompanied by the turning of the leaves (back then you could burn them and to this Michigan boy, there’s nothing that smells better than burning leaves!), hunting season, and of course, the gathering in of the corn, soybeans, etc. I haven’t lived in Michigan for many years now but I go back every three months to visit my older siblings who still live there. I love the harvest time and this past fall, I timed my trip perfectly; the taking in of the corn crop was in full swing.

I chuckle when I look at this picture because, when I was just a boy, the “corn pickers” used by the farmers then (decade of the 50’s) picked two whole rows at a time! Course, farms back then were much smaller; 150 acres was considered a big farm! Most of those smaller farms have been gobbled up and it’s not uncommon nowadays for a farm to consist of several thousands of acres. Obviously, the 2-row corn picker used back in the day would not be of much help given the size of the fields today! Anyway, I used to love listening to the old John Deere Model A, B and C tractors sing their familiar “putt-putt-putt” song, especially if they were pulling a plow and working hard. John Deere combines used today, like the one pictured above, pick 12 rows at a time, have air-conditioned cabs, are guided by GPS, and can just about run themselves!

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Week #22, Theme #30 “Dried”


While visiting my friend, Emmett, I found this banana tree leaf laying in his yard. Though I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I took the picture (with my iPhone!), I took it simply because I found it interesting. As I was reviewing the themes for our Challenge that I had NOT yet used, and came to Theme #30, “Dried”, I couldn’t help but think of this picture. Amazing that, even in death, something like this can still be a thing of beauty!


Week #21, Theme #46 “Fear”


Just before Christmas, I (and my buddy, Emmett) took a day-trip to the Florida Everglades and as usual, I was on the lookout for subjects I could photograph that might be usable in our current Challenge. This sign, posted on a gate at the Clyde Butcher Gallery and Visitor Center (a must-see if you’re ever on old Hwy. 41 in the Everglades), is intended, I’m sure, to strike fear in anybody even thinking about opening the gate or jumping the fence!


Week #20, Theme #27 “Movement” (Composition)


Corkscrew Swamp, near Naples, FL, boasts some of the most magnificent Cypress trees I have ever seen! This one stood approximately 100′ high and, at its base, was amazingly huge. When I found this particular tree, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by this vine (?) that wrapped around the tree in all kinds of “Movement”, my theme for this week. If you look closely, you will find the letters A, V, Y, and W. A closer look will reveal a lizard stretched out (hint: along the right side). Perhaps a good title for this picture would be “Tree-Hugger”!


Week #19, Theme #20 “Wild Card”

Strutting Egret

I love visiting a rookery, located in Venice, FL, this time of year. Not only are the wading birds nesting, many with chicks already in the nest, but these white egrets are strutting their new plumage. They have a kind of ritual they go through several times a day. They start by ducking rapidly downward and then, just as quickly, bring their heads up, stretching their necks skyward, as far as they can, and then drop back down to this pose, all in one fluid movement. Because they are nesting, they stayed at the rookery all day (they usually leave in the morning, hunt for food all day, and then return to the rookery just before sundown). Consequently, I, too, stayed at the rookery…..from around 11AM to 7PM; my back was killing me (from standing at my tripod) when I returned home! As you can see, I used one of my “Wild Card” themes for this week’s posting. I always try to come up with a name for wild card entries; this one I think I would title “Elegance”.


Week #18, Theme #16: Wild Card (“Serenity”)

Recently, while in Michigan (and before the big storm hit!), I was able to get out with my Nikon D7100; as you can see, it was an overcast day. But a light snow was falling, which I was able to capture in the photo. One day while there, the temperature hit -15 degrees…..and we thought that was brutal! Just a few days later they were in the grips of -40 degree temperatures! Now that’ll make yer tongue stick to the pipe (for those of you who have been there, no explanation needed!)! Fortunately, I left Michigan to return to sunny Florida on Sunday, the day before the big arctic blast hit! I’ll bet the folks up north wish they could go back to the “Serenity” of this scene!serenity