It Started With A Rainbow

I was less than 5 minutes from walking out the door to take BG to her assistant class when I glanced out the back window and saw this amazingly bright rainbow. I was shocked because it wasn’t raining and hadn’t been, but the clouds managed to toss enough moisture in the air to create one anyway.

Of course I grabbed my camera, which was the reminder I needed to take it with me, just in case. I am so glad I did (and I really need to remember to take it with me EVERY time as I’m not going to always get a rainbow smacking me upside the head as a reminder).

Red Tinged Sunset Clouds
Red Tinged Sunset Clouds

The start of the sunset tossed some interesting clouds my way, but that isn’t what was so stunning about last night’s sky. It was this phenomenal ombre look to the sky itself after the sun dropped below the horizon.

Ombre Sky After Sunset
Ombre Sky After Sunset

It was such an extreme fade that it made it really difficult to get it to actually register correctly on the camera. Closer to the horizon on one setting would get blown out too bright and another setting would make the darker bluish purple get too dark, so it was fun trying to get it balanced just right for both ends of the spectrum.

Ombre Sky After Sunset
Ombre Sky After Sunset

I think I managed to capture it enough to be worth sharing, though they still aren’t nearly as stunning as what I saw sitting in my car last night. Sitting there with my window down and my camera hanging out the window had to have been slightly concerning for anyone in the offices or restaurant nearby. I kind of looked a bit like a PI stalking some cheating spouse or something. Or, I would have if I’d had my big zoom lens attached instead of my smaller wide angle lens. Oh, well. The people in those business will probably be seeing lots of that over the next several months.

Stunning Striped Sunset

Last night’s sunset has convinced me I need to keep my camera bag with me when I take BG to dance. The entire sky started out in these amazing orange/gold stripes across a vibrantly blue sky when we were leaving the studio.

Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset
Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset

I watched those colors shift and darken over the 20 minute drive home and would have pulled over and pissed off other drivers just to get a chance to take a shot of what I was seeing. I was so worried I’d lose all color by the time I got home, but lucked out in getting some of the most brilliant colors of the night, though in a really shitty location, so I didn’t get a good wide shot of the whole sky.

Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset
Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset

As soon as I put my car in park, I ran in and grabbed my camera. I managed to get a few good shots from the front of my house.

Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset
Blue, Red, Pink, and Orange Striped Sunset

I will now have my camera bag with me when I take her to dance. At least the early classes anyway.

Patchy Clouds

These were from the other night. Some of my favorite types of sky photos are ones like this where there is this really deep contrast between the clouds and the sky. These took it one step further than just an amazing color of blue with the typical white clouds because this was late evening, probably about an hour or so before sunset. This added some dramatic shadows on the clouds making them look kind of angry, but they were still the small slightly fluffy types.

Patchy Clouds
Patchy Clouds

Moving Sunrise

These are the last specific shots I’ll be posting from my Wisconsin trip. I find these kind of funny as one of my goals for the trip was to get both sunrise and sunset shots from the peninsula, yet the only sunrise shots I got the entire time were from the moving car the morning we left to go on the trip. Taking photos from a moving car is… interesting.

Foggy Sunrise
Foggy Sunrise

I didn’t get that many that turned out because I invariably ended up with a tree that had been right next to the highway end up in the center of my shot leaving me with a fogged out blurry mess. I still got a couple to show how amazing it looked that morning, but I seem to have missed the best ones with the fog shrouded trees all the way up to the highway’s edge.

Foggy Sunrise On The Move
Foggy Sunrise On The Move

So that one isn’t great (at all), but you can get a sense of what I was talking about. We hit a couple of patches of really dense fog. At that time of day it makes it really interesting trying to drive. It added to the eerie feelings a bit when you are the only car on the road at that time of day and you don’t see another one for over an hour.

Foggy Sunrise
Foggy Sunrise

This really was a beautiful start to what was an amazing trip.

Golden Foggy Sunrise
Golden Foggy Sunrise

Bright, Sunshiny Day

It begins. I just saw MC off for his first day of being a Senior. My brain still hasn’t quite wrapped itself around that concept yet. Maybe I’ll have gotten a handle on it before he walks with his cap and gown. Maybe.

For now, I’m going to have a cup of coffee and one of our traditional first day of school treats: donuts. Then I have to wrestle our oldest cat off to the vet. Hopefully that will keep my mind from tying itself in knots over the Senior thing and the quiet in the house. At least for a while.

First Wisconsin Sunset

The very first night we got into Door County, we took enough time to get checked in to where we were staying and drop off our bags before we headed right back out even though we’d been in the car for well over 11 hours. We wanted to scout out a few areas before the next day and we needed to hunt down some place to eat.

The first place I wanted to check out was a place to get a good view of the sunset that I’d found on Google maps. It looked to be the ideal spot.

Late Afternoon Lake Michigan from Door County
Late Afternoon Lake Michigan from Door County

I especially loved the small pool of water with only a small strip of shore between it and the lake. When we checked the spot out, only 1 person was there with their dog. Little did we know that everyone else on the peninsula also thought it was the ideal sunset viewing spot. When we came back after doing a bit more scouting, it was packed with people. Since it wasn’t an official park, there wasn’t any parking and the road just dead ended at the shore, so everyone was parked along this narrow twisty piece with a really steep incline.

Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan

There were very few spots to stand to get pictures as the shore was lined with people in chairs and sitting on the rocks. I was really thankful that the area right in front of the little pool was open. I did have to avoid a couple of heads and dogs trying to photobomb me, but I managed to get several awesome shots.

Sunset Clouds Reflectio
Sunset Clouds Reflectio
Clouded Sunset Sky on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset Sky on Lake Michigan
Dead Tree In Water At Sunset Lake Michigan
Dead Tree In Water At Sunset Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan

We only stayed until the sun dropped below the cloud line before we left. We were exhausted from the drive and wanted a chance to just go chill out for a while without being surrounded by people and gnats. The clouds gave us a stunning sunset, but made it impossible for us to get a good night for star viewing so we didn’t even attempt it that first night.

Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan
Clouded Sunset on Lake Michigan

Last Sunset, Lake Michigan From Wisconsin

Next to the goals of seeing the stars and getting some hiking done, I really wanted the opportunity to get some awesome sunset and sunrise pictures. We were going to be in an ideal place to do this, so I wanted to take every chance I could. Turns out, there is way more coastline that is enclosed in trees than there is open access, so viewing spots were limited for the public. We found this spot on our first full day there. It wasn’t a waterline spot, but there was enough room to land a spot to take pictures. Not much, but enough because it was also popular, like all public viewing areas are.

Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan

I was worried a bit that it wasn’t going to be an “interesting” sunset since there weren’t any clouds, but the sky still put on an amazing show of color and the water threw a lot of that right back in stunning reflections.

Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan

At one point, I had turned to ask Hubby something as he was standing behind me and I just could not resist this creative shot. It inspired a few others later in the trip, but this is probably my favorite. If you look closely, you can see the number of people that were at the edge of the lookout.

Sunrise Reflection In Sunglasses
Sunrise Reflection In Sunglasses

I kept taking pictures until the sun dropped below the horizon. I have so many I could probably come close to putting together a sunset video with all the frames.

Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan
Cloudless Sunset, Lake Michigan

After that final speck went below the waterline, the sky reminded me of some of the fill options in early graphics programs I’ve worked with (really early Corel Draw, I think). There was so much color in the sky. It isn’t something I normally get to see at home with all the trees and obstacles in the way, so I was thrilled to be able to get these.

Rainbow Sky After Sunset On Lake Michigan
Rainbow Sky After Sunset On Lake Michigan

Moment of Gratitude

I had this moment of realization yesterday when I was contemplating writing my review for my first ever ARC. I am kind of living in this moment of fantasy right now. I am at a place in my life I never dreamed I’d be outside of those “Wouldn’t it be nice?” kinds of thoughts. Yet, here I am. And I am astoundingly grateful for it.

I have now gotten a second ARC approval and it is another book on my list of “I’d LOVE to get, but probably never will.” This was part of that moment of realization. Yes, it is only two books, but… I am now getting books for the express purpose of reviewing them before most people get their hands on them. That is an amazing thing to me.

I have also actually done something I never thought I’d EVER do: I wrote and published my own book. And it is selling. It is making the kind of impact with readers that I’d hoped for. It may still be very much on the tiny scale of things, but it is on the scale. This is also stunning to me.

As a person that has spent the bulk of their adult life focused on being Mom and struggling for years with who I am outside of that role, these things are massive for me. I am in awe that these are now facts in my life, that they are a tangible part of that life. It is though I can feel how these seemingly small things are cementing their place in who I am.

There have been so many things over time and throughout my life that have been damaging and hurtful. Because of that, I have actively spent the last several years trying to find the positive things, the things that bring me joy and most days, I’m good at finding those things. Photography has been a huge part of that for me. So have my kids and my Hubby. But these things? They feel different. They feel healing in a very different way. They make me feel a little bit more solid in who I am.

And I am massively grateful.

More Stunning Color

I managed to catch another stunning sunset last night. I really need to make an effort to try and get to a park by here at sunset so I can get slightly better shots without the houses in the way.

Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds

I ended up taking the first several shots from the back yard before running down to the end of my street to get a slightly different angle. I had forgotten that it sits a little lower and the trees are closer so that you can’t see as much of the horizon, so the sunset looked really different just with that small change.

Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds

I came back to my yard, but moved around to different places trying to get the best vantage. On the way, I grabbed a shot of the moon which couldn’t be left out. There are a few thin clouds hanging out around it, but they didn’t show up that clearly.

Half Moon
Half Moon
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds
Sunset Clouds

There is something extremely powerful about such vivid colors in the sky, whether it is a sunset or a sunrise, that always leaves me in awe. The fact that my new camera does such a phenomenal job of rendering that color so closely is amazing and makes it worth every penny.