Autumn at Spirit Springs

Field Photography

We went out on this photography junket with other photographers including one semi-professional to take pictures in some random field in Kalamazoo or St. Joseph County. I don’t remember which. I do remember that I didn’t have a camera, only my iPhone, which of course made me the outcast of the group. (I wasn’t actually a member of the group, anyway, I was only there as Bill’s equipment change stand.) As the group went off to photograph trees and other field rarities like gray-brown brush-not bushes and brown-yellowish perennials of some sort, I was left to my own devices.

Looking Up

Many of the photographers, I noticed, had their cameras pointed skyward as if in anticipation of capturing some bird in flight, which to me seemed like an insane idea. [Thought Balloon] Why try and capture something that can be seen every day?* Show me some perspective that I can’t see. Show me some drama.[/Thought Balloon] I actually didn’t think that. My thought was more like–yawn.

I did proceed to do like the group and point my iPhone towards a tree or two. This prompted the Head Photographer to inquire as to what I was doing. I snarkily replied that I was taking a picture for Facebook.

“You know how they are,” I said, “they always want to know where you are and what you are doing.” I was just kidding of course. Announce to Facebook my exact location at the exact time I was there? Inconceivable! What am I? A Millennial?

“I don’t do Facebook,” non-gender specific pronoun said.

[Thought Balloon] Well, I don’t do pretension, but this afternoon I’m going to make an exception. [/Thought Balloon]

Looking Down

Taking the road less traveled, I decided to follow a path that the others were neglecting because there seemed to be nothing to photograph there, which was perfectly fine with me because I could be alone with my own thoughts. There on the trail, I looked down instead of up. That’s not to say that the pictures I got were SOOOOO dramatic as to be hung in a gallery, but were fun for the taking.

My Stone Cold Heart

I did nothing to the rock but take its picture. Here it is just as it was on the path. I thought it was a great affirmation and possibly a sign from an angel that I was going in the right direction. OK maybe I’m overstating the event, but let’s give it more of its due. It was a true rarity unless someone actually carved the rock and buried it thusly and left it for me to find. This was also something that I could post on Facebook (later). It was a reward for looking down instead of up.


I had seen these shots where the resulting picture was an optical illusion and the sun at the moment was casting shadows so it seemed like an opportunity to get such a shot. So here I am hoisting a large boulder aloft. Workout complete.

Autumn at Spirit Springs

DescriptionSpirit Springs Sanctuary is just east of Marcellus, Michigan. The property is SWMLC’s first publicly accessible preserve in Cass County. The preserve was named Spirit Springs in part because the surface stream and groundwater seeps on the site, but also because its a place that lends itself well to peaceful reflection and the renewal of mind, body, and spirit. This is Bill’s shot of Spirit Springs, which is located in SW Lower Michigan. It is the shot that patrons look at very closely and ask, “Is that a painting?” or “Did you Photoshop that?” It indeed does look like a Monet painting, but really it’s not just one of the magical happenings that happen when you let the camera take over and get the shot. This shot is indeed a rarity. Just the right red and how the colors all work together. It never ceases to amaze me that God seems to know the correct color palette.

*Rhetorical question, which Bill will mansplain later.