Monthly Photo Challenge: Urban Seasons/Cleveland, OH — February, 2016

This month was more challenging than I anticipated. Due to work schedule and other obligations I was unable to get into the city to photograph. However I was able to drive through a park on my way home from work one evening and took time to enjoy the winter wonderland. I hesitated to post in this forum because it wasn’t really the “urban” challenge I set for myself. But in lieu of city shots, I am posting these images of a metro-Cleveland park. After all, even urban areas have parks and forest areas set aside for human enjoyment and relaxation/rejuvination. A bit late, I know, but all shots are in the urban Cleveland area during the month of February.  Enjoy.

 

Please feel free to comment/critique/suggest ideas. Hopefully I will be able to shoot more urban looking photos in March. Have a great month everyone!

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The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

 

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — 2015 Addendum!

I stated in the previous blog that I was not going to post a “final” edition of this 2015 challenge. I changed my mind. Following are some of my favorite photos from each month of this year. I tried to make them representative of both season and location. Enjoy!

JANUARY

 

FEBRUARY

 

MARCH

 

APRIL

 

MAY

 

JUNE

 

JULY

 

AUGUST

 

SEPTEMBER

 

OCTOBER

 

NOVEMBER

 

DECEMBER

 

This is a wrap! Hope you enjoyed the changing seasons at North Chagrin Reservation as much as I did this year. I look forward to what this challenge reveals in 2016. Happy New Year!

thechangingseasons_6367

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

 

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — December

You will notice this month that the images look more like a chilly autumn day than a blustery December winter. I am told that the unseasonable weather is in part due to the El Nino phenomenon. I suspect that global warming plays a role in the changing weather patterns as well. Usually by this time of year Cleveland, a city that sits on the shores of one of the northern Great Lakes, has seen quite a bit of snow. But this year has been unseasonably warm with a mere dusting of snow here and there thus far. Despite the uncharacteristic weather, the reservation is as inviting and beautiful as ever. I hope you enjoy these images as I wrap up this 2015 challenge.

 

 

 

A final post with the best or most representative photo of each month was suggested as a way to wrap up this year’s challenge. While the suggestion is an excellent one and would be a fitting way to end this year’s challenge, I am choosing to pass on that. To be honest, my mind and imagination is already at work planning and plotting how to approach 2016’s challenge.

For the coming year I plan to do something drastically different! I am a nature photographer, however my work takes me into the city everyday, most often the “hood” or what we used to call the “slum” areas. I prefer the term “hood” because it suggests places where people live and go to school and raise their children. I have never attempted urban nor have any experience with street photography. But when I am in the city, even in the low income, dilapidated areas, I see beauty. Maybe it’s in the intersecting lines of bridges and architecture, or patterns of light and shadow, or contrast between shabby and opulent, or even the surprising abundance of nature that is found in places where concrete and asphalt appears to obliterate everything natural. At any rate I am looking forward to stretching myself by expanding into new areas of photography. I will use the same format as I have used this year with the exception that from each month’s carousel of photos, I will highlight one photo for experimenting a different processing technique, hopefully something I’ve not done before. I hope you will join me on this journey into a new year’s monthly challenge.

May you have a wonderful new year. I hope to see you here in 2016!

thechangingseasons_6367

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

 

 

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — November

It is hard to believe that we have reached the penultimate month of this wonderful photo challenge. November reveals stark changes from the lush, vibrant summer and early fall posts. Trees are denuded of their foliage, verdant colors have transitioned to golds and browns, and the wild life is sparse as birds fly south and mammals start preparing for their winter hibernation. Yet, beauty still abounds. I hope you enjoy this month’s entry in the challenge. I hope, too, that you get a sense of the magic of this place. Enjoy.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — October

Wow. What a change a few days makes! We are now definitely into the fall here. The temps have begun to drop. We saw our first snow fall of the season yesterday and it has still been “spittin’ ” snow today though there is no accumulation. The jackets and coats have come out and the thermostat was turned up to warm the house. Personally I experience a little grief about this time every year. I thrive in the spring and summer months, so this transition into fall (and eventually winter) triggers a bit of melancholy. Having said that however, spending time at the reservation reminds me of the glory of every season, which boosts my sagging spirit. I really tried to capture the fall feeling and gorgeousness of this place this month.

As an aside, today is my birthday. I don’t do big parties or celebrations. We tend to find simple, meaningful ways to mark life events around here. With that in mind, my birthday treat to myself was to drive out to the reservation and spend hours this morning roaming, meditating, photographing, and rejuvenating. Some of the photos posted today were taken this morning. What a wonderful way to start the day! I hope that you, too, find meaningful ways to spend your days. Enjoy this month’s collection.

 

 

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — September

It is hard to believe that we are already to September with the Changing Seasons Monthly Photo Challenge. I took time to review the preceding eight months of going to the reservation with the intent of “noticing” the changes, photographing what I noticed, and sharing images with you in the hopes that you, too, would fall in love with this wonderful, magical place. This month witnessed the apex of summer — North Chagrin is as lush as it will get, the flowers are going to seed, the first hints of autumn are emerging, birds are beginning their migration south — but it’s beauty and wonder never wanes for me. I tried to capture the feeling of this transition to autumn in the photos this month. Exciting for me is the fact that I saw and captured fowl that I have never seen before at the reservation. What fun! This month I organized the images into two galleries simply because I could not limit myself to just 20 (or less) photos of this place that I love so much.  Please forgive my self-indulgence. North Chagrin Reservation is THE place I go to when I can (2 or 3 times weekly) to revive my soul and energies. ;-)

First are images of the end of summer flora and fauna found at North Chagrin. Enjoy!

The second gallery depicts the profusion of birds that make North Chagrin Reservation their summer home, or maybe a “passing through” place between the wilds of Canada and points further south. I am excited to share these photos because there are many that are first time photo ops for me. One, the Green Heron, I have tried to capture (photo-wise) for years. This was the year for that beauty! But you will also see multiple shots of an Osprey, also a “first catch”, as is the Cormorant. Then there are the beautiful usual geese and Great Blue Heron (that has already headed south by now, I believe). The Red Winged Black Birds are ubiquitous year round.  Enjoy!

So that does it for September! Next month will be full of autumnal colors, I am sure, as October will be the first full month of Fall. Thank you for stopping by and perusing the photos of this wonderful place. I hope you have enjoyed it.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

 

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — August

It has been a wet, cool summer; the wettest on record I am told. Despite that however, the Reservation is lush and lazy as one would expect in the month of August. I found it more challenging to photograph this month. There were many other demands on my time. But I think these photos will give a sense of how the changing seasons continually transform this special place. And you will notice that the frogs are back! They are in a different location, but even so the kids love to crawl on the sculptures, frogs and snake. Enjoy!

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — July

This month has been abnormally rainy and cool for this part of the world. It hasn’t felt much like July at all. Sunny days are few and far between. Although the days are dreary more often than not, the excessive rains created lush landscapes throughout the area as evidenced by the following photographs. These photos were taken this morning. I was pretty much alone as I walked through the meadow and along a paved trail to Sunset Pond. Although the sky was overcast I was able to get a few good shots. Regardless the weather, North Chagrin Reservation remains one of my favorite places to “get lost” in.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

92/365 Photo Challenge 2015

92/365  Foggy morning in a mountain forest.

92/365 Foggy morning in a mountain forest.

We spent the first days of Passover with friends in Pennsylvania, which is why I have not been posting daily photos. This photo was shot during the morning hours on the day we drove to our friends’ home.