An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

December 30, 2016

My 10 Favorite Photos of 2016

     Though I have not been very consistent with my blogging this year, I did not want to miss posting my 10 favorite photos from 2016, and this year I was actually able to whittle the number down to 10. This is also the 5th anniversary of this meme, and it happens to be one I really enjoy putting together.

Chenman Salvage  
(2/20/2016)
The first photo was taken on a bike ride, and was used in my Winter Walk-Off post. L. Chenman Salvage yard is near my house, and it is ringed with old navigational buoys. I am drawn to most anything nautical, and I love seeing the buoys' colors on gray winter days. As it happens, I called Mr. Chenman a couple of weeks ago to see about getting a spherical buoy to use at work next year as part of a display. He said he would think about it.
Chenman Salvage (3)

Fort Monroe  
(3/12/2016)
If I were limited to only 1 favorite photo, this simple shot would likely be it, primarily because I have a thing for crows, but I also like messy history. The ironwork is from a section of an ornate double archway that spells out Jefferson Davis Memorial Park at Fort Monroe. The messiness comes from a memorial to the Confederate President, erected in the 1950's, inside a U.S. Army base, that just happened to be where that President was imprisoned for treason.
Fort Monroe (3)

Zuni Pine Barrens  
(3/23/2016)
This was taken on a work field trip to the Zuni Pine Barrens. I was drawn to the strong vertical lines of the longleaf pine trunks, and the horizontal line of my coworkers about to walk out of the frame. Without apologies, I ran it through Photoshop to give it a more gauzy mystical look.
Zuni Pine Barrens (11)

Buttercups
(4/30/2016)
On the way back from a kayak trip, I stopped to take this shot from the side the road in Isle of Wight Co. I love the color contrast of the field of yellow flowers and the all black cow. I have seen this sight before on several occasions, and always said to myself that one day I should stop and get a photo, and this was finally the day.
Buttercups (Ranunculus) (3)

Muddy Creek
(5/14/2016)
This is the first of several favorites taken from the seat of my kayak. I was on the Eastern Shore, and the weather was perfect for kayaking, not too hot or cold, smooth water, and low winds. The waterman working solo was too busy pulling his crab pots to take much notice of me as I snapped his photo. His is not an easy occupation, but having only the tide and sun as a time clock has a certain appeal.
Muddy Creek (7)

Horse Marsh
(7/17/2016)
I have been visiting Assateague and Chincoteague Islands since I was old enough to ride in a car seat. In the summer we go for the beach, and in the winter to see the waterfowl. No matter the season, there is always a decent chance to see the island's famous ponies. However, I have never seen so many, or gotten so close, as I did this summer on a kayaking trip. They let me paddle within feet of them, and I had them all to myself.
Horse Marsh (5)

Belle Isle - Steelworks
(8/27/2016)
What can't be seen from this photo is that it was taken from within one of the ruined structures of an old steelworks on Belle Isle. Most of the roof and skeleton remain, but the sides are open to the elements, making the whole thing look like some sort of large derelict pavilion. I used the black edges of the roof, concrete floor, and two adjacent support columns to frame a shot out to the rampant growth. I am continually fascinated and made hopeful by nature's determination to overcome and erase.
Belle Isle - Steelworks

Brown's Island
(8/27/2016)
Walking back from Belle Isle, I crossed through adjacent Brown's Island. It was a hot day, and I spotted these boys cooling off in the James. Rope swings hung from the CSX railroad trestle; coal trains from Appalachia passed overhead on their way to the coast.
Brown's Island (1)

Lake Chickahominy
(11/19/2016)
Back in May I discovered a new-for-me place to kayak, Lake Chickahominy west of Williamsburg. I went back this fall and had a very photo-productive trip. I like this shot for its monochromatic background of bald cypress knees, and for the colorful determination of a red maple to take hold anywhere it can, even if that place is on another species, and not in the ground.
Lake Chickahominy (36)

Lang Farm Road
(11/25/2016)
Finally, this group of hackberry trees near my parent's house is a frequent subject of mine. In fact, a shot of them has appeared in a previous top 10 post. I rarely photograph them in the summer when the foliage hides their structure. However, in late fall or winter, you can really see what a beautiful silhouette they create in the rising sun.
Lang Farm Rd (6)

If you would like to see the rest of my favorites from 2016, you can check them out on my Flickr page.

Do you have photos from 2016 that you are particularly proud of, or that speak to you in a special way? 
If so, then I welcome you to share them on your own blog or Facebook page. If you do, come back and leave a comment with a link please. I would really appreciate it. Thanks, and I hope all of you have a happy new year - one filled with much to photograph!

28 comments:

  1. I have swung off that very trestle into the river myself at Belle Isle

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    1. I would have too, but I had the dogs with me, and they were ready for some AC. I had to force them into the water to cool off. For hounds, they are real prissy about getting wet.

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  2. Lovely. I do hope you get the old buoy for your display....it'll encourage me to stop by the gardens again for a visit in 2017.

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    1. I am still hoping too, Phyllis.

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  3. What wonderful photos! I doubt any of mine can possibly compare, but I'll see what can be scrounged--really enjoy your photography, am always thankful that you choose to share it. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you HB, and happy new year to you as well.

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  4. Excellent photography as always, Les! I fondly remember reading the books about the horses at Assateague and Chincoteague as a child. That would be a bucket-list thing to see. I cannot pick a favorite among these, but the fiery colors of the determined Maple and the first photo bring joy because of my current winter-starved color palette. I think my most recent post fits the meme (though these aren't necessarily my favorite photos; rather my favorite things). https://plantpostings.blogspot.com/2016/12/twelve-of-my-favorite-things-2016.html

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    1. Thank you for sharing the link, Beth, and I hope you will one day get to see Chincoteague. Just try to avoid late July when the Pony Run takes place. An already tight island becomes overrun with visitors then.

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  5. Stunning images all! Don't know if I have any that would measure up to these but I'll look. What a great idea to celebrate the past year. Looking forward to winter walk off!

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    1. Peter, there no measuring needed. Just eyeball it.

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  6. Great pictures. My favorite is the black cow in the buttercups.

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    1. Jason, I also have a panorama of the same shot showing the whole herd of black cows, but I liked the one isolated better.

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  7. All great photos! I think the cow among the yellow flowers is my favorite.

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    1. Phillip, that is probably my second fav.

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  8. Wonderful selection. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. FA, you are welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. I don't know how you narrowed it down to 10 but these are definitely winners. My favorite is the misty hackberry photo!

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    1. Katob, usually I end up with 20 or so, but I made a real effort this year.

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  10. Happy New Year! Your photography always inspires me. My favorite is the crow shot.
    Here's my contribution: http://www.gravylessons.com/journal2/2016/12/30/mytenfavoritephotosfrom2016

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    1. Gravy, thank you for sharing the link. If I was to ever have a tattoo, I think it would be of a crow, or maybe a whole murder of them.

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  11. They are all great photos, but I especially appreciate the Zuni Pine Barrens shot. I recognized it immediately as I visited when the VNPS had their meeting down your way. One of the many cool places we visited. I like the waterman photo a lot, too. A classic.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Both of the photos you like have an element I've been trying to increase in my photos - people.

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  12. I sure hope Mr. Chenman will accommodate you. When he does, I'd love to see a post with the donated buoy. I enjoyed the story behind the photo of the crow on the Jefferson Davis Memorial Park iron work. However, my favorite picture is that of the ponies. They seem so relaxed and in their element that the picture exudes great calmness.

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    1. I think I had the most fun taking the ponies photos. I was able to get so close that I worried I would get splashed while they relieved themselves.

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  13. Hi Les, I took a trip in June to Norway & Sweden ( 2nd trip to Sweden - but a different landscape from south-east) to visit gardens in the north west as far as Tromsø, Norway and ending south-west in Göteborg I am slowly posting the trip. An intro and 1st Alpine Botanical Garden at Hemavan Sweden is linked. Buttercups were in bloom there also.
    Unforgettable landscapes and gardens I was able to enjoy and photo as well as great company with British friends.
    http://www.deborahsgardeningtour.com/category/sweden/
    Deborah/VA Beach, VA
    Enjoy your photos and blog.

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    1. Deborah, I really enjoyed your photos, especially since that is a part of the world I would love to visit.

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  14. Hi Les, I enjoyed each and every one of your photos (as always !)and had fun going through mine to find 10 to share-Happy New Year !http://gardenbook-ks.blogspot.com/2017/01/favorite-photos-2016.html

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    1. Happy New Year to you as well, KS. I am looking forward to seeing your photos.

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