Well, we’re a week in to the new year and so far, so good! 🙂 I know many commented on Facebook and Twitter that 2016 went down as one of the worst years in history and they were so glad to see it end and a new year start. Yeah – I was one that had something horrible happen in 2016 and there were definitely a lot of friends that went through extremely bad times and tough personal losses. It also seemed like there were a lot more than usual deaths of celebrities – especially there in the last month or so! And, we won’t even get into all the crap that was on the news around the world in 2016.
But, I’m not one to throw a wet blanket on the whole year because of it. Bad things happen. Good things happen that may or may not be great enough to balance out the bad. And, even if they don’t balance out, life goes on and, over time, things get better. Every year has its ups and downs. I don’t buy into the thought that just because some really smart person a million years ago discovered how time worked and decided that the years turn over every 365 days that that means that at 11:59 pm every December 31st, we get to say goodbye to all our troubles and get a clean slate to carry into the new year. And, we humans are a curious lot……we like to say goodbye to our troubles, but not our successes……how does that work and who decides what gets wiped clean and what gets to move on to the new year with us?
OK…..so, I’m getting a tad too philosophical for a Saturday morning, but you get my point! All that said, I do love the feeling of starting anew – I feel rejuvenated on January 1st and again when the first signs of Spring start to pop up! Can’t help it! So, even though I don’t blame 2016 for whatever went wrong during the year, I am still looking forward to discovering how wonderful 2017 can be……and hope that it will be truly wonderful!
And, there was a lot to say about the truly wonderful parts of 2016, too! Like, I spent a really wonderful month with my brother and sister-in-law on the road trip of a lifetime…..we saw and did things that probably would have taken me the rest of my life to get around to and some I didn’t even know I would want to do! I colored in almost the entire center section of the United States on my “States I’ve Visited” map and got down to just 13 continental states left to see before I kick that proverbial bucket! And……I got to see Alaska on an amazing cruise with a good friend – something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. We won’t mention how many years that means it was on my bucket list…..let’s just say, it was there before there was actually a “list” for it to be on! And, I got to do it in 2016. So, the first half of 2016 really sucked, but the second half was really awesome!
I also took my amateur photography hobby to a whole new level…….I improved my “eye” for good photos and had a lot of fun with some goofy shots, too! I’ll end this blabbering with some of my very favorite photos of the ones I took in 2016. I hope you enjoy seeing them again as much as I do!
My very favorite shot from our Most Excellent Adventure……my brother and sister-in-law having a “moment” overlooking the Badlands in South Dakota!
The motley crew…….I swore I’d never buy or use a selfie-stick, but knew there’d be times we might want all of us in a photo during the trip, so I broke down and got one…..this was only one of two times we used it and I haven’t used it since, but this shot right here was worth having it in my bag!!!
A warm August evening at Point Breeze
One of many nice photos from my visit to Robin Hill Nature Preserve in Lyndonville
A rainbow that appears to end right on the dome of our County Courthouse
I got a LOT of great bird shots……especially ones of the wonderful hummingbirds that visited my feeders
I really enjoyed getting out there and taking photos at community events – like the Albion Sip and Stroll Through History Wine Walk
The squirrels gave me lots of photography fun…..but, this one will go down in history as the best!
I met a lot of interesting people through my lens……like this guy from Chicago who was one of about 750 cyclists who came through Albion on their ride from Buffalo to Albany on the canal….what a hoot this guy was!
One of my favorite shots from our Alaska trip…..the engine being switched from one end to the other of a train ride we took for the return trip
My favorite shot from the Albion Strawberry Festival parade – my nephew anxiously watching up the street for the parade to start
No secret – I love taking pictures of food to capture the feeling of a day…..this is of some hot dogs being served at the Albion Rotary booth at the Strawberry Festival……and I love that I also got a kids hands excitedly reaching for his bounty!
One of several great shots capturing the feel of the day at a Peony Tree Festival I attended
This sculpture caught my eye in the house at the Peony Festival and it turned out to be a really cool shot!
As a hat lover, I couldn’t resist this lovely display at a Bed and Breakfast a friend and I stayed at while visiting the NY Amish Trail
Birds and Squirrels were not ALL I caught at my bird feeding station!
I saw my very first Orioles at my feeders this year!
These turkey buzzards were an interesting group
I caught this shot of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard Duck in a flooded spot on the other side of my fence a couple days after my Mom passed……took it as a sign that she and my Dad came to visit and let me know they are together and OK!
First signs of spring on a hike in the Swallow Hollow Nature Walk
Bells from the amazing Bell Choir at our church!
One of my favorite spots in Mount Albion in the snow in January
Lake Ontario at Sunset Beach on a cold, windy October day
I entered this photo, among others, in a photo contest and it won an honorable mention and is included in the 2017 Orleans Tourism Calendar! I took it in October at Mount Albion.
I’ve taken a LOT of photos of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Mount Albion – one in particular has been my favorite for years, but this one I took in October took over the top spot as my favorite photo of the tower!
So, there you have it……2016 in pictures! Now, let’s move on and see what great photos I’ll post next January as my favorites to represent 2017!!!