Like Me on Facebook

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wine. (Robller in New Haven, MO)

I've always been in love with this location and their wine... and for sure the folks who run the place. Robert and Lois found the ideal location for their "retirement" (seriously? is a winery really "retirement" - it sounds like a lot more WORK to me! ha!) It sits up on a hill in Franklin County that boasts beautiful views and great light.
The light is so amazing here. Golden hues at sunset to deep blues in the afternoon...
The vines reach for the light... that helps them produce the wine that fills the bottles that in turn fills the glasses...
The wine, the people, the view... and the laid-back family atmosphere keep people coming back for more. 
This place has inspired my photographs for many years and has helped teach me that patience will pay off for a great shot...
Thank you Robller... for more information here's their website:

and for more about my photography "like" MK Designs Photography Fine Art and Portrait on facebook or see my website here:

All photos and words by Michelle of MK Designs. DO NOT COPY/REUSE without permission. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Southern Illinois Bound (Part Three) Last Day

After I packed up camp and had a little yogurt breakfast in Carbondale... I took my camera, hiking shoes, and backpack to do a short trail at Giant City State Park. Just like Garden of the Gods, I was suprised at all the signs warning me of all the "danger" ahead.

The one-mile Giant City Nature Trail instantly warns all who enter it is "rugged" but I clearly didn't let that drive me away, neither did the trail runner who kept going back and forth - weaving in and out of the rock formations. I would have snapped his photo but I was always taken off guard by his speed and agility while running through Giant City! 

But... I did photograph the rock formations... the play of light on them... and even some of the grafitti people have left there over the years. 

It was a great (sweaty!) hike to celebrate the official start of summer in June and an excellent way to end the trip before having making lunch at the park and driving home...

If you want to go hike, photograph, camp or explore Giant City... here's their website:

I know I plan to go back there sometime and spend more time in this park. It's just beautiful!

For more information on my photography find me on facebook as always, or my website:

All words and images by Michelle of MK Designs. 2012. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Southern Illinois Bound (Part Two)

After getting completely soaked (by sweat!) at Jackson Falls, it was time to go even more "east" in the Shawnee National Forest to "Garden of the Gods" - upon arrival I was impressed that a sign said that the 1/4 trail would take about 45 minutes. Once I was on it, I understood why...
High cliffs with amazing rock formations await and while there are a few times the hike gets a little tricky - it's so easy to spend some of that estimated 45 minutes absorbed in the scenery...

Much like Elephant Rocks in Southern Missouri, there are many areas with carvings of names from many, many years ago...

The views of the expanse of forest land in the Shawnee is just impressive. It's a great feeling to know we still have these places protected from developers...

And, beyond this being just an amazing rock formation - quick photographic tip - I didn't use a fancy filter here, I just put my sunglasses over the camera lens. The sunglasses have a polarizer and an amber tint to them that I enjoy in photographs!

After leaving that area of the Shawnee, it was back West to my campsite and this is what awaited me when I arrived... the peacefulness of the Shawnee National Forest. This would be my last night (the heat drove me off quicker than I'd hoped) there this time... but not until I spent the next day exploring Giant City State Park nestled in the Shawnee near Carbondale... which will be in the next blog entry!

All Photographs and words by Michelle of MK Designs. See my site here: