Monthly Archives: March 2011

“Blue-Eyed Mary”

I have just about given up, it’s not enough we have had to deal with winter for the last six months but now it seems I am being cursed and I now have to see the begining of my wildflower season here in Madison Indiana start out with like winter never left !!

Windy, cold and yes snowy conditions have plauged me the last week, what flowers that have begun to bloom have already either lost the bloom or it has been withered by the cold conditions, Bloodroot have almost completely been decimated and the other flowers are not fairing much better.

I have hiked Clifty Falls State Park the last couple of days and things don’t look very good, the bloom looks to be a week or two behind and what blooms that top the plants will probably be far from their usual splendor, hopefully we will get some warm temps over the weekend and we can get this display kicked and salvage the season !!

So out of pure boredom I have been going thru some past images from the park and have re edited some of the ones I didn’t get to post from past wildflower hikes, hopefully this will keep me from going stir crazy and driving my family crazy !! This is a Blue-eyed Mary and here is a description form Wikipedia

Collinsia parviflora is a species of flowering plant in the figwort family known by the common names maiden blue eyed Mary and small-flowered collinsia. This tiny wildflower is a common plant throughout much of western and northern North America, where it grows in moist, shady mountain forests. This is an annual plant with a spindly reddish stem and narrow lance-shaped green leaves with edges that curl under. The minuscule flowers grow singly or in loose clusters of several. Each flower has five lobes, the lower deep blue to purple and the upper white. The whole corolla is only a few millimeters across. The fruit is a small capsule.

Hopefully this cold snap will run its course and I can get out in the woods , but if this continues life in the Kasper household is going to go  south real fast, and my wife may just send me that way if I don’t straighten up  😉

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

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“First Clifty Falls Wildflowers”

Finally… After hurting my back last Saturday and a thousand other things going on in my life right now I was finally able to make it out to Clifty Falls State park in Madison Indiana this evening to get in on a little wildflower photography for the first time this year !!

And even though the flowers are really early and they are calling for a cool down the next few days it was an absolutely wonderful evening to get out the house and into the woods. My back hurt my mobility and kept me from going to my favorite haunts but I was able to capture a few shots of the early favorites that make their appearance on the forest floor before the big show next month.

I was able to capture these Rue Anenome as they just started to unfurl their beautiful blooms for all the world to see, they are very hard subject to photograph because of their small size and for their innate ability to never stop moving after they get caught by a breeze !!

These little gems have the coolest detail in their stamens and to be able to capture a sharp image of the center of the bloom is a prize anytime I can accomplish it. I was also able to photograph a couple of Bloodroot flowers which I will save for a later post, hopefully this will shape up  to be a  great wildflower season and I will be able to share it with you.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, and for better viewing click on image for best size.

 

 

 

 

“Waterfall Abstract”

I just returned form Clifty Falls State Park hoping to have acquired  my first card full of early wildflowers only to be relegated to my truck the entire time I was there !  Heavy rain and wind moved thru so I guess tomorrow will have to be opening day.

The good thing about all this rain is the moisture is great for the waterfalls that surround Madison Indiana and  make for some wonderful photographic subjects. The Park and  surrounding area I live in is lined with canyons and gorges that seem to have a waterfall at the back of almost every one of them.  Some of these falls may be only ten feet high and others are 80 feet or taller, and this is definitely the best time of year to view them,  spring is the monsoon season in Southern Indiana and this year it is especially wet !

There are 20+ Falls in this area that I would consider a major attraction it’s just too bad that they have not been developed for the public to view, the Falls in Clifty are the exception, but there are many more in Jefferson County that would rival Clifty in size and beauty!

I understand the logistics of developing them all into a tourist attraction would be quite an undertaking but the fact that no one has envisioned this as a major attraction for tourism really strikes me as being short sighted especially with the shape of the economy today, this would definitely separate Madison from all the other Regional tourist destinations.

Maybe someday someone will take the initiative and at least study the feasibility of using the vast amount of natural resources that we are so blessed to have in our local community and find a way for us all to benefit from it.

Well enough from the soapbox, here is an image from the the platform overlooking Little Clifty Falls, I thought this falls had a neat abstract look to it as the water flowed over the edge, I converted it to b&w and added a cool filter to it for a cold steel look.

Hope you enjoy the image and thanks for stopping by !!

 

“Madison Indiana Waterfalls”

We keep getting closer and closer, I went out Sunday and explored a couple of my secret wildflower haunts and found that the plants were just starting to poke up thru the leaf cover, with temps rising into the 70’s over the next few days it looks like late this week and weekend will be my first serious shoots out in the woods !!

So in the meantime here is an image I captured of one of the many waterfalls that grace the landscape of Madison Indiana and the surrounding area, this one lies very close to a busy highway with thousands of cars a day flying by without an inkling of the beauty that lays just off the roadside from them….and I kinda like it that way !!

I had to isolate just a part of the waterfall because of the trees and debris that still hang over it from the ice storm we had a couple of years ago.  Time or a chainsaw will eventually bring about a clearing around the falls and hopefully I can then show you a better image of this particularly beautiful falls.

I really like the lushness of this waterfall the green colors in the pool kinda puts you in the mind of a tropical paradise, but that is very far from the truth with this particular falls.  The falls has a ton of garbage and other debris that has been thrown over the cliff and washed down by the creek over the years and has really made this beautiful spot almost a landfill, with the right leadership this place could well become a park as is the case for all the other waterfalls in our county.

Hopefully someday the local officials will understand this beautiful and amazing environment that surround our community and turn these wonderful sites into a place people can visit and explore, until then I will just have to share them wth you thru my photography and maybe someday you will be able to visit them yourself !!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and as always click on the image for best viewing !!

 

“Flooded tree on the Ohio River”

Living here in Madison Indiana on the banks of the Ohio River you kinda get used to seeing the river rise every spring, it’s like a tradition, and like any other tradition you have to participate in you get to make your way to the river walk and watch the Big O spill out onto Vaughn drive and leave a wonderful variety of debris and garbage all along the length of the river front.

I walked down tonight with my wife and son to take part in said tradition and found out exactly what I thought I would find…. lots of debris and garbage !!

I guess it is kinda cool to see and it doesn’t get this high every year but when I walk along the banks all I think about is “who is going to clean this mess up” ?  Is this a sign I am getting old ?

Ok all kidding aside this is a hell of a lot of water flowing thru here, nothing like the Japanese Tsunami but still  really impressive to witness, my son got quite a few shots of it and of course I was too lazy to carry my camera with me so I guess you will have to just take my word for it.

I did go down the other day and got some shots with the trees that are usually way up on the bank but were partially submerged and made for a rather interesting comp. The river was covered in fog and it made for a great b&w conversion.

Maybe tomorrow I will actually carry my camera down there and get some pics to share with you  or I can just rely on my son to do the heavy lifting a let him take care of his old man 😉

Well anyway I hope you have a great weekend and for best viewing you can click on the image for the bigger size !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Foggy Morning In Madison”

Still a little while to go on the wildflower scene, moisture is not going to be a problem and the temps are staying pretty cool right now, so no color explosion as of yet  but it won’t be long !!Speaking of moisture… I spent some time out the other morning shooting some  landscape images, the fog that morning was pretty amazing along with the light, and living along the Ohio River always gives you a shot of getting great fog images along the river.     According to Wikipedia

Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth’s surface.[1] While fog is a type of a cloud, the term “fog” is typically distinguished from the more generic term “cloud” in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated locally (such as from a nearby body of water, like a lake or the ocean, or from nearby moist ground or marshes).[2]Fog forms when the difference between temperature and dew point is generally less than 2.5 °C or 4 F.[5]

Fog begins to form when water vapor condenses into tiny liquid water droplets in the air. The main ways water vapor is added to the air are: wind convergence into areas of upward motion,[6] precipitation or virga falling from above,[7] daytime heating evaporating water from the surface of oceans, water bodies or wet land,[8] transpiration from plants,[9] cool or dry air moving over warmer water,[10] and lifting air over mountains.[11] Water vapor normally begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust, ice, and salt in order to form clouds.[12][13] Fog, like its slightly elevated cousin stratus, is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass.[14]

Fog normally occurs at a relative humidity near 100%.[15] This can be achieved by either adding moisture to the air or dropping the ambient air temperature.[15] Fog can form at lower humidities, and fog can sometimes not form with relative humidity at 100%. A reading of 100% relative humidity means that the air can hold no additional moisture; the air will become supersaturated if additional moisture is added.
I guess that description was longer than necessary just too explain fog !!
So here is an image I was able to capture that morning..this one is from Clifty Falls State Park and it shows the stacks from the IKE Power Plant with the fog forming in the Ohio River Valley below them.
Well hopefully this will keep my creative fires burning until the spring bloom, I hope you enjoyed these and as always click on the image for best viewing..thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

 

“Clifty Falls Wildflowers”

One of the main components for a great wildflower bloom is moisture, and that is one thing we certainly won’t be short of this spring,  after another night of heavy storms we received nearly another inch of rain last night.  I am not sure of how much we have received the last month but it is surely way above average, I actually should be out photographing all the wonderful waterfalls in our area but the water is too high and muddy right now hopefully this weekend it will calm down a bit.

Just in anticipation of the bloom I thought I might add another image of a wildflower that I shot last spring, Hepatica which is one of the first to bloom, I love the beautiful shades of color this little flower takes on during the spring flowering season. Here is a detailed description of the flower that I borrowed from Wikipedia….

Hepatica (hepatica,[1] liverleaf,[2] or liverwort)[3] is a genus of herbaceous perennials in the buttercup family, native to central and northern Europe, Asia and eastern North America. Some botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone.[4][5]

Bisexual flowers with pink, purple, blue, or white sepals and three green bracts appear singly on hairy stems from late winter to spring. Butterflies, moths, bees, flies and beetles are known pollinators.

The leaves are basal, leathery, and usually three-lobed, remaining over winter.

Hepatica cultivation has been popular in Japan since the 18th Century (mid-Edo period), where flowers with doubled petals and a range of colour patterns have been developed .[6]

Noted for their tolerance of alkaline limestone-derived soils, Hepatica may grow in a wide range of conditions; it can be found either in deeply shaded deciduous (especially beech) woodland and scrub or grassland in full sun. Hepatica will also grow in both sandy and clay-rich substrates, being associated with limestone. Moist soil and winter snowfall is a requirement; Hepatica is tolerant of winter snow cover, but less so of dry frost.

Hepatica is named from its leaves, which, like the human liver (Greek hepar), have three lobes. It was once used as a medicinal herb. Owing to the doctrine of signatures, the plant was thought an effective treatment for liver disorders. Although poisonous in large doses, the leaves and flowers may be used as an astringent, demulcent for slow-healing injuries and as a diuretic .[4]

(Sorry for the cut and paste but I just don’t have the time or energy for a detailed description myself.)

I shot this flower at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana, if you ever get a chance there may be no more beautiful of  a park in the Midwest than Clifty Falls in the spring, with all the water in the creeks and falls and the lovely wildflowers that cover the park you can’t wrong with a stop at the Falls !!

I shot this early in the season and it was at the base of a rock where I worked this specimen, hence the dark shadowing and deep blue colors. Usually by Mid March these flowers will begin emerging  from their winter slumber and quickly will fill the canyons with their beautiful color and fragrance.

Hopefully the weather will hold and within a couple of weeks I will be sharing flowers with you from this season instead of past ones. Thanks for stopping by an taking a look, and for best viewing click on the image !!