“Thunderstorm Wildflowers”

BOOM…followed by an even louder thunderclap roused me  from my warm conformable environment, sheets of wind and rain followed,  I was now smack dab in the middle  of a Southern Indiana thunderstorm !!   But the only problem was I wasn’t home in my warm comfortable bed or on my couch but I was stuck underneath a rock outcropping in one of the deep canyons that make up Clifty Falls Sate Park.

For being stuck outside durng a heavy thunderstorm my shelter was actually a pretty comfortable place to be, I could sit and watch the storm unfold before my eyes and experience the whole ordeal from the relatively dry ground underneath the rock ledge !!  The cool thing about the whole ordeal was there happened to be a big male turkey very close to my location that would gobble after every thunder clap which made the situation that much more enjoyable.

Now you might be wondering what I was doing to get myself in such a predicament, well photographing wildflowers is the answer to that question, finally after what seemed like an eternity of winter weather I was able to get out Saturday morning to shoot some wildflowers.  And as you can tell by now I no sooner got into Clifty Falls State Park then all hell broke loose, I had just hiked down into one of the gorges when the storm snuck up on me and left me nowhere to go but under this fortuitously located rock outcropping.

After a long stretch of wind and rain I was finally able to venture out into the woods to photograph the native wildflowers that make their home in the Park.  The spring season has pretty much been a bust so far but things were definitely turning around this morning, all around flowers were sharing their beautifully colored blooms for the world to witness, and it seems I had finally been in the right place at the right time.

There were many specimens to shoot and not enough time to get them all in, but I can tell you I tried real hard to shoot them all, I will post  many of them later but the ones I spent  most of this morning on were the Virginia Bluebells, according to Wikipedia

The Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica; also Virginia Cowslip, Lungwort Oysterleaf, Roanoke Bells) is a spring ephemeral plant with bell-shaped sky-blue flowers opening from pink buds, native to moist woodland in eastern North America.

Leaves are rounded and gray-green, borne on a stem up to 60 cm (2 ft) high. They are petiolate at the bottom of the flower stem and sessile at the top.

Flowers with five petals fused into a tube, five stamens, and a central pistil (carpel) are borne in mid-spring in nodding cymes at the end of arched stems. Buds are pink-tinged, changing to sky-blue as they open. White flowers occur rarely.

Stamen and pistil are spaced too far apart for self-fertilization. The flower can be pollinated by bumblebees, but due to its funnel shape, bumblebees must hover, making the bumblebee a rare pollinator. Butterflies are the most common pollinators, because they can easily perch on the edges and still enjoy the nectar.In early summer, each fertilized flower produces four seeds within wrinkled nuts, and the plant goes dormant till the next spring

These are some of the most colorful blooms in the spring forest and one of my favorites to shoot, the hills that surround Madison Indiana are covered in these in good years and they make for quite a spectacular show when in full bloom !!

This image was shot just as the sun penetrated the clouds after the morning thunderstorms, I loved the water droplets and how they interacted with the morning light, it was just one of the many images I shot that morning and hopefully I will be able to get more the next few days. This is the peak time to be in the woods so if you get a chance try to get out for a hike at Clifty or anywhere else wildflowers grow…just make sure you check the weather report before you go !!

Thanks for stopping by and click on the image for best viewing !!


15 thoughts on ““Thunderstorm Wildflowers”

  1. montucky

    Beautiful photo, Bernie! Well worth waiting out the storm, I’d say. I love being out in storms like that and you had a great place to weather it.

  2. Tomas Turecek

    Beautiful photo, Bernie (crystal clear and precisely sharp, with beautiful bright colours) and accompanying story is also great. Hopefully nothing serious happend to you in that storm.

  3. Lana

    I’ve always enjoyed your photos of the bluebells, but (as you say,) the water droplets makes this shot particularly wonderful! Sorry about the bad weather. I think a tornado or two were in our area a couple of weeks back. I took some video of the thunder, lightning & winds & from time to time there was this strange sound I’d never heard before…It sounded like a freight train!


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