Clifty Falls Wildflowers…Trout Lily

Another great wildflower that grows in our area is the Trout Lily. Found in large clusters this beautiful little flower gets it’s name for the trout like pattern on the leaves of the newly emerging wildflower.

The trout lily sprouts and flowers in early spring, before new tree leaves grow. Plants grow from a white bulb that have a tooth-like shape. This wildflower will usually grow when underground rhizomes spread and form clusters or colonies. Mature plants also spread by seeds. Ants can scatter the seeds, eating part of the seed and leaving the rest to germinate. And some trout lily colonies can be 200 to 300 years old.

The plants are found in woodland habitats and moist hillsides the stamens can either be yellow or black and can be quite large for such a small plant. The Trout Lily is just another great example of all the wonderful wildflowers that are on display right now just waiting for you to view.

Tunnel Falls

tunnel falls 1 2019

When you think of Indiana usually its basketball or corn fields that come to mind but in Southern Indiana there are an amazing number of large waterfalls that dot the canyons and gorges that lead into the Ohio River.

In Jefferson County there are over forty falls that are forty feet or bigger that call this area home. Clifty Falls has several large beautiful falls including Tunnel which is pictured here. Tunnel Falls is roughly 83 feet tall and fifteen feet wide and after an extended rainy period it can become quite the scene to behold.

With all the wildflowers and waterfalls our area has to offer Jefferson County can be quite the eco friendly place to come for a weekend trip to experience all the natural beauty.

Early Season Wildflowers

 

Here is a small gallery of the wonderful early season wildflowers that grace the canyons and woodlots of Jefferson County Indiana.

Going clockwise we have Bloodroot, Hepatica,Harbinger of Spring and Rue Anenome . All of these little gems can now be found blooming all across Southern Indiana and many other places across the Midwest.

There is not much in life that I enjoy more than wandering all the wild places that our home has to offer and attempt to capture and share the beauty of these amazing examples of the natural elegance that the spring bloom has to offer.

It doesn’t last long and it is something you really must witness in person. So get out of the house take a hike to one of the great natural areas we have here in Southern Indiana.

 

Hepatica

hepatica 1 2019

It is so hard to keep up but its spring and that means wildflowers and I will never pass up a chance to share one of my favorite photography subjects with you.

One of the great early season wildflowers is Hepatica a wonderful little flower that usually begin to bloom in middle to late March on wooded slopes and ravines.

Right now the woods are alive with them and there should be plenty in bloom over the next couple weeks. It will be a great time to get out and explore all the beautiful natural areas Southern Indiana has to offer.

Monarch Frenzy

Frenzy is the only word I can use to describe what I have been seeing here in Madison Indiana when it comes to Monarch behavior the last couple evenings. And I think this is as close as I may ever come to witnessing a full fledged Monarch roost as I may ever come to see as well.

I work at King’s Daughters’ Health a hospital based in Southern Indiana near Madison. The hospital sits on twenty two acres of land that right now is covered in Goldenrod and White Aster. We are also right in the middle of the annual Monarch migration and with this years brood of butterflies being one of the best, some say in the last twenty years, it has definitely made for a frenzy of activity right at my own workplace!

The last two nights I have observed hundreds of these beautiful creatures and they have been so accommodating to my presence that I have been able to capture many images of these majestic little jewels, probably more than in any other year of photographing them, all in two evenings!

I don’t know how long this will last the weather tonight turned windy and wet and while leaving work I did not see nearly as many gliding over the fields like I had seen in the last couple days. Hopefully the weather will settle and maybe if I am lucky I will get a couple more shots at this amazing spectacle before they continue on their migration south to central Mexico.

There are many times in life’s journey you come across times that make such an impression on you that you carry them with you the rest of your life and I believe this may be one of those times. Some people may scoff at this but when you spend as much time as I have pursuing these and all other butterflies the last few years it’s these times that make it all worth while!

Hope you enjoy the images and maybe someday you will be able to witness a moment like this as well!

Monarchs on the Move

The last few nights have been amazing following the Monarchs here in Madison Indiana. It looks like the Monarch Migration is in full swing and looks to be one of the most impressive ones in recent memory.

I really believe I have seen more Monarchs the last few weeks than I have see in my lifetime. One day last week I stood in one spot and gazed over a field of New England Aster and Goldenrod and counted thirty six feeding on the blooms.

But I have heard stories of people just to our north coming across roosts of these magnificent creatures where hundreds have landed for the night, that is what I am looking for! What an incredible sight would that be to behold.

I guess if I keep looking and hitting the fields and woodlots here in Southern Indiana sooner or later I will get my wish and if not it has been an incredible year for photographing and viewing butterflies.

There isn’t too much time left before they will all be gone as the seasons change but it will cool down and the leaves will change and more opportunities will be there for me to get out and photograph all the beauty the area has to offer.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Zebra Swallowtail

zebra 1 2018

Another awesome butterfly captured at Big Oaks NWR in Madison Indiana. This is one of my favorite butterflies not because of their beauty or elegance but because of their aggressive nature.

As an example last year I was sitting in a lawn chair photographing great spangled fritillaries on butterfly weed at Splinter Ridge FWA in southern Indiana. The plant was covered with the fritillaries but this one beat up zebra would fly in and run off every other butterfly on that plant and even took aim at me a couple times flying right up into my face just daring me to do something !!

So even though they are one of the most beautiful and unique butterflies that grace our local fields and woodlots it is their fighting spirit that really makes them one of my favorites !!

Thanks for stopping by and having a look.