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.
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 !!
As I sit here staring out the window onto a cold ,wet lifeless landscape my mind can’t help but to wander back to last spring when the woods and hills that surround my home here in Madison Indiana were ablaze with the vibrant colors of early spring !!
The lush greens of the newly emergent foliage along with the beautiful colors of the blooms that adorn them always help to drive away the somber mood of late winter, especially after a long cold winter, bringing with it the anticipation of a warm and welcoming season I have longed far too long for.
Nearly every color is represented by this natural wonder that bestows the valley I live in, from the early season whites of the Bloodroot to the late season red of the Wild Columbine, the color palette of this natural display never seems to disappoint even in bad weather conditions there is still plenty of beautiful color to be photographed !!
If you are a macro photographer there is no better time of year to ply your craft, there is nothing more beautiful than a wildflower bloom freshly conceived from it’s bud and to be able to photograph it in it’s newly formed appearance is an amazing feet to be able to produce and witness.
I photographed this lovely Virgina Bluebell just as it began it’s journey thru it’s life process, from it’s emergence from the soil till it’s ultimate decay and death, I am trully blessed to live in an are where I can witness and photograph such a wonderful process.
Hopefully within a month I will be able to bring you this years edition of the wildflowers of Southern Indiana. I thought I might leave you with a quote from a wonderful artist by the name of Georgia O’Keeffe who’s flower paintings are world renowned and is widely viewed as one of Americas greatest artists…
When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it,
it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to
someone else. Most people in the city rush around so,
they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see
it whether they want to or not.
- Georgia O’Keeffe
As of this Saturday I will have done my third wedding in seven weeks with more to follow in the fall, I have also shot numerous portrait and other miscellaneous photographic work, and I am really starting to miss what I first got into photography for and that was the nature side of it.
I have actually enjoyed the portrait side of photography, except for the endless editing, but you just can’t beat a cool spring morning hiking into the wet green world of a Clifty Falls Canyon and photographing a beautiful stand of Wild Columbine or Trillium. As beautiful as the weddings I have been a part of so far the real beauty of the natural world far outshines anything man can put together, not that I don’t enjoy my new gig, you just can’t replace the world outside our doorsteps.
This is a image of one of my favorite little wildflowers..The Blue-Eyed Mary, these little beauties grow in clusters along the creek bottoms that carve their way thru the hills and gorges that make up Southern Indiana. I shot these in Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana one beautiful spring morning, it was one of those mornings when the fog hung close to the ground and the colors in the woods were so saturated and vivid you just couldn’t feel more alive !!
That’s one of my favorite things about photography, just when I needed a break from the hectic world I live in now all I have to do is pull out some old files and the memories of a great day in the woods come flooding back to help you get thru the boredom of everyday life. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, as always click on the image for best viewing !!
I thought I might share another wildflower image from the Madison Indiana area, this one is a Virginia Bluebell and was shot at Clifty Falls Sate Park, I captured it on a beautiful spring morning in early April. Bluebells are one my favorite flowers to photograph not only for their wonderful color but also because of the wonderful fragrance that they emit when they grow in large patches.
Standing on a hillside covered with these spring beauties is definitely a wonderful experience that any photographer are any one else who loves the outdoors should enjoy, the beautiful blue and green color contrast between the bloom and the foliage is a definite must see if you ever have a chance to hike out into a large patch of this early season wildflower.
So here you go another post within a couple days maybe this is a pattern I can keep up with !!
View at larger size for best image result.
Here is one more Bluebell from earlier this spring, it was great year for Virginia Bluebells, there seemed to more blooms than usual and the flowers were full of color and didn’t seem to have many blemishes. It was a pretty good all around wildflower season as well, I shot a large variety of flowers and got quite a few good compositions.
I think I might post one more but hopefully I can move on too other things to shoot so I don’t bore you all with my subjects. We have been experiencing a generous amount of rainfall the last couple of weeks so I am hoping I can get a few nice waterfall or creek compositions on here for something a little different.
I wish I could get a little more motivated and shoot all the beautiful falls that grace the area I live, I counted one time that we have from one side of our county to the other over 30 waterfalls 30 feet or bigger that if you get enough rain make for a amazing scene. It is just very hard considering most of the falls, not including the ones at Clifty Falls State Park, are quite difficult to reach.
Maybe someday when I have more time I can go out and capture all of them and convey their beauty to you, but for right now I will stick to the easier stuff, thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!