Category Archives: flora

Fire Pink

firepink 1 2018

Fire Pink is another great wildflower that grows here in the Madison Indiana area. The red petals of the Fire Pink are one of the most striking and vivid colors in nature.

According to Wikipedia…
Silene virginica, the fire pink, is a wildflower in the pink family, Caryophyllaceae. It is known for its distinct brilliant red flowers. Each flower is approximately five centimeters in diameter and composed of five notched, brilliant red petals which extend into a long tube. It is a small (20–80 cm tall), short-lived perennial (2–3 years), with lance shaped leaves. Its stems, and the bases of the flowers, are covered in short sticky hairs. Fire pink begins blooming in late spring and continuing throughout the summer. It is sometimes grown in wildflower, shade, and rock gardens

Fire pink grows in open woods and rocky deciduous slopes in eastern North America, ranging as far north as extreme southern Ontario. It is protected as a state endangered species in Wisconsin and Florida, and as a state threatened species in Michigan.

Fire pink’s principal pollinator is the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), which is attracted by the flowers bright red petals and sugary nectar

If you are looking to view this great flower try driving county roads on the eastern side of Jefferson County. Look for dry rocky slopes. Splinter Ridge FWA is one the better areas to see this beautiful wildflower.

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Virginia Bluebells

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One of my favorite native wildflowers that grow here in the Madison Indiana area. The blue of a fresh blooming bluebell is one of the most beautifully striking colors in nature and one that must be seen close up. Adding in the lovely contrasting purple colors make this an extremely lovely sight to behold.

So if you get a chance try hiking thru some of the amazing gorges and hillsdies that line the Ohio River here in Southern Indiana and take a closer look at this little gem !!

First Wildflowers of the Year

Here are few wildflower shots from Clifty Falls State Park this spring, if you want to call it spring. This year has seen one of the worst blooms that I can remember rain, cold and snow have made it miserable and as of now I see no let up in sight.

Hopefully within the next couple weeks things will turn around and maybe I can get some quality photos of the beautiful wildflowers that our area has to offer.

The Madison Indiana area has a multitude or great spots to view wildflowers. Clifty Falls State Park, Splinter Ridge and Big Oaks NWR are just but a few of the great places to find the many diverse specimens of wildflowers that the Midwest has to offer.

Painted Lady

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Another example of one of the many diverse species of butterflies that live here in Southern Indiana. This one was photographed at Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana a couple weeks back. This year has seen an incredible number of painted ladies in the area which has been an unexpected surprise.

Hope you enjoy the image and I will share more in from Wikipedia…

The painted lady (V. cardui) is a large butterfly (wing span 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in)) identified by the black and white corners of its mainly deep orange, black-spotted wings. It has five white spots in the black forewing tips and while the orange areas may be pale here and there, there are no clean white dots in them. The hindwings carry four small submarginal eyespots on the dorsal and ventral sides. Those on the dorsal side are black, but in the summer morph sometimes small blue pupils are present.

The American painted lady (V. virginiensis) is most easily distinguishable by its two large hindwing eyespots on the ventral side. V. virginiensis also features a white dot within the subapical field of the forewings set in pink on the ventral side, and often as a smaller clean white dot in the orange of the dorsal side too. A less reliable indicator is the row of eyespots on the dorsal submarginal hindwing; V. virginiensis often has two larger outer spots with blue pupils. The black forewing tips have four to five white spots; usually the largest is whitish orange.

The West Coast lady (V. annabella) does not have obvious ventral eyespots. On the dorsal side, V. anabella lacks a white dot in the subapical orange found in V. virginiensis, and is a purer orange color. V. annabella has a fully orange subapical band and leading edge on the forewing. The submarginal row of hindwing spots in V. annabella features three or four blue pupils. The two larger pupils in V. annabella are the inner spots, rather than the outer spots as in corresponding V. virginiensis.

The Australian painted lady (V. kershawi) is quite similar to V. cardui. Its four ventral eyespots are less clearly defined, and it always sports at least three (often four) blue pupil spots on its dorsal hindwing. Caterpillars are found mainly on Ammobium alatum.

Wildflowers

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This slideshow is an example of just a few of the many wildflowers that I captured this year here in Jefferson County Indiana. They were all photographed in Clifty Falls State Park earlier this spring.

Some of the best wildflower displays I have ever witnessed came from our own backyard and if giving a chance you should get out and experience the wonderful natural diversity that this area has to offer.

Clifty Falls State Park, Splinter Ridge FWA and Big Oaks NWR are just a few places to go and view the beautiful display of wildflowers that inhabit our home.

Waterfalls and Wildflowers

crooked falls 3 2017virgin bells 1 2017

Madison Indiana is known far and wide as a Architectural gem with all of the Historic homes and one of the most unique Main Streets in the Midwest. Visitors come from all over to enjoy the many festivals that our community has to offer as well. Even though Madison has these attractions the one that we have never seemed to take advantage of is the incredible natural beauty that we have to offer.

Clifty Falls State Park, Big Oaks NWR, Splinter Ridge FWA and The Chelsea Flattwoods are just a few of the many places to enjoy the natural beauty of Southern Indiana. We also have one of the most incredible wildflower blooms in the Midwest not only at Clifty and the other public areas but drive any rural road during the spring and summer months and you will be able to view great displays of flowers that dot the countryside.

Our county also boasts more than 30 waterfalls like the one pictured above that when conditions are right flow thru and over the many gorges that line the Ohio River Valley.

For right now there are just too many places and facts to share with you about this great area we call home but sufficed to say Madison isn’t just about man made structures but maybe more importantly about what nature has to offer.

Coneflower Abstract

Coneflower Abstract by Bernie Kasper
Coneflower Abstract, a photo by Bernie Kasper on Flickr.

Loved this burst of color in this cone flower that I shot in my home in Madison Indiana.