Category Archives: floral

Common Buckeye

common buckeye 2 2017

Thought I would share another great butterfly from southern Indiana, the Common Buckeye, photographed at Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana. Maybe the most beautiful butterfly that inhabits our area and certainly one of my favorite.

According to Wikipedia….

Junonia coenia, the common buckeye or buckeye, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and all parts of the United States except the northwest, and is especially common in the south, the California coast, and throughout Central America ,Colombia & India .The subspecies Junonia coenia bergi is endemic to the island of Bermuda.

Its habitat is open areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. This species and its relatives were placed formerly in the genus Precis.

The bold pattern of eyespots and white bars on the upper wing surface is distinctive in much of its range, though compare related species in the same genus. These are mangrove buckeye (Junonia evarete) and tropical buckeye (Junonia genoveva), formerly considered one species, and the smoky buckeye (Junonia evarete). The eyespots likely serve to startle or distract predators, especially young birds. The species has many flights throughout the year, with mostly northward migrations for the summer. Much of the northern United States is only colonized in the fall from southern populations. Some of the later broods move southwards in the fall. Common buckeyes exhibit seasonal polyphenism, the summer version of the butterfly has light yellowish ventral wings and is called “linea”. The fall morph has pink ventral wings, and is called the “rosa” morph.

Adults feed on nectar and also take fluids from mud and damp sand. Males perch on bare ground or low plants, occasionally patrolling in search of females, but they are not territorial. The female lays eggs singly on buds or the upper side of leaves. The caterpillars are solitary and feed on the foliage, flowers, and fruits of the host plant. A variety of (typically) herbaceous plants are used, including especially plants in the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). These include snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia. Caterpillars also feed on plants of the plantain family, such as Plantago; and the Acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora). Larvae feed singly. Adults and some larvae overwinter in southern areas. The pupa may not have a resting phase (diapause), as in many other butterflies.

Well that’s the description of this great butterfly hope you enjoyed the info and image, thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

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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.

Squirrel Corn | Clifty Falls Wildflowers

Here is another example of a really cool little wildflower that grows at Clifty Falls State Park, and it is Squirrel Corn, very unique structure in this little gem and it makes for some really great photography.

According to the Kentucky Native Plant Association..

The foliage of this early spring wildflower is easily mistaken with the foliage of its close cousin, Dutchman’s Breeches (D. cucullaria). The easiest way to tell the plants apart is via the flowers, but the leaves of squirrel corn are typically shorter and there is one compound leaf per flowering stem compared to Dutchman’s breeches which has longer leaves and there are typically two leaves per flowering stem.  In addition, squirrel corn leaves have a tendency to have a more “open” appearance.  Like many members of the fumitory family, these plants are highly toxic and make for good garden plants because mammals, even deer, do not like to graze on them.  The leaves appear early in the growing season and completely disappear by mid-May but they can form dense colonies when established in the garden.  The plants are typically about 6″ tall and squirrel corn gets its common name from the underground food storage structures that look like corn kernels.  The flowers are quite distinctive and look like small hearts and the plant is named Dicentra which refers to the two spurs on the flowers and canadensis means from Canada.

This plant is easy to grow in the garden and it is one of those species that must be inter-planted with ferns or later blooming species because it is so ephemeral in nature.  Squirrel corn had great significance as a Love Charm to the Mennominee Indians and a young man would throw the flowers to his intended love or chew the roots which gave a perfumed smell in the face of the woman causing her to follow him from that time forward. The Onondaga called this plant the “Ghost corn” believing it was “food for the spirits.” Like trilliums, the seed of this group is dispersed by ants because the seeds contain a fatty substance called elaisome, which is highly relished by ants.  At the nest the elaisomes are eaten and the seeds are left to germinate.  The plants are primarily pollinated by bumblebees.  Historically the plant was used as a tonic and for use in treating syphilis.

So there is really good description of the wildflower and now for a couple of images. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

 

 

squirrel corn clifty falls state park madison indiana 1 2014

 

 

squirrel corn 2 2014 clifty falls state park madison indiana

 

Winter Photography

Took a long hike out to one my favorite photography spots just outside of Madison Indiana the other day in search of a subject besides a human one for once.  Came across some wonderful scenes and subjects which I will share in later posts, but one of the first subjects I photographed, which was in abundance was the common Cutleaf Teasel.

The Teasel is a great subject to photograph during the summer it attracts hosts ranging from Butterflies, Hummingbirds and other insects, and then during the fall many bird species use the thistle as a food source.

Because of the plants structure though the winter is my favorite time to photograph it, the teasel makes for interesting comps with the snow clinging to the towering stalks,  and I was able to capture a couple of totally different moods in the subject that day.

The first image was captured as the sun was setting and filled the scene with this lovely warm light which made for a great contrast against the snow. The second image was more of an isolated one and I converted it to black and white to give it a darker mood.

I think that d0ing this shoot in the winter it is the only way to have shown such a contrasting view of this subject and it really helps my photography to capture and share both of them with you.Thanks for stopping by and taking  a look !!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                            thistle 2 2014

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                          thistle 1 2014

Large Flowering Trillium

Any day now the canyons and woodlots that surround my home here in Madison Indiana will come alive with the annual wildflower display that welcomes spring !!

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.

A Million Miles Away

Sitting here listening to Duran Duran feeling like I am a million miles away from everything, missing being in the mountains with the warm moist sensations of the lush forests of wildflowers that blanket the mountainside.  Sitting here enduring another dark cold Indiana winter evening wishing the landscape would turn green and bring back the vivid color display that breathes life back into these old bones…Turning 50 sucks lol !!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Trillium 6 gsmnp 2012