Category Archives: indiana wildflowers

“Dutchman’s Breeches”

Here is another image form my recent hikes to shoot wildflowers, this little jewel is called Dutchman’s Breeches, according to Wikipedia

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s breeches) is a perennial herbaceous plant, native to rich woods of eastern North America, with a disjunct population in the Columbia River Basin.[1]

The common name Dutchman’s breeches derives from their white flowers that look like white breeches

Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s Breeches)

Height is 15-40 cm. Root is a cluster of small pink to white teardrop-shaped bulblets. Leaves are 10-36 cm long and 4-18 cm broad, with a petiole up to 15 cm long; they are trifoliate, with finely divided leaflets.

Flowers are white, 1-2 cm long, and are born in spring on flower stalks 12-25 cm long.

Dutchman’s breeches is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants, a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant nest debris.

The western populations have sometimes been separated as Dicentra occidentalis on the basis of often somewhat coarser growth, but do not differ from many eastern plants in the Appalachians.

I usually try to show the green foliage with this wildflower but on this image I went with an abstract extreme closeup, I purposely kept the nearest bloom in focus and then on the rest of the blooms I tried blurring each bloom as they faded away. It was just something a little different to keep my images form getting stale.

I shot this image at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana, I hope you enjoy the image and as usual click image for larger view, thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

                                                                                                                                                                                         

“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 !!

“Blue-Eyed Mary”

I have just about given up, it’s not enough we have had to deal with winter for the last six months but now it seems I am being cursed and I now have to see the begining of my wildflower season here in Madison Indiana start out with like winter never left !!

Windy, cold and yes snowy conditions have plauged me the last week, what flowers that have begun to bloom have already either lost the bloom or it has been withered by the cold conditions, Bloodroot have almost completely been decimated and the other flowers are not fairing much better.

I have hiked Clifty Falls State Park the last couple of days and things don’t look very good, the bloom looks to be a week or two behind and what blooms that top the plants will probably be far from their usual splendor, hopefully we will get some warm temps over the weekend and we can get this display kicked and salvage the season !!

So out of pure boredom I have been going thru some past images from the park and have re edited some of the ones I didn’t get to post from past wildflower hikes, hopefully this will keep me from going stir crazy and driving my family crazy !! This is a Blue-eyed Mary and here is a description form Wikipedia

Collinsia parviflora is a species of flowering plant in the figwort family known by the common names maiden blue eyed Mary and small-flowered collinsia. This tiny wildflower is a common plant throughout much of western and northern North America, where it grows in moist, shady mountain forests. This is an annual plant with a spindly reddish stem and narrow lance-shaped green leaves with edges that curl under. The minuscule flowers grow singly or in loose clusters of several. Each flower has five lobes, the lower deep blue to purple and the upper white. The whole corolla is only a few millimeters across. The fruit is a small capsule.

Hopefully this cold snap will run its course and I can get out in the woods , but if this continues life in the Kasper household is going to go  south real fast, and my wife may just send me that way if I don’t straighten up  😉

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

“First Clifty Falls Wildflowers”

Finally… After hurting my back last Saturday and a thousand other things going on in my life right now I was finally able to make it out to Clifty Falls State park in Madison Indiana this evening to get in on a little wildflower photography for the first time this year !!

And even though the flowers are really early and they are calling for a cool down the next few days it was an absolutely wonderful evening to get out the house and into the woods. My back hurt my mobility and kept me from going to my favorite haunts but I was able to capture a few shots of the early favorites that make their appearance on the forest floor before the big show next month.

I was able to capture these Rue Anenome as they just started to unfurl their beautiful blooms for all the world to see, they are very hard subject to photograph because of their small size and for their innate ability to never stop moving after they get caught by a breeze !!

These little gems have the coolest detail in their stamens and to be able to capture a sharp image of the center of the bloom is a prize anytime I can accomplish it. I was also able to photograph a couple of Bloodroot flowers which I will save for a later post, hopefully this will shape up  to be a  great wildflower season and I will be able to share it with you.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, and for better viewing click on image for best size.

 

 

 

 

“Madison Indiana Waterfalls”

We keep getting closer and closer, I went out Sunday and explored a couple of my secret wildflower haunts and found that the plants were just starting to poke up thru the leaf cover, with temps rising into the 70’s over the next few days it looks like late this week and weekend will be my first serious shoots out in the woods !!

So in the meantime here is an image I captured of one of the many waterfalls that grace the landscape of Madison Indiana and the surrounding area, this one lies very close to a busy highway with thousands of cars a day flying by without an inkling of the beauty that lays just off the roadside from them….and I kinda like it that way !!

I had to isolate just a part of the waterfall because of the trees and debris that still hang over it from the ice storm we had a couple of years ago.  Time or a chainsaw will eventually bring about a clearing around the falls and hopefully I can then show you a better image of this particularly beautiful falls.

I really like the lushness of this waterfall the green colors in the pool kinda puts you in the mind of a tropical paradise, but that is very far from the truth with this particular falls.  The falls has a ton of garbage and other debris that has been thrown over the cliff and washed down by the creek over the years and has really made this beautiful spot almost a landfill, with the right leadership this place could well become a park as is the case for all the other waterfalls in our county.

Hopefully someday the local officials will understand this beautiful and amazing environment that surround our community and turn these wonderful sites into a place people can visit and explore, until then I will just have to share them wth you thru my photography and maybe someday you will be able to visit them yourself !!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and as always click on the image for best viewing !!

 

“Clifty Falls Wildflowers”

One of the main components for a great wildflower bloom is moisture, and that is one thing we certainly won’t be short of this spring,  after another night of heavy storms we received nearly another inch of rain last night.  I am not sure of how much we have received the last month but it is surely way above average, I actually should be out photographing all the wonderful waterfalls in our area but the water is too high and muddy right now hopefully this weekend it will calm down a bit.

Just in anticipation of the bloom I thought I might add another image of a wildflower that I shot last spring, Hepatica which is one of the first to bloom, I love the beautiful shades of color this little flower takes on during the spring flowering season. Here is a detailed description of the flower that I borrowed from Wikipedia….

Hepatica (hepatica,[1] liverleaf,[2] or liverwort)[3] is a genus of herbaceous perennials in the buttercup family, native to central and northern Europe, Asia and eastern North America. Some botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone.[4][5]

Bisexual flowers with pink, purple, blue, or white sepals and three green bracts appear singly on hairy stems from late winter to spring. Butterflies, moths, bees, flies and beetles are known pollinators.

The leaves are basal, leathery, and usually three-lobed, remaining over winter.

Hepatica cultivation has been popular in Japan since the 18th Century (mid-Edo period), where flowers with doubled petals and a range of colour patterns have been developed .[6]

Noted for their tolerance of alkaline limestone-derived soils, Hepatica may grow in a wide range of conditions; it can be found either in deeply shaded deciduous (especially beech) woodland and scrub or grassland in full sun. Hepatica will also grow in both sandy and clay-rich substrates, being associated with limestone. Moist soil and winter snowfall is a requirement; Hepatica is tolerant of winter snow cover, but less so of dry frost.

Hepatica is named from its leaves, which, like the human liver (Greek hepar), have three lobes. It was once used as a medicinal herb. Owing to the doctrine of signatures, the plant was thought an effective treatment for liver disorders. Although poisonous in large doses, the leaves and flowers may be used as an astringent, demulcent for slow-healing injuries and as a diuretic .[4]

(Sorry for the cut and paste but I just don’t have the time or energy for a detailed description myself.)

I shot this flower at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana, if you ever get a chance there may be no more beautiful of  a park in the Midwest than Clifty Falls in the spring, with all the water in the creeks and falls and the lovely wildflowers that cover the park you can’t wrong with a stop at the Falls !!

I shot this early in the season and it was at the base of a rock where I worked this specimen, hence the dark shadowing and deep blue colors. Usually by Mid March these flowers will begin emerging  from their winter slumber and quickly will fill the canyons with their beautiful color and fragrance.

Hopefully the weather will hold and within a couple of weeks I will be sharing flowers with you from this season instead of past ones. Thanks for stopping by an taking a look, and for best viewing click on the image !!

 

“Madison Indiana Wildflowers”

It’s getting closer and closer, everyday I am becoming a little more wild eyed just knowing the woods will soon come alive with wildflowers and I can then escape this cocoon of deary weather we call winter, and  get out and feel the warm spring sun on my face !!

I actually grabbed my son and we headed out on a little scouting excursion to Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana, thinking maybe I might see a hint of spring but we were rewarded with lots of water instead, about 2 inches of rain fell last night and it really filled all the falls and creeks in the park to capacity. I might try to get back there this weekend after the mud clears out of the water and get a few waterfall shots….that makes for  a great time as well.

So just to keep my fires burning here is another spring shot from last year, another cool little plant called Toad-shade  as per Wikipedia

Trillium sessile (Toadshade or Sessile-flowered wake-robin) is a perennial spring wildflower native to the central part of the eastern United States and the Ozarks. It is a small trillium (rarely over 9 cm tall). Toadshade can be distinguished from other trilliums by its single foul smelling, stalkless, flower nestled in the middle of its three leaves. The three maroon petals, maintain a “closed” posture throughout its presence, the petals are occasionally pale green. The leaves are sometimes, but not always mottled with shades of light and dark green. Its species name comes from the Latin word sessilis which means low sitting, and refers to its stalkless flower.

And here is a image I got at Clifty Falls last year, so if you come across this little gem you can now impress your friends with your knowledge of plant identification.  Thanks for stopping by and taking a look and as always click on the image for best viewing !!