Category Archives: plants

Smoky Mountain Iris

dwarf crested iris 2 2018.jpg

I thought I might share another image from my recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This time we will meet the Dwarf Crested Iris another one my favorite wildflowers that grace the mountains of Tennessee.

Because of how lazy I can be I will just give you the info that I pulled off of Wikipedia it’s so much easier lol !!!

Iris cristata (also known as dwarf crested iris and crested iris) is a species in the genus Iris, it is also in the subgenus of Limniris. It is a rhizomatous perennial plant, endemic to the eastern United States. It has pale lavender flowers with a white patch and orange or yellow crest. It is a close relative to Iris lacustris (Dwarf lake iris), the only other crested iris native to North America. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate regions.

It has slender, greenish, or whitish yellow rhizomes. They are shallow rooted. They spread by sending out long stolons from multiple branches. They can have up to 2-8 cord-like branches.[12] The branches can be 20–30 cm (8–12 in) long and 1-2mm wide. Under the rhizomes are fleshy-like roots. The branches are brown. The creeping habit can create large masses of plants over time.

It has 6-8 basal leaves, which are divided onto 2-3 proximal (close to centre) leaves and 4-5 distal (away from centre) leaves. The proximal leaves are falcate (sickle-shaped), light brown with a darker brown central mid-rib, and the distal leaves are ensiform (sword-like), green or yellowish green, with a few visible veins. They can grow up to between 7.5–15 cm (3–6 in) long and 1-2.5 cm wide. They elongate after flowering, growing up to 15–40 cm (6–16 in) long. The elongated leaves hide any seed pods produced later.

It has short stems, (almost stemless), growing up to between 2.5–4.5 cm (1–2 in) tall. The pedicel or stem, is the same length to the ovary.

It has an overall height with stem and flower reaching 7–10 cm (3–4 in) tall.

It has 2-3 cauline (on the stem), spathes (leaves of the flower bud), which are green, falcate (sickle-shaped) slightly inflated, unequal (outer leaves are shorter than the inner leaves) and 2–6 cm (1–2 in) long.

The spathes bear 1 or 2 flowers, in Spring, or early Summer, between April to May. They only flower for a short time.

The fragrant, flowers are 3–5 cm (1–2 in) in diameter, and come in shades of blue, from lavender, to lilac,to pale blue, and purple. There are occasionally white forms, and very rarely pink forms.

It has 2 pairs of petals, 3 large sepals (outer petals), known as the ‘falls’ and 3 inner, smaller petals (or tepals, known as the ‘standards’. The spreading falls are 3–6 cm (1–2 in) long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide. They have a central white signal patch, which is surrounded by a purple (or dark blue,[35]) ring, with 3 parallel orange or yellow crests (or ridges). The fall tapers towards the claw (close to the stem). The standards are erect,[26] oblanceolate and 3–4 cm (1–2 in) long and 1–2 cm wide (narrower and shorter than the falls).

It has a filiform (thread-like), perianth tube that is 4–8 cm (2–3 in) long. This large flower tube lifts the flower above ground level.

It has a triangular, 0.6–1 cm long ovary, an oblong stigma (half the size of the falls, and 1.5 cm long, triangular crested, style branch.

After the iris has flowered, it produces an ovoid seed capsule. The capsule is 1–2 cm long, with ridged angles and triangular in cross-section. Inside the capsule, are ellipsoid, yellowish-brown seeds that are 3.2–3.5 mm across and have a white appendage that spirally wraps around the seed.

It is pronounced as (Iris) EYE-ris (cristata) kris-TAH-tah.

It has common names of dwarf crested iris,[34][40][41] or crested iris, and lady’s calamus.

It is known as krypiris in Swedish.

The Latin specific epithet cristata is derived from ‘crista’ meaning crested or with tassel-like tips. This refers to the golden yellow crest on the sepal of the iris.

In the 1750s, the American Quaker botanist, John Bartram (1699-1777) introduced Iris crisatata to England via his correspondence friend, Mr Peter Collinson. He had sent several specimen plants across the Atlantic to him. It has been in European culture in since 1766.

It was first published and described by William Aiton in Hortus Kewensis (Hort. Kew.) Volume 1, page70 in 1789.

It was later published in Botanical Magazine (t412) in 1798, then in ‘Addisonia’ Volume 9, Issue 4 on page 63 in December 1924 with a coloured illustration,[36] as well as in the ‘Journal of the RHS’ Volume 88 in 1963.

It was verified by United States Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service on 11 April 2000, then updated on 1 December 2004.

Iris cristata is an accepted name by the RHS.

It is found in North eastern U.S.A., within the states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

In North-Central U.S.A., within the states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

In South eastern U.S.A., within the states of Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia,

The range is south of where the Wisconsinan glaciation spread about 11,000 years ago.

Habitat
It grows in calcareous soils, in oak woodlands (or forests), on rocky hillsides, in ravines, on mountain ledges (and bluffs), and along streams.

Wow was that a mouthful !!!! Ok I will stop here enjoy the pic and I hope you didn’t read all of that info !!

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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.

“Beautiful Wildflowers”

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 !!

“Wild Columbines”

Just returned from a recent vacation to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, it was more of a family gathering so I wasn’t able to get out and work the park much but did make time to get a few decent shots. I will post some soon but for now here is a Wild Columbine I shot earlier this spring, these little gems are really hard to shoot and if you get any wind you can forget about getting any images at all.

Patience is the key to this wildflower, try shooting in low light with calm winds and low iso settings to get the beautiful colors to pop in your images. Tripods are a must with a cable release if at all possible. I shot this one at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana when they were are their peak seasonal bloom, these are just a few tips to help you out when shooting wildflowers, just take the time to get out there and shoot and with a little practice and patience you can get some great results !!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look, and don’t forget to view this large for the best viewing !!

“More Spring Wildflowers”

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.

“Madison Indiana Wildflowers”

It has been about three months since my last post, can’t tell you enough how busy I have been, I have a large amount of images to share with you so instead of a lot of words I will try to keep it simple and keep my mouth shut.

Had a nice spring and now I am busy with weddings and portraits, not getting enough nature shots but I am getting paid so that’s a plus !!

Got some nice shots from Clifty Falls State Park starting with this Wild Geranium, I really liked the petals facing the differing directions in this one, any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome.

Well that’s it no more talking hopefully you are dong well and staying out of trouble, I have quite a few to post so I will try to get them up here quickly.

“Blurry”

A few weeks back I spent some time at a fish and wildlife area near my home here in Madison, when I came across this really cool mimosa tree.  I know a lot of people and most biologists consider this an invasive plant, and they can make quite a mess in your back yard, but this one was out in a field and was blooming profusely. The aroma of this tree seemed to float for miles and the blooms were quite extraordinary. It set back in a wood line and was hard to photograph as a whole so I spent my time with the macro lens and tripod and picked it apart !

The blooms were really amazing up close with all their intricate and beautifully colored stamens. They made quite a subject to work with and they came with a surprise or two as well. I shot some of the blooms as a whole subject but decided to move in close and work with the individual stamens. The long slender parts of the bloom made for a wonderful collection of abstract shots. Many of the images came out a bit “Blurry”. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked them or not but after getting home and processing them I came away feeling pretty happy with the results !

The first image came with a little visitor to the bloom in the form of a caterpillar which I thought added a really cool touch to the shot. The second image came out nice as well resembling some type of Alien life form or microscopic creature. All in all I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with all the images from that single tree. I shot over a hundred images from that one tree and got quite a few keepers. I was fortunate to have another productive shoot which makes up for all those bad days afield.

I thought the song by Puddle of Mudd was kinda appropriate for the images as well !!

caterpiller abstract 1 2009

formosa blooms 2 2009