Category Archives: thoughts

Madison Indiana Fountain

Here are a few shots of the Broadway Fountain from here in Madison Indiana, when you are looking for something cool to post on your blog and can’t seem to find something that really interests you the fountain is always a go to post lol !!

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Blue Eyed Mary

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Here is another beautiful little wildflower that grows in abundance here in the Madison Indiana area. Right now this great flower is growing in large clusters along the wooded hillsides and ravines in the eastern part of our county.

They have a very small bloom on them but the color of that bloom and the vast number of them make for a dazzling display for you to enjoy.

Right now a ride thru the eastern side of the county is actually a great time to see all the wonderful wildflowers that are right now blooming in full glory.

Hope you enjoy the image and thanks for taking a look !!

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 !!

Smoky Mountain Iris

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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 !!

Great Smoky Mountain Wildflowers

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Since the wildflower season has been so poor here in the Madison Indiana area I decided to head south to the mecca of wildflowers….The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A good decision that turned out to be the weather was perfect and the flowers were blooming all over the park. I could post hundreds of images but I thought I would just stick to a view of my favorites with a little info about the flower.

One of the flowers that I really wanted to capture on my trip was the Painted Trillium. From a short description from Wikipedia…

Trillium undulatum, the painted trillium is a wildflower of the genus trillium found from Ontario in the north to northern Georgia in the south and from Michigan in the west to Nova Scotia in the east. It is also known as painted lady or trille ondulé. It demands strongly acidic, humus-rich soils and tends to be found in the shade of acid-loving trees such as eastern white pine, red maple, red spruce and balsam fir. Although the soils that support it have low base saturation, this species was found to have relatively high levels of calcium, magnesium, and especially potassium in its foliage

I was able to capture quite a few images of this beautiful trillium and found over two hundred plants not ready to bloom but within a few years should make for a beautiful site.

Thanks for taking a look.

Winter Wildflowers

 

 

Spring is trying to break thru but this incredibly cold winter pattern we have been in just won’t give up it’s icy grip on the Madison Indiana area.

I captured these yesterday at Clifty Falls State Park and the weather was actually tolerable but then last night we get two more inches of snow just to add to this already never ending winter.

But there is hope starting tomorrow a big warm up is being predicted and will last thru the weekend and then…. you guessed it more cold and snow forecast for the first of next week lol !!!

Muscatatuck Fall

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge located three miles east of Seymour, Indiana, on U.S. Route 50. Established in 1966, it comprises 7,802 acres in its main area of eastern Jackson and western Jennings counties, and an additional 78 acres in northwestern Monroe County, near Bloomington, Indiana, known as the “Restle Unit”. It was established thanks to the selling of Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. It was Indiana’s first National Wildlife Refuge. The name comes from the Muscatatuck River, which means “land of winding waters”.

Converted farm lands comprise 60% of the total land area of the refuge. Several archaeological sites in the refuge are on the National Register of Historic Places. Much of the tree cover is deciduous forest.

A visitor center, eight hiking trails (ranging from a fifth of a mile to four miles (6 km) of easy to moderate hiking), a four-mile (6 km) driving tour, two pioneer cemeteries, and a log cabin of historical significance are available for the 125,000 annual visitors to the refuge to enjoy. The refuge is open for visitation from 1 hour before sunrise to 1 hour after sunset.

The primary wildlife protected in the refuge is waterfowl and other birds, including mating pairs of bald eagles.

On December 23, 1998 a small flock of four trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) were re-introduced to the refuge when they flew from Sudbury, Ontario accompanied by an ultra-light plane. This was the first time trumpeters had migrated to southern Indiana in over 100 years. Although these trumpeters returned to Sudbury in 1999 and 2000, the flock appears to have died out, although other re-introduced trumpeters visit the refuge in the winter today.
Also migrating tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) winter at Muscatatuck every year, usually a month or so before Christmas.

In 2001, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership raised whooping crane (Grus americana) chicks in Wisconsin’s Necedah National Wildlife Refuge then guided them to Florida’s Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, utilizing Muscatatuck as a stopover site on the migrations. That population has been successful and by 2010 there were up to 105 migrating birds established in the eastern United States for the first time in over 100 years. The migrating birds are regularly seen during migration stopovers at Muscatatuck, often in the company of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis).