Tag Archives: Macrophotography

Virginia Bluebells / Clifty Falls State Park Wildflowers

Changing up a bit here and I think I will start posting images from what is my favorite subject to photograph and that is wildflowers. And I will share them from one of my favorite spots to photograph at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana.

Clifty has an incredibly diverse amount of wildflowers and some of the finest displays in the midwest. If you get a chance to visit in mid to late April I would definitely make the trip I don’t think you would be disappointed not only are the wildflowers worth the trip but hiking in the park is second to none.

The subject I am sharing today is also one of my favorites and that is the Virginia Bluebell.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mertensia virginica (common names Virginia bluebell, Virginia cowslip, lungwort oysterleaf, Roanoke bells) is a spring ephemeral plant with bell-shaped sky-blue flowers, native to eastern North America.

Virginia bluebell has rounded and gray-green leaves, borne on stems up to 24 in (60 cm) tall. They are petiolate at the bottom of the flower stem and sessile at the top.

Flowerbuds are pink. Flowers have five petals fused into a tube, five stamens, and a central pistil (carpel). They are borne in mid-spring in nodding spiral-shaped cymes at the end of arched stems. Flowers are usually blue, but white or pink flowers occur rarely.

The stamens and stigma 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.

Plants are hardy to hardiness zone 3: −40 °C (−40 °F).

That is the detailed description which I am too lazy to come up with myself and I will share one of my original images I captured earlier this spring.

Hope you enjoy the info and image and thanks for taking the time to stop by and take a look.

 

virginia bluebells 1 2015

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Trees in the Mist

Thought I would share more from that wonderful morning where the light just wouldn’t quit and I was able to create numerous images of that awesome experience. Being outdoors in search of photographic opportunities is always a good thing but when you combine it with fantastic light and it becomes really special.

This one was taken when the fog had still not quite began to burn off and what little light was getting thru added a surreal touch to the trees that I was using as my subject.  I actually came away with what I was looking for in that moment and thru the years I have found that is a hard thing to do.

I hope you enjoy the image and hopefully you can find a morning like this one and be able to experience that special light that doesn’t come around very often. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my work.

 

 

 

 

clifty sunburst fall 3 2014

Wildflowers of the Great Smoky Mountains

Here are a few more images from a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This time I thought I might share a few shots from the Cucumber Gap Trail “love the name” a trail which begins just above the Elkmont campground and makes a wonderful 5 mile loop that travels up thru a lovely hardwood forest and then loops back along a rushing boulder strewn river.

The trail is covered in beautiful wildflowers and here are an example of three that I really liked, Painted Trillium,Foam Flower and Beaked Violet. These are just a few of the indelible number of wildflowers that grow in the Smoky Mountains.  I just wish I had the time to share all of them, I hope you enjoy these and if you ever get to the park in the spring definitely make Cucumber Gap Trail a must for any hike you take !!

 

 

Painted Trillium

 

 

painted trillium great smoky mountain national park 1 2014

 

Foam Flower

 

foam flower 1 2014

 

 

Beaked Violet

 

beaked violet 1 2014

Wildflowers of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I thought it might be time to move on from the wildflowers we have here in Madison Indiana and venture on to my favorite spot to photograph and that’s the The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in East Tennessee.  If I could only have one place to photograph at for the rest of my life it would be here, the diversity of flora and fauna and not to mention the incredible landscape opportunities make the GSMNP  a photographers dream.

This past April we made a trip down to hike and work all the great spots for wildflower images. Even though wildflowers cover nearly the entire park there are spots where if you make the trip you have to visit and these include Cove Hardwood Nature Trail, White-oak Sinks, Chimney’s Top, Porters Creek and Cucumber Gap. These are all fantastic trails to view and photograph wildflowers and they are also relatively easy hikes as well !!

I won’t share many images from each trail but I thought I might just share a few today and post more later. First we have some shots from Cove Hardwood Nature trail. I hope you enjoy the images and if you ever travel to the Park in the spring these trails are a must see on your visit !!

 

 

 

Yellow Trillium

cove hardwood nature trail yellow trillium 1 2014

 

Large Flowering Trillium

 

cove hardwood nature trail trillium 3 2014

 

 

Sweet White Trillium

 

 

cove hardwood nature trail trillium 1 2014

 

Wild Columbine | Clifty Falls State Park…Madison Indiana

More wildflowers, today’s post is about a another hard one to photograph and that is the Wild Columbine.  The Columbine is a beautiful example of a hanging wildflower that tends to grow out of large boulders and cliffs that are found in Clifty falls State Park.

The color and structure of this specimen are amazing,  red and yellow colors and the hanging bell shape bloom make for a wonderful composition. The tend to bloom in late April and I find most my shoot-able subjects amongst the rocks and boulders in the canyons and gorges of Southern Indiana.

They are a wonderful subject to photograph but they tend to also be a very hard one to photograph as well. Once again a slight breeze will cause the stem to sway making for blurred images even with a tripod, so a fast shutter speed is is a must to get sharp images. Even though they can be a bear to shoot sometimes they are definitely worth the trouble and always make for a great composition.

So here are couple images of the Wild Columbine, I hope you enjoy the pics and if you get a chance to find some next spring they are definitely worth the effort to photograph them.

 

wild columbine 1 2014 clifty falls state park madison indiana

 

 

 

wild columbine 2 2014 clifty falls state park madison indiana

Bishop’s Cap | Clifty falls Wildflowers

One of the coolest little wildflowers that I photograph is the Bishop’s Cap (Mitrewort) this is without a doubt the smallest wildflower I have ever captured. The bloom itself is about the size of a pea and it grows on about 6 inch tall slender stems any slight air motion will cause them to sway, which makes photographing these species one of the hardest I have attempted. They bloom in early to mid April and love the deep forested canyons of Clifty falls State Park, you can also find them in the heavily forested areas that cover many parts of our county. The bloom itself is very beautiful and has a very cool structure to it.

Photographing this wildflower definitely requires a tripod and somewhat fast shutter speeds, a macro lens as well will give you the best results.  And probably the most important aspect of getting the best shot is patience and lots of it. As I said before not just wind sends this subject into a shake but any air flow at all will keep this wildflower moving for long periods of time even in what you may think are calm conditions.

Here is what I think is probably my best shot to date of this little gem, I am posting the first one as the actual plant size and the second image is a cropped version and as you can tell it is a bit soft from air movement.

I hope you enjoy the images and description and thanks for stopping by !!

 

bishop's cap 2 2014 clifty falls state park madison indiana

 

 

 

bishop's cap 3 2014 clifty falls state park madison indiana

Larkspur | Clifty Falls State Park Madison Indiana

Here are a couple more images of one of the many wildflowers that inhabit Clifty falls State Park near Madison Indiana. Clifty Falls is one of the best parks in the state of Indiana not only for wildflowers but for the outstanding hiking, wildlife viewing and views of the many waterfalls that line the canyons and gorges of this wonderful tract of land.

Today’s wildflower is the Larkspur and according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center…

The Larkspur is a slender, upright perennial, with unbranched stems from 1-2 ft. tall. White to pale blue, spurred flowers in a narrow cluster on a finely downy stalk. Pale blue to white, spurred flowers appear in a narrow, terminal spike. Leaves are divided and lobed into narrow segments. Basal leaves often form a winter rosette which withers before the flowers open. The Spanish name is Espuela del caballero from its resemblance to a horsemans spur.

When in flower, this midwestern species can carpet acres of prairie before the grasses take over. Plains Larkspur was once considered to be a separate species, D. virescens, but studies of variation in larkspurs have now classified it as a subspecies of the widespread Carolina Larkspur, D. carolinianum ssp. virescens. The species, with three subspecies, ranges from the eastern edge of the West to the southeastern United States. Some phases may be blue. Larkspurs intergrade among species, and flower color varies from white to pale or dark blue in some species, making them difficult to classify and identify. Most blue-flowered species have white-flowered variants, and a few are consistently white or very pale blue. The geographic range of the white-flowered Wooton’s Larkspur (D. wootonii) overlaps with that of Plains Larkspur on the plains of eastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska, but most of its range is to the south and west, to southeastern Arizona and western Texas. Wooton’s Larkspur usually has leaves mostly at the base and reflexed sepals, whereas Plains Larkspur has leafy stems and spreading sepals. Also white-flowered are Alkali Larkspur (D. gypsophilum), found in the San Joaquin Valley and the southern Coast Ranges of California; Peacock Larkspur, a hybrid between D. menziesii subsp. pallidum and Cow Poison (D. trolliifolium), with brightly glandular-hairy petals, found in western Oregon; and Pale Larkspur (D. nuttallii ssp. ochroleucum), without glandular petals, found in the vicinity of Portland, Oregon.

And now for a couple images of the Larkspur, thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

 

 

larkspur 2 2014

 

 

larkspur 1 2014