Clifty Falls Wildflowers…Trout Lily

Another great wildflower that grows in our area is the Trout Lily. Found in large clusters this beautiful little flower gets it’s name for the trout like pattern on the leaves of the newly emerging wildflower.

The trout lily sprouts and flowers in early spring, before new tree leaves grow. Plants grow from a white bulb that have a tooth-like shape. This wildflower will usually grow when underground rhizomes spread and form clusters or colonies. Mature plants also spread by seeds. Ants can scatter the seeds, eating part of the seed and leaving the rest to germinate. And some trout lily colonies can be 200 to 300 years old.

The plants are found in woodland habitats and moist hillsides the stamens can either be yellow or black and can be quite large for such a small plant. The Trout Lily is just another great example of all the wonderful wildflowers that are on display right now just waiting for you to view.

Hepatica

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It is so hard to keep up but its spring and that means wildflowers and I will never pass up a chance to share one of my favorite photography subjects with you.

One of the great early season wildflowers is Hepatica a wonderful little flower that usually begin to bloom in middle to late March on wooded slopes and ravines.

Right now the woods are alive with them and there should be plenty in bloom over the next couple weeks. It will be a great time to get out and explore all the beautiful natural areas Southern Indiana has to offer.

Monarchs on the Move

The last few nights have been amazing following the Monarchs here in Madison Indiana. It looks like the Monarch Migration is in full swing and looks to be one of the most impressive ones in recent memory.

I really believe I have seen more Monarchs the last few weeks than I have see in my lifetime. One day last week I stood in one spot and gazed over a field of New England Aster and Goldenrod and counted thirty six feeding on the blooms.

But I have heard stories of people just to our north coming across roosts of these magnificent creatures where hundreds have landed for the night, that is what I am looking for! What an incredible sight would that be to behold.

I guess if I keep looking and hitting the fields and woodlots here in Southern Indiana sooner or later I will get my wish and if not it has been an incredible year for photographing and viewing butterflies.

There isn’t too much time left before they will all be gone as the seasons change but it will cool down and the leaves will change and more opportunities will be there for me to get out and photograph all the beauty the area has to offer.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Monarch Butterflies in Love

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I captured these two Monarchs perpetuating the species and keeping the Monarch migration alive.

This couples offspring will be emerging from their chrysalis anytime now and will then begin their nearly three thousand mile migration to central Mexico for the winter.

I captured these two little lovers just outside Madison Indiana in a wildflower field filled with iron-weed and common milkweed for which the milkweed is the host plant for this beautiful butterfly. The milkweed is the only plant that the Monarch will lay its eggs on and the caterpillars will then eat the milkweed and begin the cycle anew.

The milkweed has been disappearing from its native areas because of over spraying and mowing of roadside ditches and fields which has caused a massive decline in the population of the monarch.

Although there has been a great deal of publicity on the plight of the monarchs which in the short term may help their numbers increase there still needs to be a much larger effort in restoring the fields and other natural areas back to their native state to bring back the population to its once incredible numbers !!
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Continue reading “Monarch Butterflies in Love”

Tiger Swallowtail

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Another great butterfly the Tiger Swallowtail probably the most abundant butterfly here in the Madison Indiana area.

This wonderful butterfly is one of the largest and most beautiful butterflies to view and photograph, generally they will sit pretty still if you don’t move to fast and they really enjoy the many garden flowers that we have here in Madison.

This subject was photographed at Big Oaks NWR and was feeding on Blazing Star which is one of the best wildflowers for attracting pollinators.

Hope you enjoy the image and if you get out in the fields or backyard keep your eyes peeled for this great Butterfly !!

Common Buckeye

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Been a great summer photographing these flying flowers don’t know if it’s a cycle but I have never saw so many beautiful specimens, especially Monarchs I know their population has taken a great hit over the last few years but this year I have seen a crazy amount of them !!

The image I have posted is a Common Buckeye which I captured at Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana a few weeks ago. Absolutely love the markings and the color on this little guy. The butterflies will be really peaking over the next several weeks a as the migration south begins for many of the varieties that inhabit the Midwest.

It’s a great time to get out and view these wonderful creatures !!

Bridge Reflections

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The Madison Milton Bridge served as a great center piece for this lovely scene which unfolded earlier this summer. Instead of looking to the west for the sunset I turned east and was treated to this incredible view with all these beautiful reflections !!