Madison Indiana Photography

Synchronous Fireflies | Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In early June I was able to attend an event I have been hoping to see for quite some time, and that is the Synchronous Fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains. Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns.
Fireflies (also called lightning bugs) are beetles. They take from one to two years to mature from larvae, but will live as adults for only about 21 days. While in the larval stage, the insects feed on snails and smaller insects. Once they transform into their adult form, they do not eat.

Their light patterns are part of their mating display. Each species of firefly has a characteristic flash pattern that helps its male and female individuals recognize each other.  Most species produce a greenish-yellow light; one species has a bluish light.  The males fly and flash and the usually stationary females respond with a flash. Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in late May to mid-June.

No one is sure why the fireflies flash synchronously. Competition between males may be one reason: they all want to be the first to flash. Or perhaps if the males all flash together they have a better chance of being noticed, and the females can make better comparisons.

The fireflies do not always flash in unison. They may flash in waves across hillsides, and at other times will flash randomly. Synchrony occurs in short bursts that end with abrupt periods of darkness.

Here is a pic from the Firefly Event,  the pic doesn’t do it justice. This is truly an event that must be witnessed, even after a few days I still couldn’t convey the words on exactly what happened !!

The lights from the fireflies moved in waves up and down Elkmont Valley where we positioned ourselves, the pattern seemed to start far from us and be in strips of thousands of lights and would then stream across the bottom right toward us and then stop at our feet.

Then continuing on across the road at our backs towards the other side of the valley floor. There would be burst of 5 flashes quickly then it would stop for 10 seconds or so and then repeat in an almost frenzied fashion !!

The human reaction was incredible, when we first arrived hundreds of people were packed along the old roadbed that runs along the valley floor, many with lawn chairs and blankets making you think you were attending a fireworks show.

At first as the light faded you could feel the crowd growing impatient, people were laughing and talking and when one little firefly would appear they would remark is that it…I even began to wonder myself !!

The Park Rangers assured us to be patient and wait for the show, When it started the crowd was amazing, people at fireworks display usually oh and ah thru the whole event, but here there was an incredible silence as if the fear of your voice would scare them off and they would stop the beautiful display they were sharing with us.

Many in the crowd were brought to tears, including my wife, they were overwhelmed with such joy and amazement that the emotion displayed was almost as cool as the fireflies !!

Ok after this way too long post here is the pic, like I said before they are not that good and they don’t really represent what I witnessed but it is something I will have forever to help me remember that warm wonderful summer evening !!

fireflys 2 2014

July 14, 2014 Posted by | art, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, hiking, insect, life, nature, nature photography, photography, thoughts, Uncategorized, West Street Art Center | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

July 9, 2014 Posted by | Great Smoky Mountain National Park, life, nature, nature photography, photography, thoughts, Vacation, West Street Art Center, wildflowers | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Stream Photography

Here are a couple shots from a recent trip to the Smoky National Park that weren’t wildflowers if you can believe that, really I do shoot things other than wildflowers, you got to shoot a variety of things to keep your photography from getting too stale lol !!

I shot both of these steam images in the Tremont area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park which is one of my favorite areas to work. I started with a large are a of the stream showing the environment around it and the flow of the water. Then in my next image I captured just a small area of the stream and converted it to black and white to show it in it’s abstract form.

Even though I spent most of that day working around 100 feet of that stream I was able to capture many differing variations of the flow of the water and mood of the scene as well. Hope you enjoy the images and thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!




                                                                                                                                                                                         gsmnp stream 3 2013



                                                                                                                                                                                gsmnp stream 4 2013


July 25, 2013 Posted by | abstract, art, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, hiking, indiana photographers, landscapes, life, madison indiana photographers, madison indiana photography, mountains, nature, nature photography, photography, thoughts, travel, waterfalls, West Street Art Center | , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Madison Indiana Wildflowers

Here is my last post on Spring Wildflowers shot at Clifty Falls State Park near Madison Indiana. I photographed many more images from this spring but just so I can get caught on my Smoky Mountain wildflowers and my summer wildflowers from Southern Indiana I think it’s time to move on to other subjects.

I will start with the Wild Columbine and then the Yellow Violet and finally my favorite Blue-Eyed Mary.

I love the vast array of color that the flowers bloom in during the spring season it is always a great time to be able to get out and photograph after a long cold winter. Hopefully you enjoyed these and I can’t wait till next spring to get out and add more to my portfolio.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great day !!



                                                                                                                                                                    wild columbine 3 2013



                                                                                                                                                                             yellow violet 1 2013




                                                                                                                                                                                             blue-eyed mary 3 2013

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Clifty Falls, Clifty Falls State Park, columbine, flower photography, hiking, indiana photographers, indiana wildflowers, macro photography, Madison Indiana, madison indiana photography, nature, nature photography, photography, random, thoughts, trillium, virginia bluebells, West Street Art Center, Wild Geranium, wildflowers | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Madison Indiana Photography

I find it harder and harder to post to this blog anymore  or any of my blogs for that matter, business has been great with the portrait part of my photography but the part I miss the most is the nature side. But that is the side that pays the bills, so I guess I better be careful what I wish for lol !!

Portrait photography has actually been wonderful to do so far, I haven’t ran into that so called Bridezilla or meddling mother yet so I can’t complain too much on that front it’s just being able to spend all the quality time I used to get outside has all but dried up. It doesn’t help that I am still working at the store or that I am still coaching basketball either, but the good thing is I get a little closer everyday to giving up my job I have been at for 33 years and when that happens things should really up time wise for me in a big way !!

I really miss my time in the Smoky mountains, haven’t been on a shooting trip down there for over a year now, maybe if I get caught up this spring I  might get down there for a shoot.

But like I said earlier the portrait part of my photography is doing great and all my clients have been great to work with, I went from 8 weddings last year to already booking 11 for this year and waiting to hear from three more and it’s only January. I would like to be able to do more Senior Pics and it’s getting better this year, and the family and kid sessions are booking up quite well.

So I am very thankful for all my clients and I hope my business keeps growing I just hope to be able to spend a little more time in all the beautiful canyons and gorges that surround my hometown here in Madison Indiana and trip or two down to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park would be pretty nice as well.

Thanks for stopping by and here is a recent example of the work I am doing now, hope you like the image and click on it for a better view !




January 24, 2012 Posted by | art, closeup, Entertainment, girls, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, image, images, indiana, indiana photographers, life, Madison Indiana, madison indiana photographers, madison indiana photography, madison indiana wedding photographers, models, photographer, photography, pictures, portrait, Senior Portraits, thoughts, West Street Art Center | , , , , , | 10 Comments