I arrived a little late to the party for wildflowers this spring. Three weeks ago I scouted some areas and saw little happening - a few wild leeks and harbinger of spring, but otherwise no flowers were out. Given the cold weather since then I expected that the early spring flowers would just be peaking by now - but to my surprise I arrived in the woods today and found the hepatica and trout lilies gone, and bloodroot and other earlier flowers long gone. I guess 3 weeks is a considerable period of time in early spring.
But not everything was finished - here are a few images from this afternoon’s trip. Click on the images for larger files.
Showy trillium were the first flowers to grab my attention, and the woods were thick with them today. Some trillium were even starting to fade. Here’s a standard issue trillium, and close up of another specimen below it:
Next I stumbled into some dutchman’s britches - a flower that I usually think of as an earlier spring wildflower. As you can see, this specimen was a little old and worn around the edges - but hey, many of us are…
Spring beauty was everywhere..
And with fronds like these, who needs anenomes?
And a little bellwort to round out the day:
This will probably be it for my 2013 spring wildflowers - not sure if I will be back in the woods before the party is completely over. All of these shots were taken with a Pentax K-01, which is proving to be quite a useful camera for closeup work. Lens was an SMC A* 200mm macro. A diffuser was used in some shots, but the soft light form high overcast clouds and the flowering canopy above reduced the need for the diffuser. For the first time I used an IR remote to trigger the camera, and have to say that is one piece of gear I should have gotten a long time ago….
The winter that wasn’t has transformed to the exceptionally early spring. Crocuses in my yard are out in force - I had hoped to get an “Ah Spring” shot of a honey bee in the flowers, but so far I have not seen any honey bees this spring. So instead I went down to Cass County, Michigan to see if the hepatica had emerged yet.
It’s very early, but to my surprise there were a few hepatica out. Harbinger of spring was also out in force while skunk cabbage shoots and flowers (which smell like rotten flesh) were just starting to poke out of the ground.
A few photos - first off, Harbinger of Spring (click for a larger image):
And then some blue hepatica and white hepatica:
Here are some more spring wildflowers from 2009.
Here is one of the very first sping wildflowers - though it hardly looks like a flower. Skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to emerge from moist soil The flower smells like carrion and attracts flies for pollination:
Another fiarly early wildflower flowwer - Marsh Marigold:
May Apple Blossoms:
False Rue Anemone:
Thats it for wildflowers for now…
Here are more spring hepatica from 2009:
I haven’t been out shooting wildflowers this spring, but I found a directory of shots from the spring of 2009 that I never got around to posting. So here is the first installment (there will be a few more.)
These are all early spring hepatica. Most of these were taking in Berrien County, Michigan. The last couple of shots were taking in the Allegan forest. The dime gives an idea of the size of these blooms.
These were all taken in the early days of April, 2009.
I don’t expect that I’ll have much opportunity to photograph wildflowers this spring, so I thought I’d post a some older shots form a few years ago. I recently upgraded my medium format scanner from an Epson v500 flatbed to a dedicated Nikon 8000 ED, and have been rescanning some medium format images. Here are three shots of a spring woods with trillium in bloom. I don’t remember when I took these shots (I guess 2006 or 2007) but they were scanned this year and re-worked.
Yesterday I visited the Dowagiac Woods for the first time this year. The wildflowers are in full bloom – late in their progression even. The False Rue Anemone, Wood Anemone, Spring Beauty, Bellwort, and Trillium are out in force. Hepatica has come and gone.
Photographing spring wildflowers has been a project for the last few years. I’m letting it go this year – too many other commitments and a desire to do something different. But two weeks ago I did pause on a river bank in the Allegan Forest, and snap these two shots of Hepatica, poking out of the sandy soil.
And that’s it for 2010.
Here it is, late August, and autumn is already sticking her fingers into the pie. Well - two shots form last spring - the wildflower called Spring Beauty
A shot from early May -
And another from very late in the season - May 24th! How long ago does *that* seem…
I still have tons of wildflower shots that haven’t made it onto this blog. Here’s another shot of wild columbine, from May 2009.
Back in June, when the days were the longest, I’d listen to the robins sing in the dead of night. They would start up around 2:30 AM, first one lonely singer, then another. Dawn was hours away but the birds sang to the darkness, or perhaps to the promised light.
Just as the pre-dawn twilight emerged, other birds joined the song. First cardinals, and then myriad house sparrows with their chatter – not really a song except when hundreds of birds join in. Mourning doves, fox sparrows, finches and chickadees all would join in; at times crows added their dour “caw-caw-caw” to the mix.
This morning I awoke at 2:30. People were talking outside the window, the garage door was open and the light was on. I rushed out, ready to fight, but found no one there. The voices were gone. A cluttered garage basked in the light. Nothing was missing - did I just forget to turn off the light and close the door?
Locking up, I thought to sit back and listen to the robins sing and let the adrenaline ease away. But no bird spoke in the darkness. I had trouble getting back to sleep, and listened in vain until the sun was coming up. The tardy July sun.
Around 6 a few birds picked up the call, and dozen or so voices rose to the morning chorus. Bless them for thier singing, though it was an faint echo of days gone by.
And so – the turning point, again. The sun is already rising later, and soon the mornings will be silent.
Here’s a photo of a prickly pear cactus in bloom. It was taken last year. I had intended to take a photo of one of this summer, but did not realize that the one day in June when I saw them blooming on the barrens was the only day this year I’d see these flowers.