Cold hardy ladyslippers are in full bloom again so I’ve taken a little time to capture a few photos of them before they begin to fade. These are all plants that I have growing in containers in my yard so they can be enjoyed year after year. Well, providing I do a good job growing them and they survive each year.
There are a few different color variations ranging from all white to combinations of white, yellow, and red/brown. Some of these have a great fragrance but you have to get close to the flower to smell it while others really have no scent. A sweet perfume really adds to the enjoyment of any flower in my opinion.
The most difficult part of growing ladyslippers is they only bloom for a few weeks and then they’re done for the year and this seems to regularly occur as the heat of summer arrives which reduces their length of blooming. Unlike other flowers, ladyslippers bloom all at once so there is this mass of blooms and then it’s all over with instead of a staggered bloom extending the season. This just means you have to take time to enjoy them when they’re blooming or it will be a while before you get to see them again.
Unfortunately there has been limited time available to go exploring with the camera while spring explodes all around us but I have taken a few opportunities to enjoy the landscape as it returns to life. Above is a purple and white bicolor wild violet. Below are oak tree flowers.
Bringing some very enjoyable sweet fragrances are the blooms of crabapple trees and hyacinths. They don’t last very long but sure do bring a smile to many with their pleasurable smell bringing great springtime moments.
While away on Spring Break we stopped at Clifty Falls State Park in Indiana for a beautiful spring afternoon. This waterfall is on Clifty Creek which flows in to the nearby Ohio River. With sun abound and temperatures reaching into the upper 60’s Fahrenheit, it was about perfect for a hike through this beautiful state park just beginning to awaken after a long winter rest.
With ample rains providing plenty of water to glide over these limestone edges, Clifty Falls provided an amazing landscape to share with family and friends. Add to that ephemeral flowers blooming all over the forest floor and redbud trees beginning to explode with little pink flowers in the warmth of the sun overhead and it becomes almost a day many dream of on a cold winters night. Unfortunately for many people, visiting this state park in early spring does not even enter their list of possible adventures leaving these wonderful sights to those who seek out its early treasures.
There are four waterfalls listed on the map for Clifty State Park however we were able to only see two of them in an afternoon providing nice incentives to return when the opportunity presents itself again. The many limestone stairs making up these waterfalls provides such a relaxing environment with their sights and sounds making the hikes to see them a worthwhile adventure.
As the summer gave way to fall late season flowers burst with some great color tempting me to point the camera towards them. There may not be as many plants blooming but those that are stand out reminding us that the cold is still a little ways away.
While exploring a nearby prairie area I came across a lone flowers spike arising from some grass which caught my attention because not only is it the only grass in bloom in that area but it had a beautiful purple color which I don’t usually see. It made me wonder if the color was more intense because it was blooming during cooler weather. Typically this would bloom during the summer when things are warmer.
Fall is a time full of Goldenrod on the prairie or in fields. I wanted to catch a bee climbing around the bright yellow blooms but was surprised at how difficult that turned out to be as there weren’t as many bees flying around as I’m used to seeing. I’ve heard bee populations have been decreasing causing a lot of concern but there was a drastic reduction with all of the Goldenrod flowers providing so much food in the area.
Most of the asters I came across this fall were varying shades of purple but occasionally a white one would stand out. Surrounded by the purples and golds of other fall flowers they made a beautiful contrast to the prairie.
While looking over some purple asters there would be these flower flies climbing up and over the flowers in search of newly released pollen. They provided some entertainment and challenge to get them in focus as they move quickly away from the lens. While taking pictures of milkweed seeds I found a milkweed bug lacking the vibrant black bands just hanging from seeds. It blended in very well with the white fluff allowing these seeds to fly in the wind.
It kind of feels like going full circle capturing images of the early spring blooms and ending with the last flowers of the 2016. I’ve definitely had some fun photographing them this year.