Archive for the 'Flowers' Category

Fridays are Golden


140425_022_n1_p_e_1It has been a long week.  After work I moved some flower pots around the backyard and enjoyed seeing what prairie plants are popping up in my backyard.  Then for a little relaxation in the big chair in the living room.  Two episodes of Duck Dynasty to set the mood for the rest of the evening.  Grabbing camera I headed for Spitler Woods State Park.  The woodland flowers are coming up all over.  Bluebells, trout lily, dutchmans breeches, and red trillium are what you can see.

Not long before the sun set, I was looking for something that had the glow of the setting sun on it.  Most of the forest floor was in the shade.  Gold, I see.  Great light on the flower and background.  Getting the legs spread out to get my tripod on the ground, I lay down on the ground.  Then the unthinkable.  Coming down the trail are a mother and young son.  I just took all the effort to get down here and they show up.  I gave in and moved some and they gave in and walked around me.  I am grateful for that.

Back to the flower, getting out a reflector to add more light and time to capture light.  That is what photography is all about.  Capturing light.

Heading home, I put the canopy over the swing in the backyard.  I took it down for the winter.  Then I sat in the swing for an hour listening to all the sounds and spending some time reading a book on my phone.

The end of the week was great.  I found the pot of gold in several ways.  I hope you enjoy the one part I can share and I hope it brightens your day.

Short Time at Spitler Woods State Park

I took a short jaunt at Spitler Woods tonight.  The flowers are really popping out of the ground now.


I am not sure what the above plant is, but they were all over.  Soon, I will probably know when they start blooming.  As of now the only thing blooming is the Dutchman’s Breeches.  There are not many, and the cold had an effect on them, but they has started Spring at the park.


The weekend looks to be nice.  I am hoping to spend more time outside.  Going to spend time with family celebrating Christ this Easter.  I hope everyone’s weekend is full of Christ’s Blessings, family and friends along with some time to relax.

Flashing with Flower Photography

This weather is great.  It reminds me of Fall (my favorite time of year).  Friday, it drizzled and Saturday it was perfect weather, great temps.

I spent an hour at Rock Springs with a flash taking pictures of flowers.  As I said above, I was flashing with flower photography.  Why use flash you say?  It was less than an hour before sunset and I was either in the woods, or at a wildflower garden with the sun hidden behind trees.  My shutter speed was anywhere from 2-3 seconds.  With the slight breeze going, I should have packed up and headed home.  With ambient light all I could get was unpleasing pictures of flowers with lots of movement.


Instead I broke out the flash.  Setting the flash off camera and putting a diffuser in front of  it, the small flash became a big soft light.  That makes great lighting.  I also put a silver reflector into the combination.


Photography is all about light.  You need light to create a picture.  The quantity and quality of light determines the type of picture you create.  In this case, the low light created a blur that was not worth setting the camera up to record.  Adding and controlling the light, brought a pleasing picture that was fun to take.

Maybe next time, I will add some other light and create more contrast on the flower.  Experimentation is the fun of playing with the camera.  Flowers and flash – what do you think?  Does it work?…

Another From Tallgrass Butterfly House in Pana


Going through some more images from last weekend and I came across this one.

Tallgrass Butterfly House in Pana, Illinois

Sometimes we need a little time away.  Not very long, but just a little drive to see some of the countryside and a destination with something fun.  Tallgrass Butterfly House is one of those places.  Site Manager David Nance will greet you when you arrive.  Talking with David is a download of butterfly and natural history information.David will share what he knows with those willing to ask and listen.  He will point out butterflies, plants, caterpillars and the like for you to enjoy, or will let you  enjoy at your own pace.

The butterfly house is an enclosure of a mesh like or screen material.  This blocks a little of the sun, but allows a feeling of being outdoors.  You feel the breeze and breathe fresh air will wandering the paths inside.There is a small pond with lotus and goldfish.  There is even a bench to sit on when you need to rest next to the pond.  A very nice place, this spot to just sit and watch activity that might be missed if you were walking around.

Kids and adults all will enjoy this site.  There are even trails you can walk.  The site is an old Railroad right of way.  Walking the trails you can see butterflies and hummingbirds along with many other thinks including native prairie plants.  I have made the trip several times and plan to go back more. Everyone that has made the trip with me has enjoyed it, also.

This is one of the many jewels tucked away in the Prairie State of Illinois.  Hopefully you can stop by and enjoy the site and even ask David a few questions.Entrance is free, but donations are accepted.Take time to enjoy a few hours this summer at the Tallgrass Butterfly House in Pana…  A visit will be an interesting afternoon.

Colorful Fly


 I never thought I would like the looks of a fly.  The presence of one in the house playing with the lampshade is always a nuisance.  Having one join a picnic is a bit of a distraction.

Watching one on a flower can be entertaining.  Looking at the colors this one reflects can give a new appreciation for them.  Some can be drab and others full of rich and bright colors.

I now can say, I enjoy watching them in my backyard.  They are invited to the feast of flowers planted there.  But, I still wish they would wait till they are invited to join me at a picnic.  Hamburgers are for me,  and flowers are for flies.

All of nature has a beauty of its own.  All can be enjoyed at the right time.

Flowers at the Roadside


Friday after work, I took some time to spend with my camera searching for some flowers to photograph.  Headed to one of the conservation sites to photograph along the road.  There were many flowers along this area with easy access.  There were photo ops all over.  Many were non-native including the lilies in the background.  I will be heading back soon.

By the way watched the International Space Station go overhead after dark.  Stopped by a friend’s house after photographing and he told me it was going to fly overhead.  I have heard people talk about it, but never saw it.  I will look for it again.  It was a treat.

Spring Beauties


Sometimes a lunch break can be more than feeding the belly.  Lunch this day fed the heart.  A mid-day change for relaxation and creativity. 

Spring Beauties In Macon County, Illinois

Small World

So often we are told to look at the big picture.  That is very important, but the small picture is just as important.  The big picture has many small pictures that make it whole.  There is a big picture in my backyard.  Looking at it will tell an over all story.  It a story of people working year after year to produce something they enjoy.

Mock Orange Bush

  In our yards and in the parks, small things are really big things.  One persons weed is another’s life’s benefit.

White Clover

 Even clover is a small picture that has a larger picture.  It is an important plant for butterflies as a host plant and nectar plant.  For bees, it too is beneficial as a nectar plant.  Small picture, big picture, you can’t have one without the other.  Take a look at the big picture, then take a real look at the picture.

White Clover

A Rose Returns


Spring is back and so are the goodies.  The rose bushes are blooming and so are a few other plants.  I have been planing what to plant this year, and need to get ordering.  Soon I will be heading to the nursery to pick out plants.  I am trying to bring in hummingbirds and butterflies, so the plants will be geared to them.  It has been an early Spring and I hope it stays around awhile.

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