In what I think it becoming an annual ritual, my mom and I went to The Garden in the Woods again in May. We don’t go exactly on Mothers Day, but near to it and this year we went a couple of weeks earlier than last year and boy was it different. Most of the ferns were still unfurling. Shooting stars, lady slippers and wild hyacinth were not blooming. That’s not to say nothing was, and I’m happy that we caught the bluebells in their pristine glory, something we missed last year.
And another blue beauty, Forget me nots.
I’ve never seen either of these flowers in the wild and that’s one of the main reasons I go to The Garden in the Woods. It’s a beautifully put together display of native plants, both abundant and rare. I had a time getting this grouping just right, but I love it. Each plant is 1-2 feet high and the leaves are a foot across on some plants. The flowers themselves are 2-4 inches and I don’t know if they ever open completely like other trillium. All the ones on display were upright like this; like flames on torches.
As usual, I shot with the legacy Olympus 90mm macro pretty much all day. One thing I didn’t do, because I forgot, was to use the on-board flash for fill, which I did quite a lot last time with good results. I really have to be better about remembering all the tools I have at my fingertips with this camera. The other day I persisted through something that was annoying me because I didn’t remember that I could change it. Doh!
One lesson I’ve learned the hard way is not to fight the light. Photography is all about light, but sometimes nature doesn’t serve up the perfect conditions. This used to frustrate me to no end and I actually ruined a bunch of vacation pictures trying for the shots I had in my head even though the light didn’t serve them at all. Now I work with the light I have and use it to its best advantage. If that means giving up on the shots in my head so be it. I try to be open to new images, compositions and arrangements with the light I have and for the most part it works. Mostly I try to enjoy what I’m doing regardless of what I had in mind when I went out. By now you know my love of dappled sunlight and I hope I’m getting better at showing just how magical it can be.
Anyway…Not all the flowers are big and showy though. Many are tiny and unobtrusive.
I should have taken a shot of the sign for this one since I can’t find it anywhere. It grows on a bush and has many trooping tassels of these flowers. At first we thought they were gone by, but on a closer look we discovered they weren’t. Each one is about 1/4 of an inch across. I bet hardly anyone ever notices them. These, too –
Definitely this trip had more of the mundane than the exotic. Even though violets are pretty much everywhere, it doesn’t diminish their beauty.
On our way out, we stopped by the planting beds; the place the plants are grown so they can be placed in various displays or sold so people can create their own wild gardens. While there I found this lone yellow bellwort in the sun. Who could resist? Especially since the plants in the displays had all gone by already.
I’d like to take another trip to The Garden in the Woods during high summer…say mid-June. I bet it is so different that it would be like I’d never been there. Ah the panoply of nature. It’s never boring.