Spring in your backyard

Wisconsin winters certainly seem longer and bleaker than NH winters. When things turn it seems so slowly that I think I know for the first time what spring fever is. Being cooped up with hardly any color or seeming life around can get on me a little even though I do enjoy winter quite a bit. Spring though. There’s nothing like it. And of course the flowers.

Round-lobed hepatica starts us off!

Breathless exchange

These are both shots from the yard. I used to have to drive 45 minutes to find these little lovelies, but not I just walk outside. They’re everywhere, but I love them still and marvel at their proliferation and toughness.

Clarity of purpose

Sometimes the choice to go to black and white isn’t obvious. With this next picture I was playing with a moonlight simulation in Lightroom for a while, but it kept getting paler and paler until I finally knocked all the color back. I like the mix of detail and blur, the solidity of the stems and the muted exuberance of the flowers themselves.

We wouldn’t dare impose

Bloodroot is another flower I used to travel all over to find and now just have to step outside to see. My yard and the surrounding area is covered with them. They’re hard to shoot, but I keep trying. Those leaves are just so wonderful that when the light catches them just right, they become the focus, not the about to bloom flower.

A season anew

Of course, finding wonder and joy in my own backyard isn’t new. I used to do it in New Hampshire all the time even though my yard was much smaller. Curiosity is the key to staying engaged in photography even though your horizons may be limited, either by the weather, time, physical ability or whatever. As long as you can keep your sense of wonder intact, subjects for your sensor will keep appearing and, more importantly, keep appealing.

We get a lot of rain up this way and so when I found some collected between the leaves of as of yet still unknown flower, I got right down on it and just look at what I found –

Not beneath notice

A reflection of the trees above and yes, my camera. It was fascinating to me and I’m glad I slowed down to explore my yard in more detail. I ducked out of the frame and so now it looks like some alien probe from Star Wars checking out what’s down there.

So that’s my first wildflower post of 2017. There will be more. As of this writing I’ve found a spot that was literally carpeted in spring ephemerals and I shot some flowers I’ve never photographed before. I’m also planning a trip to Door County in June to visit a wildflower preserve so that should be really fun. Stay tuned!

5 thoughts on “Spring in your backyard

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  1. Here in NH, after a few days in the 80s in early April, we’ve now had a long, drawn out spring due to temps in the 50s. It’s been delightful to have daffodils last for weeks. (And here in F’town, I’m at least a week, probably more, behind Milford.) But you’re right, you are a few weeks behind us. I love bloodroot, but have only a few and they move around every year, so I always hope I’ll catch them before they go by. I envy you having a yard full of them! And, as you note, the leaves are wonderful! I also like your choice to make a B&W hepatica image. Will look forward to more of your wildflower posts.

    1. Thanks Pat. More wildflowers are coming, I promise. The images in this post are from April. Right now the ticks are unbelievable and I just doused some of my gear in permethrin so I can go outside again. Yesterday I gave up entirely they were so bad and I got so freaked out by them. Ugh.

      1. Ugh! Yes, Kristen, ticks and blackflies are the worst! And now with ticks spreading the untreatable and sometimes fatal powassan disease after being attached for only 15 minutes, they are even more of a nightmare. I also soak my clothes and spray my boots with permethrin, but then a friend had a great idea! If it’s not too hot, you can wear what looks like a hazmat suit that covers all of you! Look for them in the paint section of your hardware store. (I cut off the feet and wear my usual boots and treated socks.) You just might not want to leave your yard, lest people think you’re on your way to a Klan sporting event! https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/31RBTL-QupL.jpg

  2. I appreciate your photos. Often see that you’re using an OM 90 f2 macro lens. What camera do you use?

    Thanks, clyde


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