With the spring comes wildflowers. I cannot say I have done a tremendous amount of springtime hiking with the idea of photographing blooming wildflowers, but the idea has intrigued me and friend Walter invited me to join him on a little tromp through the woods yesterday. I gladly agreed. On past weeks, he has already visited Allerton Park and Moraine View State Park, so yesterday we headed to a different place, Forest Glen Preserve south of Danville along the Wabash River valley. One does not commonly think of narrow, steep ravines in Illinois, but believe me, this little part of Illinois has plenty of topography. I’ll start with a quick view of the river valley from the watch tower, a good climb up to a small (and yesterday, windy) lookout over the trees. I’m sure that as the trees leaf out, much will be obscured, but even now it is difficult to pick out the river.
Walter was hoping to find some shooting stars and we were lucky enough to find a patch with a few blooming, but which will light up the top of the hillside in a few days. I really like the use of the telephoto in these images – a short depth-of-field brings attention to the flower by dissolving the background and the ability to zoom in can bring out detail that is difficult to see with the naked eye, such as the pistils on the Shooting Stars and the delicate veining in the Spring Beauty.
Possibly my favorite photo from yesterday was of this Woodland Phlox: