Blue Phlox

During my recent wildflower trek on the Natural Bridge Trail, in Ha Ha Tonka State Park (MO), I ran across several patches of Blue Phlox (aka, Wild Sweet William) just starting to bloom. Here are a couple of images of these blue beauties:

Blue Phlox wildflowers

I always love seeing the unfurled petals of the phlox, as it begins to open (above). And a few phlox were observed that had just opened:

Blue Phlox wildflower

Coming up … more wildflowers from my wildflower trek at Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Induro Stealth Carbon Fiber tripod + 3 Pod, Model H3 ballhead (I’m evaluating this setup as a new, lightweight macro setup for hiking)
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/500 sec. and 1/1000 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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A Near White-Out

Today’s post features more Flowering Dogwoods (Missouri’s state tree) that were blooming profusely last week in the Lake of the Ozarks area. These images were captured along a rural roadside, on my way to check out an active bald eagle’s nest. Well, the eagle’s nest seemed to unoccupied (unless an eagle was very low in the nest, protecting the eggs or eaglets from the rains), but at least I didn’t come back empty handed!

Flowering Dogwood trees

Flowering Dogwood trees

Flowering Dogwood trees

Flowering Dogwood Tree

Next spring, I’m going to work at locating a more scenic location where I can photograph these white beauties.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/5.6 to f/18
  • Shutter 1/15 sec. to 1/200 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Missouri’s State Tree

I’m back home after a wonderful Easter trip. During this trip, I was able to get out and capture some more woodland wildflowers. One morning, while hiking in Ha Ha Tonka State Park, I came upon a lot of wonderful wildflowers. But the subject of today’s post, captured along this trail, is the Flowering Dogwood, which happens to be the state tree of Missouri.

I’ve always enjoyed the dogwoods in bloom, but this trip was exceptional. I happened to hit the peak flowering of these handsome trees and the landscape was often breath-taking. Today, I am focusing on a couple of trees I found at the trailhead of the Natural Bridge Trail.

Here are a couple of images I captured as I headed from the parking lot into the woodland:

Flowering Dogwood

Flowering Dogwood

The number of dogwoods at this location was pretty small, so I was only able to capture a couple of trees blooming. But just before I drove back home, I happened along a rural, gravel road where the whole woods seemed to be in bloom! I’ll have those images downloaded soon and will share them in a separate post.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Handheld
  • ISO 250
  • Aperture f/3.5 and f/8
  • Shutter 1/6000 sec. and 1/500 sec.

 

 

Posted in 2019, Blog, Landscape Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Bellringers Everywhere!

Today’s post features some of the hundreds of Virginia Bluebell wildflowers I came across during my recent woodland hike, near my rural Missouri home:

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia Bluebells

I always look forward to my spring woodland hikes, where the woodland floor often appears to be blue in color, due to the abundant Virginia Bluebells.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200 and ISO 400
  • Aperture f/3.5 thru f/16
  • Shutter 1/90 sec. thru 1/3000 sec.

 

 

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The Beauty of Spring

A couple of days ago, I wandered the woodland area of my neighbor’s rural land, looking for spring wildflowers. A great outing and many species of wildflowers were observed during this hike. In today’s post, I’m featuring a couple of images of one of our earliest woodland wildflowers, the Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica).

The Spring Beauty rises about 5-inches above the woodland floor, when flowering. The flower petals are typically white (some may be pinkish) and have a pink veins through the flower. Native Americans ate the roots of the Spring Beauty.

Here are a couple of images I captured:

Spring Beauty wildflowers

Spring Beauty wildflowers

In upcoming blog posts, I will be publishing more woodland wildflowers that I captured during this week’s outing.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 400
  • Aperture f/8 and f/16
  • Shutter 1/250 sec. and 1/90 sec.

 

 

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Bell Ringing Time!

Today’s post features the first clump of Virginia Bluebells that I found this morning on my rural Missouri landscape:

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

The bells are not fully opened yet, but that will happen very quickly.  Headed out shortly to see what other spring woodland wildflowers are smiling at me!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/3.5
  • Shutter 1/250 sec.

 

 

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Symbols of Spring

Today’s post features some of the early spring bulb flowers that are now telling me it’s spring time in Missouri! These images were captured over the past couple of days in my rural Missouri landscape:

Spring bulb flowers

Spring bulb flowering

Spring bulb flowering

Spring bulb flowering

Spring bulb flower

Over the next few days, I expect to go looking for woodland wildflowers, which should be starting to bloom.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200 (still conditions) and ISO 800 (windy conditions)
  • Aperture f/3.5 to f/11
  • Shutter 1/30 sec. to 1/2000 sec.

 

 

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Time for Bluebells to Ring

Today’s post contains some macro images that I captured on my rural Missouri property on Wednesday. Virginia Bluebell wildflowers are one of the first wildflowers to appear in my woodlands. After a long, cold winter, these little babies are about ready to pop! Here are some of my favorite images:

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

Virginia Bluebells wildflowers

When the rains end, I guess it’s time to get out and see what other woodland wildflowers I can find!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 180mm, f/3.5 lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with ballhead
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/8, f/16 and f/19
  • Shutter 1/15 sec., 0.7 sec., 2 sec.

 

 

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From Super Moon to Spooky Moon

My previous post featured the last Super Moon of 2019, as it rose above a lakeside home at the Lake of the Ozarks (MO).  As I mentioned in that post, the day was cloudy and rainy until a short time before moonrise, when the sky cleared. But after the moon rose higher in the sky, clouds began to move across the face of the moon, creating a spooky scenario.

The Super Moon before the clouds invaded:

April 2019 Super Moon

Once the clouds began to appear, a spectacular night show began:

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

March 2019 Super Moon

These are all good examples of what I “preach” whenever I’m teaching a landscape or astrophotography class … that “once the activity appears to be over, hang around for a little longer to see if something else develops”.  Sure will miss the Super Moons … until they again visit us in 2020!

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off” (and a 1.4x TC used on the last photos)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 250 and ISO 500
  • Aperture f/8, f/16 and f/32
  • Shutter 1/350 sec. to 2 sec.

 

 

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Final Super Moon of 2019

During last week’s final Super Moon of the year, I was at the Lake of the Ozarks to photograph this event. My previous attempt at this location was unsuccessful, due to heavy clouds. This final attempt was also not looking real good, early in the day. But after some brief showers, the clouds began breaking up about an hour before moonrise!

Setting my tripod up on a floating deck, I positioned the camera towards where the moon should be rising. Fortunately, both the sky conditions and my “best guess” at the location were both good … here are a few images of the Super Moon I captured:

April 2019 Super Moon

April 2019 Super Moon

April 2019 Super Moon

Some of the above images are a bit “soft”.  Shooting with a super telephoto lens, at slow shutter speeds, and set up on a floating dock, created some challenges! Next time, I’ll have to experiment with my techniques.

And when the moon had cleared the background hill and trees, a beautiful Super Moon was sitting there in front of me:

April 2019 Super Moon

Being the last Super Moon of 2019, it will be a while before another opportunity comes up like this.  But I’ll be ready.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon 500mm, f/4 IS lens, with IS “Off” (and a 1.4x TC used on the bottom photo)
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Wemberley gimbal head
  • ISO 400 and ISO 250 (bottom photo)
  • Aperture f/8 and f/32 (bottom photo)
  • Shutter 1/10 sec. to 1/e sec.

 

 

 

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