Prairie Meadow at Sunrise

During my last trip to the nearby prairie meadow, I decided to go a bit earlier than I normally do so that I could try to get some sunrise images at this location at the actual sunrise time (this meadow is located on a hilltop and is surrounded by woods, so the sun does not directly hit any of the meadow until ~30 minutes after actual sunrise). When I arrived, I was very pleasantly surprised. There was a very heavy dew over the meadow; this is my first trip to the meadow where the dew was heavy, although I had longed for these conditions many times!

This day would be my “best” day at the meadow since finding it this spring. Besides the early morning macro images in this post, I also saw several new wildflowers budding or blooming, a small tree frog clinging to prairie grasses, several cicadas hanging onto meadow plants, some new dragonflies (some at extremely close range), a yellow garden spider catching/encasing a freshly-caught insect, several species of butterflies, and almost stepped on a deer fawn! Oh, and I can’t forget the young oppossum I found in a tree cavity in the woods, along the short woodland trail that I must take to reach the hilltop meadow! Too many things to cover in a single post, so I will feature my finds over several posts. Let’s start with the fantastic dew and early morning sunrise!

This first image shows several droplets of dew on prairie grass stems. Note the interesting illusion: the surrounding scenery is reflected “upside-down” in the beadlets! :

 Dew on Prairie Grass

While I was photographing dew on the grasses, a small fly flew in and landed on a nearby dead branch of a shrub that had been burned during this spring’s “Prescribed Burn”. Timing was perfect … the sun was just beginning to peep through the upper reaches of the surrounding woodland trees, making an interesting background, as well as backlighting the fly. I carefuly moved the tripod a few feet to the left and composed the image with the orange sky in the background:

Fly on branch at sunrise

As I continued through the waist-high grasses/wildflowers, this clump of prairie grass stems, with it’s hanging seeds backlit from the emerging sun grabbed my attention:

Prairie grass seeds with sunrise in background

As I said earlier, this was one of my most rewarding mornings I’ve spent in the meadow. By the time I finished my round, I could squeeze water out of my pants/shirt! But it was all worth it. In the next prairie meadow post, I’ll feature some of the magnificent Dragonflies I encountered on this magical day!

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