Bluebell Symphony

They are here!  The Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) are finally in bloom.  I walked down to the bottoms near the Meramec River at the Shaw Nature Reserve to find these wonderful spring colors filling the forest floor.  It had just rained the day before, so the cloudy day and the excess moisture certainly presented some interesting photographing opportunities.



Spring Ephemeral

Spring is indeed here!  I’ve seen several native ephemerals as well as the beautiful (though not native) daffodils.  Photos taken at Shaw Nature Reserve and Powder Valley Nature Center.  BTW, the bluebells have STILL not burst from their buds.  I patiently await their appearance.

Let me know which photos you enjoy the most!



Spring Emergent

We’ve had an early Spring snow to slow things down a bit.  This time last year, Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) were in full bloom.  Today, I paid another visit to Powder Valley Nature Center (see previous visit), hoping to treat my Nikon to a photogenic feast of bluebells among the snow.  However, it seems that nature, so gloriously intelligent and constantly unpredictable, has decided to wait for the snows to pass.

Nonetheless, emerging bluebells (probably, since this was the location I found them last year) greeted me and encouraged me to be patient.


Emerging Bluebells….I think.  I’ll know for sure in a couple weeks.





Flutter Followers

I paid another visit to the Butterfly House in Chesterfield.  Unlike our previous visit (see post), it was cold and dry outside, and hot and humid inside.  This month is particularly good for visiting since so many butterflies are released, especially the blue morphos.  Most of the blue morphos were active, making it difficult for me to grab a shot.  Everything in the tropical setting seemed to move!  Some fluttered across my line of vision.  A pair of blue morphos flew around me as if I obstructed their flight along the path.  A few followed me briefly, before flying off to the other human attractions.  One blue morpho landed on my back, seemingly sticking its proboscis out at me and my camera…  The beautiful little freeloader stayed there for almost 10 minutes as I walked around!

Anyway, some of the other butterflies were considerably more photogenic…here are a few of the photos.





Spring Almost

Last week I enjoyed a solitary walk through Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center and Reserve near Kirkwood, Missouri.  All was fairly quiet.  A gentle, cool breeze swept through the bare tree branches and rattled the brown leaves still clinging to a few stubborn oaks and maples.  Leaf litter decorates the entire forest floor;  it crackles as I step through it.  While the day is still cool (mid 40’s), the Sun’s energy, like the breeze, sweeps past the trees and warms me as I walk.

All is quiet.  But I can feel the change in season coming.  Some trees are beginning to show their plump buds, ready to spring into action.  In just a few weeks, I can imagine the wonderful bluebells (Mertensia virginica – previous post) and wood sorrel (Oxalis violaceaprevious post)  emerging again and filling the brown forest floor with brilliant color.

But for now, it is still.  It is good.  Go out and enjoy it.  Then, I recommend returning every week or two to watch the dramatic changes.  First the spring ephemerals fill the forest floor.  Next, shrubs and trees begin to flower and leaf out, depending on their mannerisms.  Soon after that, the life-giving light that once warmed the spring ephemeral flowers will be squandered by the trees.

Powder Valley, early March

Powder Valley, early March

Streamside, Powder Valley, early March

Streamside, Powder Valley, early March