Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Few More From the Smokies

Here are a few more images from the Smokies in April:

The first is a waterfall near Tremont Creek. It was really flowing from the recent rains. I really wanted to show the double falls at the top. There were trees blocking on the sides and the angles were difficult.

The next is a group of trilliums taken near the Chimney Tops Picnic Area.

It was very, very windy that day and I am surprised that the image is as sharp as it is.

Finally, in a play on words, this one I call "Old Fronds and New Fronds"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Batch of Smokies Images

Here are more of the images from my recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. The image on the left is Big Creek taken through the dogwood and trees. The trail starts out well above the creek, but eventually ends up next to the creek. There are very few dogwood in this area, but I liked the light and the feeling of being in the woods above the creek. The other image is of fern fiddle heads which I find to be fascinating.

More Smokies Images

I will eventually get around to actually adding some of my images from the Smokies to my website. Until then the blog will be the best place to see some of the new images. The large flowered trillium pictured here was one of the best specimens that I found. The difficulty was waiting for the wind to stop blowing. There was no such problem with the morel. The columbine was also captured on the windy day.

Smokies Landscapes

This is a tough time of the year for landscapes in the Smokies. The trees are still very brown and on this particular trip the clouds were all (cloudy or rainy) or none (stark blue sky and bright light). On this trip, I did not spend any time at the higher elevations due to these circumstances. So, I have a lot of images of creeks, some with dogwoods and some without due to the anthracnose blight that has killed many dogwoods.

The first image is of Porter Creek. This is the first time that I have visited this area. The wildflowers there are fantastic and the creek is very beautiful. The trail which follows the creek is mostly a gradual gravel road and is lined with wildflowers. Of particular note is the showy orchis. I had been searching at my other stops in the park for this small orchid, which is only about 3 inches tall. I finally found lots of them on the Porter Creek Trail. Unfortunately, they were still not in full bloom.

More Smokies Images

Well, I am home now and will be processing images for a while longer. Here are a few more... mostly wildflowers. I know I am getting better at macro photography. However, it is very difficult, and I still feel that I have more improvements to make. Mostly in the areas of getting sharper images and getting better at checking backgrounds for distracting elements. Getting sharp macro images of wildflowers is tough because the flowers are always dancing in the wind. Pictured here are trillums grouped with bishops cap and white phacelia. This was taken along the Porter Creek Trail. The fire pink (red flower) was taken along Big Creek, which is one of my favorite places in the Smokies. And finally, the wild geranium (below) was taken along the trail leading to the Ramsey Cascades.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Greetings from the Smokies

Greetings from the Great Smoky Mountains. I took the opportunity to enjoy an early spring before things green up in the northwoods. So, off to the Smokies. It has been a bit of a late spring in the there. However, there have been many things in bloom. Most of my photos were close-ups of wildflowers, but I did get a few of the streams such as this one on Tremont Creek. The wildflowers in the Smokies are phenomenal this time of year. This grape vine leads through a carpet of trilliums. Other images also caught my eye such as the raindrops on the leaves of a blue cohosh.