A bad pun, but a pretty (to me) image. I happened upon this fungus while strolling along the Potomac River at Ball’s Bluff park. There are large areas filled with the Virginia Bluebells. Part of the credit for preserving the Bluebells goes to Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy for removing invasive mustard plants. Thanks! It makes my photography easier. Ball’s Bluff National Battlefield Park is the home to many types of wildflowers. I’ll have to try and count the ones I have seen over the years.
The Ida Lee park in Leesburg is the home of a garden of the Loudoun Master Gardeners. There is almost always something blooming there. Currently, the Bleeding Hearts and Virginia Bluebells are blooming (as well as others). Bleeding Hearts are one of my favorites. The flowers are so delicate and move in the slightest breeze. They also seem to glow when the light is right. A drop of nectar forms on the bottom of the blossoms attracting ants, bees, and other insects.
Sometimes when walking along in the woods, I come across a new (to me) flower. This happened last year when I saw the Shooting Stars. Unfortunately I found them just days before access to the park was limited due to the pandemic. Only a few flowers were open at that time. I was determined to visit them again this year and have been back several times so far. There are several dozen plants in various stages of blooming. I crawl around on knee pads and yoga mat trying to get as low as possible. I like the effect of getting down to ground level for the shots.
The second image was made with a long lens and extension tube. The combination helps to isolate the flower from the background by using a wide aperture.
Each year I look forward to wandering the local parks and woodlands looking for wildflowers. This year I finally came across the Columbine I knew was there, but had not seen. While exploring the area for another flowering plant, I saw the Columbine clinging to a large rock outcrop. Getting into a better position for photographing the flowers, I came upon many more blooming plants. After about two hours, with the sun setting, I had to move on.