Monday, May 19, 2014

A Photo Walk


A friend of mine sent me a link to a suggested outing, a Photography Nature Class at McCloud Nature Center.  I'd never been to this park, because its out in the middle of nowhere, at the other end of Hendricks County.  And there have not been any occasions worth it to me.  Well, I didn't think it was worth it.

Wow, was I wrong!

After getting that notice, and just merely considering the possibility that I might be willing to pass on my naptime to go to this thing, Jacob pushed the right buttons.  He found a pamphlet at the library, and boom, there it was again, the same page ad that E had sent me.  One of our mutual friends from church was thinking of coming too.  The signs were all pointing in that direction.

This was the one and only picture I took NOT in Manual, out the car window as I was pulling into the park. 
This view of a large prairie oasis in the middle of nowhere, Indiana, took my breath away with its beauty. 

So I met my friend A in the parking lot, and we went in together.  It was a small group.  There were only a couple other people in the room.  One I recognized as being the spouse of one of my Mom2Mom friends, and an older gentlemen, who had a lens so large on his camera my Dad would have been drooling.  Turns out the older gent was a teacher, and was sitting in on the class because he wanted to go on the walk later.  I wish I'd caught his name!  He had the coolest app on his phone, he had another camera, set up on a tripod out back, that was sending a signal to his phone, so that he could snap the pictures remotely.  We watched as a goldfinch was feeding, and he got a real good close picture without scaring the bird away.  I wish I knew what that app was, my Dad would Love it! 

Right as we started walking by the edge of the prairie, a little bird zipped by me, and landed in a tree.  
It was pretty good at camoflage, but I think it's an American Tree Sparrow, because her cap was pretty red.

These are called Wild Geranium.  
And they were blooming all over the place. 

After walking a bit, we found a mayapple plant grouping.  And one of them had a little flower on it.  
They don't all have flowers, only if there's a split into two umbrellas, at the base of the split will there be a flower and eventually an apple.  So I put my camera on the ground, and got this great shot upwards into the sky.  I was pretty excited about the bokeh that I got.  It was just a little crooked so I straightened it out in picasa, but otherwise, it was just like that.  Really, this flower is pretty close to the ground, so without my camera's flexible screen, I wouldn't have been able to get that angle.  I was pretty happy. 

Then the elder gentlemen pulled a stick wrapped in black fabric out of his pack.
And he slid it right behind the flower and told me to try again.  This was the same shot, sooc.  

A closeup gives an entirely new look to the mayapple flower.  

We walked along the river next to a valley, and the trees were so pretty.  

I should have changed my ISO to not look quite as blown out as we crossed the bridge.  
I didn't realize it at the time, I thought these were going to turn out.  
Still, I think they look pretty neat even though the sky is a little too bright. 

As we crossed the bridge it started to rain, but the sycamores by the riverside were so pretty. 

The rain started started coming down harder, but I leaned over the bridge for one more shot before heading back to shelter.  I didn't actually mind getting a little wet.  I was more concerned about my camera.   Not sure what this wildflower was, might be a wild golden aster, but being straight above it on the bridge made it easy to snap, it was probably thigh high down there on the ground.  

Someone had said Wild Columbine was blooming, and I didn't know what it was, until we found this one blooming right behind a tree.  I had to kind of contort myself to get at it, since it was on a hillside.  But turns out Columbine is very pretty especially if you can get up under it.  But I couldn't with this one, maybe another time.

 I had a great time at this park, and I can't wait to go there with the boys this summer.  They will love it.  It really is a little oasis.  And I can't wait to get shooting in manual some more.