Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-07-26 – American Bellflower

_MG_2550Standing on the hill this morning, watching the skies change above while reflecting in the river below, listening to the falcon calling, I thought to myself, This is the kind of thing I’m going to miss, once this project is done.  The quiet contemplation, the appreciation of familiar sights that are never quite the same from day to day, the new things that I’ve watched develop.  And feeling like I’m the only one in the world who’s awake!

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 5:17 AM
Sunrise: 5:51 AM
Daylight: 16 hours

Of course, despite all that, it’s still going to be a year or two before I engage in another daily series project.

It came to me that one of the lessons I’ve learned throughout this project is that regardless of anyone else’ opinion to the contrary, to get not just a shot, but the shot – and anyone who’s spent any amount of time behind a camera knows the lure of the shot! – you have to scout your position, compose it with an eye to the story you want to tell, and then you have to be willing to be at that place Every. Single. Day. at the ideal time until weather conditions combine to create the photo you’ve envisioned.  I’ve also learned that a good photographer can take just about any place, under just about any weather conditions, and create photographic magic with it.  Maybe those magic shots won’t be the shot.  But they’ll still be noteworthy.

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Cody watching the sunrise

And I’ve learned that I need to invest in a set of split neutral-density filters.

So I’ve had my eye on several developing wildflowers.  Can’t wait until they come into bloom!  Managed to identify another one with the help of my buddy Lance.

Lance studied horticulture in college; to this day he maintains an interest.  Mostly in unique wildflowers he can grow from seed harvested on walks down the road or through the woods.  Sometimes the best ones sprout on their own, and he simply cultivates them where they grow.  But for several years he’s been puzzling over a particularly pretty one in his lower yard.  Last night he typed into the search engine “blue wildflower” and started paging through the pictures, one by one.  (And I tell you, it’s amazing how often that simple search works brilliantly.)  On the ride home he told me to look up “Campanula Americana.”  As soon as I saw the first image I was thrilled; it matched exactly, petal and leaf, to the little beauties on the lower path of the Bluff!

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If you decide to go hunting these darlings, though, be warned; they flourish in damp conditions and partial to full shade, so be prepared to soak yourself in bug spray, or resign yourself to getting bug-bit.

Panoramic 208

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