A place to call home

By Saturday, June 1, 2013grafphoto
wild lupine photo

Wild Lupine and stone | Nikon D800, Nikkor 200mm f4 macro

This patch of lupine that I photographed recently had me thinking about isolated spots for photographing specific things.   There may be a huge forest, woodland, field, prairie, or riverside that goes on for miles, but for very small sections of these places, sometimes there is something very unique to be found.   Perhaps a flower that grows there, and only there.   In a way, these things take root and make the place ‘home.’

I know Wild Lupine like to grow on banks and in dry, sandy soil.   There are plenty of both all around this area, yet the Lupine only grow here, and one other spot quite a distance away that I know of.   For as long as I have returned to this spot (probably going on 7 years now) – they just keep to themselves in this area.   Not much migration through the woods, not much reduction in the area either.

I wonder if this is in their genetic makeup.  They tend to keep to themselves once reaching a certain population size.   Could this offer possible survival benefits?

It seems this way with a lot of spring wildflowers in this area.   Certain spots are good for certain things, and I am sure soil chemistry, daylight, and all that botanical bonanza of biology come into play.   It is just interesting how very specific those spots can be.

Photographing these flowers can be a real test of your patience.   The first day I went, I was just pleased to hit the bloom at peak, about a week or so earlier than the last time I was here.   But the light was dark overcast, and there was a constant morning breeze – a real joy with tall stalks of flowers.   The second attempt I was granted better light, but the breeze was still there, although a bit reduced.   You had to time the exposure during those lulls, and sometimes that meant some waiting.   I worked the area quite a bit, and then as the sun rose higher, it began to shine through the trees, and I knew that the moment had come.   Stopping down to f22 gives the starburst effect, and I just positioned myself at the bottom of the bank and waited.

wild lupine photo

Wild Lupine and morning sunburst, Milford, MI | Nikon D800, 14-24 mm

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Earl says:

    Lovely shot, Mark. I’ve been absent on making my favorite blog rounds as of late but hope to find a new “normal” here soon. 🙂

  • I’m like Jack, I haven’t made a lupine photo I am satisfied with yet. But these two of yours are keepers, no doubt. I guess I’m waiting for one of those big fields of flowers, which I haven’t seen for a long time. Probably just don’t get out enough to the right places. Those big fields only happen in certain places at just the right time of year with just the right amount of rainfall at the right times.

    • Mark says:

      Very true David. I often see these majestic photos of flowers in front of mountains and imagine how the timing must be quite right to capture something like that, especially when blooms have been varying 1-2 weeks per year.

  • This is a great image and well worth all that patience you spent in pursuit. I hope it didn’t use your entire supply. 🙂

    I just spent a week in Maine and the lupine is much more prolific there. But I am sure it is just a case of there being more of what it takes for their success, just as with your smaller patches there. Ecology is a fascinating subject.

    I have no trouble with patience…but I think in my case it is just laziness. 🙂

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Steve. My supply can be quite limited from time to time. 🙂
      I imagine Maine offered some great scenic opportunities. In this spot I was a bit limited on viewpoints.

  • Beautiful images Mark!

    It’s amazing how many incredible things there are in nature if you just know where to look.

    When I was first starting out, I tended to just roam around and shoot whatever I stumbled across. Course, I still tend to do that a lot because you still can discover things you’ve overlooked.

    But once you start learning about the subjects you want to capture, you increase the odds of finding them instead of just roaming around hoping tht you find them.

    In the winter time I start cracking my wildflower and insect books out learning about what might be in my area and trying to identify both when and where I may find them. It’s certainly led to a much higher success rate that’s for sure!

    • Mark says:

      I tend to be a ‘roamer’ also, which sometimes makes it a challenging choice on what equipment to haul around. 🙂 But limitation drives creativity right? I agree wholeheartedly that a little education on your subjects can really improve your odds of coming home with some keepers. Thanks Kevin.

      • Mark,

        It’s inevitable that no matter how much gear I bring with me I find a subject that makes me wish I had brought the one thing that I didn’t think I needed.

        Although I find my success rate increase the more I know about my subjet, the nice thing about being a roamer as you say is that if you don’t find anything, you won’t be disappointed.

        Of course, getting out in the field is 80% of it.

  • Howard Grill says:

    That first shot is good but that second shot with the starburst is just plain awesome!!!!!

  • Awesome and glad you were patient enough. Some would have already been back at their car. The second image is a show stopper for me. Would love to see what this looks like as a print. I’ve often wondered the same thing about how nature places this plant here and this one over here and nothing here. And, there are scientific reason I have yet to know. For me I’m just suppose to search them out and enjoy them.

  • Jack Johnson says:

    Lovely image, Mark – you must have a really good camera! 😉

    I’ve still not managed to get a lupine shot I like – guess it’s time for some new photo gear! (If you’ll write a letter telling my wife this really is the way it works, I’ll return the favor next time you want to upgrade…) 🙂

    – Jack

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