A Walk in the Woods

Carol Freeman —  May 14, 2013 — 3 Comments

Wow, the woods have come alive after a loooooonnnngggg, winter. Just feet into McDonald Woods you will be greeted by a variety of amazing spring flowers. These include spring beauties, cutleaf toothwort, purple cress, marsh marigold, trillium, Virginia bluebells, wild ginger, trout lily, rue-anemone, and many more. Take a few minutes to enjoy the bounty through the end of May. Once the trees get all their leaves, the spring flowers begin to fade. They bloom now to take advantage of the extra sun that reaches the ground before the trees take over.

PHOTO: White trout lily

White trout lily (Erythronium albidum)
©Carol Freeman

To get great photos of these flowers you will do best with a close-up lens, as many of the flowers are small. Also, be prepared to get a little muddy as most of these flowers are low to the ground. I like to shoot level with the flowers to minimize distractions, which means sitting down or even laying down to get the shot. Be sure to stay on the path as the habitat is fragile. There are great plants close to the path so there are plenty of photo opportunities. For more pleasing compositions look for simple backgrounds, and flowers that stand apart from the others.

PHOTO: Cutleaf toothwort

Cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)
©Carol Freeman

PHOTO: Purple cress

Purple cress (Cardamine douglassii)
©Carol Freeman

PHOTO: Spring beauty

Spring beauty (Claytonia virginica)
©Carol Freeman

PHOTO: Rue-anemone

Rue-anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) ©Carol Freeman


PHOTO: Virginia bluebells

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
©Carol Freeman

PHOTO: Bloodroot

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
©Carol Freeman

PHOTO: Marsh marigold

Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris)
©Carol Freeman

©2013 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Carol Freeman

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Photographing nature is Carol’s true passion. Her images reflect her philosophy of finding beauty in all of nature. Her respect of nature has led her to create beautiful light-filled images with low-impact techniques that leave the habitat just as she found it. Her shots are all achieved without the use of flash, fill, or tripod. Carol Freeman Photography is sought out for photo assignments by a variety of clients. Projects range from photographing nature preserves to creating products for fundraising.

3 responses to A Walk in the Woods

  1. My wife Macie and I love all the activity of the plant world and it’s return to beatuful.

  2. Great advice and pictures! What lens are you using? I’m looking for a good macro lens.

    • Carol Freeman May 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      My favorite lenses are my Nikon 105mm and 200mm macro lenses. Any close-up lens or a lens with close-up filters should work fine.

      Good luck!

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