A Walk in the Woods

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

Published by

Carol Freeman

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 thoughts on “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.

    1. 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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