Circumstances have kept me close to home so far this spring. I haven’t been able to make it out with my camera much lately to get my Nature fix, so I’ve been spending as much time as I can prowling around my yard. It has been fun watching and photographing the first signs of spring as they have appeared around the yard. Last year I was able to hear Adam Jones speak about macro photography which got me interested in doing more macro work. Photographing the first signs of spring has been a perfect opportunity to work on my macro skills and help me work on finding nature’s beauty wherever I happen to be. It has also been a great way to “connect” with my yard.
(click on any photo in this post to enlarge)
Around the end of March, the first flowers were blooming in my yard. Our vinca and daffodils were the first to show their spring colors and in one location, we had both growing together. I made some close-up macro photos of both flowers, but the photo I liked best was a wide angle image showing both vinca and daffodil blooming together. Many wide angle lenses have a very close minimum focus distance, which in this case let me get in close to the small vinca blossoms and still include the daffodil in the background.
The next blooms to appear in the yard were on our verbena bushes. I’ve never really paid much attention to the blossoms on these bushes before other than to note their presence. Looking at the blossoms through my macro lens gave me new appreciation for the beauty of these flowers, however. I thought the combination of the pink on the unopened flowers was really pretty combined with the white of the opened flowers. It is amazing what the world has to offer when we pay attention.
Around the same time the verbena bushes were flowering, our bleeding heart was starting as well. Bleeding hearts are one of my favorite flowers and this is the first one we’ve gotten to grow well in the yard. I love the shape and color of these flowers. I hope to add more bleeding hearts around the yard and have more photo ops with these flowers next year.
The first week of April brought blossoms to the crabapple tree in our front yard. This tree is great to have in the yard for a several reasons including its beautiful spring flowers. I typically photograph the flowers on this tree each spring, but this was the first year I’ve used a macro lens. Just like with the verbena flowers, spending some time viewing the crabapple flowers up close gave me a new appreciation of their beauty.
Another reason we really enjoy having the crabapple tree in our yard is the birds that it attracts. Each spring cedar waxwings pay a visit to the tree and eat the petals off the flowers. In the fall the cedar waxwings will return and eat the berries in the crabapple tree…another great photo op!
A flower you just can’t pass up photographing in early spring are the grape hyacinth. These little flowers are just too much fun to not photograph. I was photographing groupings of the flowers when I noticed this single flower off to the side. I liked how the flowers were nestled into the front of leaves from a nearby lily.
This next flower was photographed the same day as the grape hyacinth is from a lungwort plant. A friend told us about this plant last year and we added a couple to the shady areas of our yard. We now have several and love them. The plants have been blooming for several weeks now and are very pretty. The photo above was made with my macro lens and I was able to capture nice details of the small flowers. The sun was lighting up some spiderwort behind the lungwort (it seemed like spiderwort and lungwort should be planted together for some reason!), creating a nice backdrop for the flowers.
Another plant I try to make sure and photograph each spring are the lily of the valley. The flowers on these plants are really pretty and easy to overlook. It was great to explore patches of these with my macro lens. The flowers have a real delicate, graceful beauty to them.
By this time it was mid-April and several new flowers were getting ready to appear in my yard. The columbine (another favorite of mine) salvia, and phlox are blooming now along with all the iris. Our shasta daisies are full of flowers ready to bloom and our gaillardia and yarrow are just starting. We have recently added a number of native wildflowers and pollinator friendly plants to our yard and I’m looking forward to photographing them as they bloom this spring and summer. I’m hopeful that we attract more bees and butterflies and other insects to the yard this year. Of course I’m looking forward to getting out on the prairie more this spring and watching the changes that come to the bigger landscapes around me, but it has been really fun connecting with the changes occurring just outside my house. Nature is so much fun to get out and enjoy, whether near or far.
As always thanks for stopping by and if you would like to see similar photos to those featured in this blog post, please visit the Blooms, Blossoms and Leaves Gallery on my website.
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