Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Silver Lake Field Trip

So the buzz was that Silver Lake had just gotten stocked with fish.
Bernie asked if I wanted to tag along for a late afternoon bit of a date.
Naturally, I said yes.

He was quick to get a bite.
I was quickly bitten; the mosquitoes had hatched from their long winters nap.
Just one week ago the paths around the lake were still snow and slush cover; silly us, we didn't even think about bringing along bug spray.
Every time I focused my camera a mosquito would land on my trigger finger.
Even with a tripod a lot of the shots were quite blurred from my flinching away to smack the offending creature.  
It got to be a contest: Could a mosquito nail me before I could nail a picture.

Funny thing: Bernie always carries bug spray in with his fishing gear and we rarely need it.
This one time he didn't pack it. 

I can now report that I bled for my art.
One time I waited just a fraction of a second to get the shot before hitting the bug.
The bloody gore that was splatted from the death blow was quite remarkable.
My blood, not the mosquitoes; it was all MY blood from inside the mosquito.

But for the sake of fields of flowers to photograph, I was willing to suffer.
At least for awhile.
As pretty as the flowery cluster appeared...
I was much more taken by the orderly arrangement of the five pollen bearing stamen on each tiny flower.
Kind of goofy, kind of like a flower design from outer space.
I also get a kick out of flowers that start out as a purple bud, then swell to pink then turn baby blue upon opening.

Now look at how disorganized is this yellow flower's stamen.
(Probably if I were to look closer at it, I would find that actually they are very orderly, and sprout out at very regular intervals.) 
When I came around one bend in the lakeside path and spotted a sizable patch of shooting stars I was thrilled.
Growing up, finding just one blooming was a cause for celebration.
(Just to be fair, there were other flowers blossoming in the patch as well.)

Last summer my friend Gail saw a shooting star for the very first time. She said she was so surprised to discover how tiny they are in real life.
So for the record, the shooting star flowers are about an inch in size.

Who named them "Shooting Stars" I wonder?
Such a poetic description of the beautiful dart like bloom.
Bernie had moved out to a dock to get away from the mosquitoes at this point and suggested that out there with the slight breeze I would be less bothered by the bugs.
He was wrong about that...and graciously agreed to cut his fishing time short after watching me swat bugs off my camera, legs, hands and catching them in my fist mid air.
The wild iris are almost done blooming, but a few were still glowing about.
That's the thing about wild flowers:  They bloom during specific time frames, and if you miss being out in the wild while they are blooming, you might still be able to catch their appearance at a slightly higher elevation.
Silver Lake is up a bit into the Wasatch mountains.
One really nice thing about Silver Lake is the trails across the lake and around the lake that are wheel friendly.  Families with oldsters, injured or very young can still enjoy being outdoors together using various wheeled transport.
The Sticky Geranium is one flower that blooms the entire summer and even in to early fall.
Still I enjoy the first time I see one each summer.
I admit: Blue wild flowers are my favorite.
The low setting sun created an X-ray like effect on the flowers!
Seeing the bent stamen inside the buds was really cool.
It is interesting to me how many flowers have a simple five point edge. 
It makes the four point ones seem almost odd.
Bernie brought me this flower while I was shooting other flowers and asked me what it was.
I didn't know (shock!) but I think it is a really odd looking inside.
I suppose there is someone out there who will claim this to be their favorite flower.
Some ONE....
The multi-petaled flower don't seem to abide by rules about petal size and shape.
Five pollen covered pom poms.
Ah haa haaa haaa haaaaa!
(Sesame Street...and "da Tount", as our kids used to say as two year olds....occasionally when a number is spoken I can't resist the urge to repeat the number and add my own spooky laugh afterwards...)
These flowers were an end of the day discovery as we were driving the twenty minutes back home.
Bernie decided he wanted to cast into a roadside stream. I was distracted when he disappeared into the woods to follow the stream so I went searching for him.  I found a patch of these waist high flowers were in bloom, totally not visible from the road. 

About a mile from home Bernie began to comment on how beautiful the sunset was becoming and pulled over for me to take a picture of two.
After just a couple of shots I noticed that the air was filled with large black dragonflies.
Naturally I had to at least try and capture them in flight.
See the little helicopter like thing hovering over the horizon?
I was intent on just trying to get one into the picture; my mind kept repeating what I had heard at the photo class this weekend: Have your subject looking into the picture,  not leaving it.
Just try telling that to a dragonfly subject!
And my mind was going "Switch to the Active/Sport setting!"
(That setting allows one to focus on something with a half click and then follow the subject as it moves. The camera will keep the moving subject in focus.)
I didn't switch.
Maybe next time.
There...I got one shot with the dragonfly flying into the picture instead of out of the picture.
Funny how just moments earlier I was happy just getting a nice shot of the sunset.
It was a beautiful thing to behold if one could just ignore the darting flight of dragonflies!

(Not sure why this photo of a wild strawberry blossom slid down to the end of this post but here it is and here it will stay!)


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Mosquitos are going wild here too...I've a few bits to prove it.

I adore your new header...truly gorgeous!

There are so many unique flowers out there in the wilderness. The blues are my favorites too.

ellen b. said...

Wowzers! You found so many great flowers! Beautiful. Love the sunset shots and those dragonflies. In the first one I thought it was a large bird...

Vee said...

That posie is my favorite. Sorry I don't know it's name. Jill, it's always a delight. Lots of good pictures despite the sacrifice. Dang mosquitoes! Yes, of course, you are correct to think that there is order in every single thing, if we look closely enough. I find that incredible.

Lovella ♥ said...

One thing we don't have here on the farm. .nor ever have had is mosquitos. .not sure why.
I am always amazed at how many wildflowers there are. When I was growing up I only thought there were a few . .the ones on the side of the road by our home. It is so wonderful to keep seeing new things as I get older and appreciating them anew every year.
Just for the record. . .Terry is out sharpening my knife to fillet a fish. :)

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

So worth it though, don't you allow the mosquitoes a go at you in order to get those great photos? Beautiful flower shots!