May Day Trillium

May 06, 2012  •  Leave a Comment
 

Purple and white trillium close-up. GR Thompson State Wildlife Management Area.Purple and white trillium close-up

Last Monday, I got my hands on the new Nikon D800. I've been waiting to buy this camera for more than a year. It's an excellent camera, especially for landscape and studio photography. Unfortunately, the camera is currently sold out worldwide. I had been on a waiting list since February 7, with no expected delivery date, but my wonderful wife worked her shopping magic and was able to find one for me. It was serendipity that the very next day, the Senate was out of session and my office closed for the day to conduct major system upgrades. It also happened to be May Day and the trillium were still in bloom in GR Thompson WMA near Front Royal, Virginia. So, early Tuesday morning, I drove out to Thompson WMA to test out my new camera on the trillium.


There are millions of trillium in bloom every year in Thompson WMA. The flowers grow in a dense forest. It's a breathtaking sight, but hard to photograph. The dense forest can make for cluttered photos. So, I looked for open areas when I could, but ended up taking lots of close-ups.

Wet great white trillium in GR Thompson Wildlife Management Area, Virginia.Wet great white trillium

Whenever I could, I tried to add context. In the following photo, I used the logs on either side of the trillium to create a natural frame. Recent rainfall helped make the colors pop.

Great white trillium between logs in GR Thompson WMA, Virginia.Great white trillium between logs

We had an early spring this year, so by May 1, the trillium were near the end of their bloom cycle—which, as far as I can tell, lasts about a week. The flowers start off white and then turn purple at the end of the cycle. In Thompson, the mayapple frequently blooms at the same time as the trillium, but I missed them this year. In the following photo, much of the greenery is from mayapple—a few trillium can be spotted as well.

Forest floor of mayapple and trillium in GR Thompson WMA, Virginia.Forest floor of mayapple and trillium

I had lots of fun shooting the trillium. The new camera was a joy to work with. I made a second outing last Friday, taking the day off work to shoot a waterfall and a sunrise in Shenandoah. I'll be posting those images later this week.

 

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