Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Jennings Environmental Area

Every year at around this time (end of July to beginning of August) I make my annual trip to Jennings Environmental Area to see the Blazing Stars (Liatris spicata).  Something happened this year though.  This year there were fewer flowers than I have ever seen. There were really very few.  I'm honestly not sure why.  Perhaps this year's weather was too hot or too dry or too something......I certainly hope it was just a bad year for them and not a harbinger of things to come.

At any rate, not wanting to forget about this years trip, I thought i would repost an older year's entry about Jennings.  It just seemed a shame not to try and commemorate the Blazing Stars in any way. So excuse the 'redo' from 2011:

The end of July means it is time for my annual pilgrimage to see the prairie in bloom at Jennings Environmental Center. Jennings encompasses approximately 20 acres of prairie, which is distinctly out of place in Western Pennsylvania.  The prairie was apparently formed by prehistoric glacial activity and is the only such ecosystem in Pennsylvania.  As such, one can see the so called "Blazing Star" flower (Liatris spicita) typically seen on the prairi in full bloom at this time of year.  In addition, this is the home of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, one of the three poisonous snake species found in Pennsylvania.  The snake is fairly shy and I have to say that I have  never actually seen one during any of my visits.

The image below is that of the previously mentioned "Blazing Star".  As a follow up to my recent post entitled "Out Of Your Comfort Zone", this image was taken with the lens wide open (in this case at f2) giving a blurred background with an out of focus 'echo' of the in focus flower.


Liatris spicata, the 'Blazing Star'


Interested in visiting Jennings?  Here is more information about the area..

by Howard G

© Howard Grill