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.

Blazing Stars 2013

Last weekend I went on my annual pilgrimage to Jennings Environmental Center.  Yes, every year around this time the Blazing Stars (Liatris spicata) are in bloom. They are out of place in Western Pennsylvania, as they naturally grow on the prairies of the Midwest.  But many years ago a receeding glacier cut a prairie through the area where Jennings now stands and it became the only area in Pennsylvania where the plant grows naturally.

They grow in profusion and among all the other prairie plants, so the challenge photographically is to isolate them and provide a non-distracting background to the image.

Here is this years contribution.....

Jennings Environmental Education Center

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.

Blazing Star

Liatris spicita

The Blazing Star

Copyright Howard Grill

Interested in visiting Jennings?  Here is a map of the grounds.