Wildflower season in full bloom

Published 7:00 am Friday, November 6, 2015

The wildflower season is in full bloom and may be at its peak for this year.
The best place to enjoy nature’s flower garden is on the back roads where you can get closer to them and drive more slowly since there generally is much less traffic to contend with.
Back roads, though, are not the only place to find the beauty that blooms at this time every year. Last year, there was a field on the west side of Interstate 59 between exits 4 and 6 that sometimes appeared almost to outshine the sun with its golden mix of sunflowers and golden rod. This year, though, the beauty in that field is confined to the northwest corner and is hard to see going south and can’t be seen going north.
For me, one of the best places to see the fall beauty is driving out Walkiah Road, then turning on to Pine Grove Road and then on to Dumas Wise Road. I also like to drive down Burnt Bridge Road and out Liberty Road, and … oh well, just about back road I can find with little traffic.
The main problem I run into is the scatterings of the legions of beauty-blind litterers whose fast-food offal sometimes threatens to cover up the beauty of the flowers. And, of course, there are those zealous mowing crews that every year obliterate the flowers because some people view them only as weeds. How such beauty can be viewed as weeds when it’s in the wild where it belongs is beyond my comprehension.
A word of caution for those who, as I do, love to photograph nature’s fall glory (and spring glory, too, but this is about the fall glory). Park as far off the road as you can safely get, where you can easily be seen and preferably in the sunlight and turn on your flashers before getting out of your vehicle.
Due to the legions of litterers that strew their filth all over the county and state, be sure to carry one of these handy dandy pincers meant for picking up litter and a bag to put it in (no sense in just relocating it elsewhere on the roadside). Often, in order to get a pristine shot of the beauty, you will need to pick up the litter that would otherwise mar your photograph. If you are lucky, as I was this past Sunday afternoon, youwill find some butterflies flitting among the flowers and add their beauty to the beauty of the flowers in your photographs.
I have written mostly of the golden flowers, but there are other colors, such as the blue mist flower that is often seen with the swamp sunflowers on the side of the road. Last year, I was able to take a beautiful shot (at least I thought it was beautiful) of a mix of sunflowers and blue mist flowers on the side of Pine Grove Road. I went looking for it again this year, but it wasn’t the same. That’s the way it is with nature’s wildflower gardens.

By Will Sullivan

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox