A Sea of Bluebells in Manassas

Spring is back and with it comes a seemingly endless supply of flora beauty, warmer weather¬†and blankets of pollen. It couldn’t all be good, could it? This year’s seasonal change has been different from most as we went from winter to what felt like near summer temperatures over night. And now we’re back to cooler than average temperatures. Will tomorrow bring snow, then heat warnings the day after that? Time will tell. But for now, I’ll take spring and all of it’s glory, even if it comes with buckets of pollen.

A Sea of Bluebells in Manassas National Battlefield ParkI think many were caught off guard with springs sudden rise this year; I know I was. With managing only to get out to photograph a couple of times thus far this season, I’ve made the best of it. I focused on a couple of red bud sessions at a couple of local parks, including Manassas National Battlefield Park. While driving through in the rain, I captured a couple of nice red bud shots (which can be found on my Facebook page – Like it today!), but I also noticed a large blooming of Virginia bluebells. Last year if you recall, I spent a day at Bull Run Park photographing bluebells along the river bank, but I wasn’t thrilled with the results. With all the hype about bluebells at Bull Run, I found the showing at Manassas National Battlefield Park¬†to be much better.

A Sea of Bluebells in Manassas National Battlefield ParkHaving spied the bluebell groupings while driving through the park, I told myself I had to return and soon. So return I did, the very next morning and found a splendid showing of bluebells that trumped last year’s Bull Run showing. Skies were overcast and the air heavy with a morning mist, which offered up great lighting for me. I know that sounds odd to the non-photographer, but you’ll have to trust me on this one.

The surrounding vine filled forest, yet to blossom, failed to yield an expansive view that pleased my pallet. To compensate, I decided to get dirty; good thing I don’t wear my Sunday best while in the field. I positioned my tripod a couple of inches off the ground and onto my knees and belly I went. Having found a number of pleasing compositions, I opened up the aperture quite wide, to f2.8 in many cases, and fired away. The resulting images far exceed last year’s bluebell session and Manassas will remain on my early spring must-do photo journeys for years to come.

With a few good images captured and heavily soiled clothes, I packed it in and called it a day. And what a beautiful day it was.

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