Max Patch Wildflowers
I took a spontaneous trip up to a bald in North Carolina called Max Patch earlier this week.
If you have never visited before, you absolutely should. Pack a blanket, picnic, a camera, maybe some wine (is that allowed...)
Anyway, it's such a beautiful place for the sunrise and sunsets.
Of course when I visit, I try to plan it when there are flowers blooming! It makes me so happy to see pops of color everywhere. The pollinators love it too.
Walking up the trail to the bald I saw purple asters, ironweed, goldenrod, sweet autumn clematis, Queen Anne's lace, and some other flowers I wasn't familiar with.
Ironweed and goldenrod both signal that fall is coming for me. The strong purple jewel tones of the ironweed paired with the bright warm yellows of goldenrod are the perfect fall combination. When I see them start to bloom I get so excited!
Also, it was hot when I hiked up but cooled down a bit after the sun went down. The ultimate signal of fall is that morning and evening chill.
Ah, fall is finally in the air.
Per usual at Max Patch, the sunset was stunning. Most of the time I actually want clouds in the sky during sunsets because I think they make it more interesting. This night in particular, the sun was the literal star of the show. There weren't clouds in the sky but I wasn't disappointed at all. I felt like I was in a star wars movie because the sun was glowing so unusually. And that warm ball of orange contrasting with the blues of the mountains...Perfection.
It was difficult not to stare at the sun. Obviously you're not supposed to do that but I had to look at the sun through my viewfinder to get the sunset shot!
Sunsets are one of my absolute favorite things in the world. Watching the actual sun while it sets is beautiful, but the light it casts on everything else is worth observing as well. When the sun finally gets low in the sky and the light starts to feel warmer and magical, that's the golden hour. So as I got my sunset shots, I had to remember to look around and capture other moments in that beautiful light as well.
After golden hour is passed and the sun has set, there are still opportunities for magic to happen.
In fact, I actually love shooting golden rod after dark. Some of my favorite pictures I've ever taken are from a couple years ago on Max Patch. I took some high ISO shots of the golden rod when it was pretty dark and at first I thought they were no good. Then I decided to play around with editing and I loved the effect! I brightened up the image and voila! Beautiful golden rod after dark.
I brought 3 cameras up there with me; 1 digital and 1 film. My film camera that I was most looking forward to finishing ended up having batteries. That were dead. I didn't even know that it had batteries at all. I thought the camera could function completely manual. Nope. The light meter didn't work, the shutter capture button locked, and the film advance lever refused to move. So I ended up using my back-up brick of a film camera.
They surprisingly turned out nicely!
I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I did!