Trip Report 2: Spring in the Nebraska Panhandle – Close-Ups

Drops from a recent rainstorm cling to a lovely Mariposa Lily in Toadstool Geologic Park in northwestern Nebraska.
Mariposa Droplets

Sometimes the most intricate and colorful subjects are found close to the ground or are small and often hidden. Over time as a photographer my Macro lens has become one of my favorite lenses for exploring the world. I can and often do spend hours studying one flower. The white lily, for instance, was my subject for almost an hour and a half as I crawled around to get the perfect vantage. I wanted to accentuate the drops and explore the beauty of this Great Plains flower.

Drops of rain cling to a spiderwort at Ash Hollow State Historical Park in western Nebraska. Spiderworts bloom only opens for one day.
Only For a Day

This spiderwort at Ash Hollow State Historical Park was also no exception. I spent a good hour capturing this specimen from different angles. I knew I only had one chance, Spiderworts only bloom for a day!

Flowering Cactus
Flowering Cactus

From a good distance I spotted these brilliant pink flowers. I had to be careful not to get too close as the cactus below would prick me, and did, once.


On my first day on this journey I came into a fairly steady rain. As I walked through Ash Hollow I saw several places near the ground that glistened. As I moved closer I found that spider webs were catching the drops on the fine filaments creating a pattern of sparkling spheres.

Toadstool Up Close
Toadstool Up Close

Every time prior I had visited Toadstool Geologic Park in Sioux County I had always captured its essence in wide sweeping landscapes. On this return trip I took more time to capture the more intimate details of these badlands. I found it very satisfying to simply stroll through the landscape and look for the patterns that inhabited the area.

Milk Vetch grows in a seemingly inhospitable landscape of Toadstool Geologic Park in Western Nebraska.
Standing Milk Vetch

Lastly, I found this blooming Milk Vetch that seemed to sprout from one of the most inhospitable areas I have seen. Dry and barren, this flower still thrivs and bloomed.

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