Monday, June 1, 2009

Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies in Landsford Canal State Park

I recently enjoyed a trip down to Landsford Canal State Park to see the annual blooming of one of the largest known displays of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies in the world. If you like photography, this is one place to put on your list of places to see and photograph -- you better hurry though -- they only bloom once a year in late May to early June.

The display occurs on a wide stretch of the Catawba River where during the Revolutionary War, British and American Troops led by Cornwallis and Sumter crossed during crucial battles.

If you would like to visit, the park is located at:

2051 Park DR
Catawba,SC 29704
Phone: (803) 789-5800

Feel free to click on any image to make it larger.
A rustic log cabin, built in 1790, was restored and relocated to the park. It is available for rent for group meetings. I applied some rustic techniques to the photo in post processing.

The trail is an easy and scenic approximate one mile walk to a viewing deck for viewing the lilies.
One of the many beautiful scenes along the pathway
Enjoy photographing many beautiful plant species along the path. Use a low aperture number setting on your camera to blur the background and make your main subject appear sharper.
Having good photography equipment and using proper exposure techniques will help you capture the beauty of a scene when you see it.
An eagle's nest perched high above the river is one of the many things you'll enjoy seeing in the park. Hopefully, you will see an eagle too!
A viewing deck is provided to look over the vast sea of spider lilies.
The threat of rain provided some very dramatic scenery. Don't let the weather scare you away from taking your camera out. Just make sure you can keep it dry if rain should come and stay stay safe as a top priority if lightning is within 10 miles of your location!
The park is home of the largest display of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies in the world. This tough plant can withstand the strong currents of the river all year long to bloom once a year.
Using selective focus is one of my favorite ways to display a subject. Here, it allowed me to blur the foreground and back drop to a cluster of spider lilies.
One of the best ways to see the lilies firsthand is by kayak. You can take your own or rent one at the park. However, during the bloom, you may have to arrive early to get your kayak. It is a huge attraction each year.
Keep your eyes open for beautiful colors all around. What technique did I use here to make the background blur?
Last, but not least, keep your camera handy along the way. You may just see something unique like this black buzzard (that is it's name) on your journey.