Come and see summer go out with a bang! As September sets in, thousands of yellow daisies burst into life and carpet the mountainsides in bright blooms. You wouldn’t know it by looking around here, but these relatives of the sunflower are actually extremely rare and only grow within a 60-mile radius in the Southeast. The blooms are just starting to peak and offer visitors a stunning backdrop of color.
Finding our yellow daises is as easy as looking around. The rain and temperatures this year have combined to form perfect growing conditions for these plants so they are blooming all over. To find thick carpets of flowers, follow this map and walk from the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Center to the boardwalk. Flowers will be covering the sides of the mountain and blooming all the way up to the road.
Once you reach the south parking lot hike up the mountain and keep an eye out for vernal pools. These shallow pits provide just enough soil for these flowers to thrive. They are like little flowerpots sprinkled all over the granite! Panola Mountain (LINK) also has yellow daises on the mountain and granite outcrops but you’ll need to go on a guided tour (LINK) to see them up close.
Bring your camera, you’ll be sure to want photos! Anne McKinnell has a fantastic top 10 list to help bring your photos to life. We’ve narrowed it down to our top 3 below but you can see all her tips here.
1. Photograph flowers on an overcast day
Okay, not every day in spring is a sunshiny blue sky day. But that’s okay because the white sky days are perfect for photographing flowers. The soft even light of an overcast day compliments the delicacy of the flowers and there are no shadows and no harsh bright spots, which makes it easier to get a good exposure.
2. Watch out for wind
When it comes to photographing flowers, wind is your enemy. The easiest way to avoid it is to do your photography early in the morning when there is less chance of wind. If there is a bit of wind, you can use a piece of cardboard or your reflector to create a block.
3. Backlight will make your flowers glow
Another type of light that is excellent for flower photography is backlight. Backlight happens when the sun is directly in front of you lighting your flower from behind. Because flower petals are translucent, backlight makes flowers appear to glow. Try to capture backlit flowers late in the day when the sun is close to the horizon which will cast nice warm light on the rest of your image too. You might even be able to catch some rays of light filtering through the trees.