Life Through My Lens: Bluebells Along the Monocacy

by Cam Miller. 2 Comments

DSCN0113DSCN0095It’s been too long since I did a blog entry.  Between rain and lack of time and physical therapy appointments, I have not had good opportunities to really get out and shoot. But today, I knew that the bluebells would be blooming along the Monocacy River, so my friend Norma and I packed our gear, put on our old sneakers, and headed for my favorite location to photograph these beautiful spring flowers.

There are lots of good places to photograph bluebells this time of year, including the Ford Loop at Worthington Manor (part of the Monocacy Battlefield), almost anywhere along the C&O Canal Towpath, at the Bull Run Battlefield in Virginia, and in local gardens.  But one of the best kept secrets is Rivermist Park right here in Frederick County.

Less than two weeks ago, this park was flooded by the heavy rains we had recently.  But today, despite the morning wetness due to cold temps overnight, things were blooming nicely along the river.

DSC_0028To get to Rivermist, take Rt. 26 to Monocacy Blvd.  On your right you will see a Walmart.  To the left of the Walmart is a park with soccer fields and a small boat ramp that kayakers like to use.  Park in the lot, then walk the paved path under the bridge.  Continue following the paved path until you come to a wooden handrail that lines the sides of the path over a drainage area filled with large rocks.  Take the first dirt path you see on your right, and follow it until it practically ends at the river’s edge.  At the “point,” you will see a set of earth steps carved into the hillside, leading down to rocks and a small wooden path that crosses the stream.  Now you are on the island.  Take the path to the right, and follow it as long as you like, knowing that eventually it will loop completely back around to the wooden path.  A note of caution:  The usually well-maintained earthen steps took a beating this past winter and in the last flood, so a walking stick or cane and very sturdy sneakers are a big help.  I happened to take my 5 ft. walking stick with me, and it came in very handy when my bag of diffusers rolled down the hill and into the muddy water.  I was able to use it to fish the bag out of the water.

DSCN0103DSCN0090Along the sides of the river and in many open areas, lots and lots of yellow “lesser celandines” are in bloom.  If you go too early in the morning, like we did today, they are not yet open.  As we were leaving around 11:15, the sun had warmed them, and they were beginning to open up.  The same was true for the thousands of little pink and white spring beauties.

On our walk, we found bluebells by the thousands, the previously mentioned flowers, red trilliums, and yellow trout lilies.  It truly is an amazing sight.  Here is a link to my blog entry from last year when I walked the same area on April 11.  The flowers are at least a week later this year.

DSCN0092DSC_0026We encountered joggers, people walking dogs, and a father with his two young sons toting fishing poles.  But we were the only ones photographing the amazing flowers.  We had the place to ourselves, and were able to really concentrate on getting some good shots.

If you go, let the sunshine warm up the flowers before you arrive.  Otherwise, you will encounter many of them closed up. Like us, flowers love the warm sunshine and mild temps.  Take a camera and a friend.  You’re in for a treat.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

“Life Through My Lens” is a travel/photography blog written by Cam Miller, copyright 2014

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Email:  cam.miller@comcast. net

Website:  camscamerashots.zenfolio.com

Twitter: @camscamerashots

2 Responses to Life Through My Lens: Bluebells Along the Monocacy

  1. priscilla rall says:

    Glad to see you back with a fantastic narrative and photos. My favorite place for bluebells is nearby at Wormans Mill, across the creek to a place near the bridges. There is the old ford and sunken road. When I lived there, the old road bed was full of bluebells, quite an astounding sight. Thanks for your detailed directions to Rivermist Park. I also loved to find the wild columbine clinging to the rocks above the Monocacy. I cannot believe that building has been allowed so close to this “scenic” river.

  2. Cam Miller says:

    Priscilla, I am sorry that I did not find your comment until today. I appreciate that you took the time to do it, and to let me know about another bluebell location. Just days after I did the shots at Rivermist we had flooding rains, which we will be getting again tomorrow. It’s amazing how the flowers thrive from year to year. I’d love to find the wild columbine. There’s always something to explore in Frederick County. That’s why I love it so much here!

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