Lupine Time!


New Hampshire’s White Mountains this time of year are painted with the beautiful blooms of thousands of lupine plants. The Fields of Lupine Festival, now in its 17th year, began in the towns of Franconia, Sugar Hill and Easton – but has expanded to include a number of neighboring communities as well.

I head up there every year with my camera.

My personal favorite locations are the fields in and around Sugar Hill – and then about 10 minutes outside of town at Pearl Lake.

Aside from a wide variety of purple plants (deep purple, light purple, purple and white, purple and pink, etc.), all sorts of other colors – and color combinations – are represented in the fields. Deep blue, pink, blush, white, pale yellow, lavender, magenta, powder blue – it’s all there!

Last year I found two surprises in the same field: three plants that were a mixture of purple and deep yellow, and two that were a lovely shade of peach.

Spring has been, for the most part, fairly warm this year – with a few periods of July-like weather. As a result, the lupine are way ahead of schedule. Though the festival just began last Friday, many of the plants are already peaking with some getting ready to go to seed. (Quite a change from the cold, wet spring of 2009.)

Tick tock.

I dropped everything and headed up to the mountains for a late-afternoon shoot on Friday. I typically don’t work in full sun, but the flowers weren’t waiting and rough weather was forecast for the weekend. The quote I have on my desk (“What kind of photograph can you make given particular conditions?”) came to mind…

Even though I typically do close-up work of the blooms, they were too far along to do much macro work. Instead, this time I focused on landscapes.

If you live in Northern New England, check it out. The festival runs through June 20th.

For more information, visit the Franconia Notch Chamber of Commerce Website and click on “Lupine Festival.”

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