Monthly Archives: May 2019

“Spring Blanket”

“Spring Blanket”

“A blanket of white blossoms flowed across the forest floor in an endless sea of trilliums that filled my vision with it’s beauty.”
– Ed Lehming

This spring, I set out on a few occasions, hoping to get some spring wildflower images and after a few fairly disappointing visits the forest erupted with trilliums like I have never experienced before.

I think this is primarily due to the cool, wet weather conditions this year. Flower development was delayed or just slow but it seems that everything just ‘pooped’ at once. Where a few days ago the forest floor was simply a mat of dried leaves, thousands upon thousands of wildflowers pushed through and bloomed. It was quite a stunning transformation that reached as far as I could see. The woods were literally blanketed in wildflowers, with the trilliums brilliant white dominating.

In the image above, I got down low to depict the trilliums as a wave that flows  across the small rise and continues to the horizon. I tried numerous shots at various aperture settings to try to capture this stunning scene and finally settled on this one, though it still does not do justice to what I witnessed.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/320 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

 

“Trillium Trails”

“Trillium Trails”

“As the days warm, fond memories of spring walks remain with me. Bright greens and the freshness of wildflowers whisper from a recent past.”
– Ed Lehming

Memories of this spring will stay with me for some time to come. The cool and damp days provided ideal conditions for the spring flowers to emerge and remain fresh for a long time. It was as if a month was compressed into a week.

There is also the freshness of the new leaves forming, a kind of lime green with splashes of orange. It’s like no others colours in the year; it’s just ‘fresh’.

The photo above is a scene I see quite frequently as I hike the ‘perimeter’ trail in Ontario’s North Walker Woods near my home. I go there frequently because they are so close, access is easy, and the woods offer me a great amount of subject matter for my photography. The woods also provide me a peaceful place to be when the stresses of life build. I’m able to easily immerse myself in these woodlands and criss-crossing trails.

This view has now changed, the trilliums are almost all gone and the undergrowth has thickened to a deep green wall of leaves, limiting the view deeper into the forest.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Watercolour Forest”

“Watercolour Forest”

“What season is it?, I ask. The cooler parts of the forest are still a bit subdued compared to others, with just a blush of colour, a snapshot in the forest’s story.”
– Ed Lehming

Over the span of a week and a few kilometers of trail, there are vast differences in how quickly parts of the forest mature at this time of year. In stark contrast to the wildflowers and bright leaves I shared a few days ago in my “Spring Forest Trilliums” post, this part of the forest is showing a significant delay.

I can’t recall the exact location along the trail but I do remember stopping because I was struck by how little colour there was and the fact the the forest floor was mostly leaf covered, with very little ground cover emerging. It felt like I had stepped back a week in time. The two images do show just how fast things progress in spring, though this one does have a subtle watercolor appearance, thus the title I chose for it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90m
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Large Flowered Bellwort”

“Large Flowered Bellwort”

“Along forest paths, bright wildflowers dance in the gentle breeze, and an ever changing dance of colours, fragrances, and textures.”
– Ed Lehming

This spring has been a joy for me, as I really enjoy the multitude of spring ephemerals. Those first few green leaves and bright flowers are such a welcoming sight after months of snow and dull days.

What I have found most enjoyable is the experience of discovering new plants every year and expanding my knowledge of those plants. I’m constantly surprised when a species that I had not noticed before seems to spring up when least expected.

This year, that plant was the Large Flowered Bellwort, a plant that I have only experienced in the boreal forests near Bancroft, Ontario and even then, only as single isolated plants. Last week I came across several large clusters of them, right night to the hiking trail and I wondered why I not not noticed them in the past. Now, they seemed to be everywhere, not as profuse as the trilliums but in larger quantities than I had ever experienced before.

Despite having hiked this trail for many years, it still offers me surprises,every time I return.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/60 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Almost Ready for Summer”

“Almost Ready for Summer”

“Preparations are underway, chlorophyll fills the cells, rust turns to green, and leaves mature, ready to feed hungry trees, and produce oxygen.”
– Ed Lehming

Spring is truly underway when the slight yellow and rusty new growth turns deep green. As the leaves develop, the emergent colours fade, ever so slowly, except to those who are with them regularly.

The cycle continues, largely unnoticed by most these days, but when you spend time with the trees this conversion to mature leaves is a wonderful process to observe.

In the image above, faints patches of the former dark reds, which were so prevalent a few days ago, are still visible but are being replaced by the summer greens. As days get longer and the air warms up, each species in its time will be preparing to greet another summer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Group Huddle”

“Group Huddle”

“Opening ferns in spring remind me of that first stretch when waking up. You can almost hear them yawning after their long rest”
– Ed Lehming

It’s a joy to watch the grand opening of the forest, that time of year that we have named spring. The plants seem to be in a race to see which one can reach the highest, the fastest. Ferns are no exception to this.

For the past few days, the ferns have been small knobs on the ground waiting for the sunshine to warm the ground enough to signal them to start growing. The knobs soon expand into their ‘fiddlehead’ stage where they seem to pause once more, still close to the ground and shelter of the layer of fallen leaves; it seems like they are waiting for signs of frost to disappear, protecting the delicate leaves from freezing.

Then, suddenly, they begin to stretch up and unroll, the once tight fiddleheads riding atop ever expanding stems. In this image, the leaves within the fiddleheads are clearly visible and are just about to open. Within the next few days they will expand to their full size, drinking in the sunshine and adding more greenery to the lush forest floor.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Above It All”

“Above It All”

“High above, the raven skims the treetops, gliding silently on wings of dark silk”
– Ed Lehming

After some time in the woods of Secord Forest, a local conservation area, I emerged into the brightness of an overcast sky and watched two ravens circling above me. After awhile they both perched at the top of trees near the forest edge and began ‘talking’ to each other.

Those familiar with ravens will know the broad variety of sounds these interesting birds can make. That is to say, they were not simply ‘cawing’ but were involved in a complex exchange of sounds high above. It almost seemed they were having a conversation about what lay beneath them. I’m not sure if they saw me, as I stood at the forest edge, obscured by low branches.

I watched them and listened for some time, simply enjoying the experience and decided that the raven on the closest treetop would make an interesting photo. The light made the shot feel a bit lackluster, since it was so flat and dull but I proceeded to compose the image anyways.

The first few shots I made were “OK” but not quite what I had envisioned. This soon changed as the one raven took off and the other stirred as well, about to follow the first one. It took this opportunity to compose a shot, anticipating the take-off and managed to snap the shutter at just the right moment in flight to show it with wings fully extended.

This image may appear to be black and white, but it’s full colour, simply the result of the lighting conditions and the stark contrast between the black bird and the bright sky.

What made this even more challenging was the fact that I had gone to the forest to get some close ups of the spring flowers, so only had my 90mm macro lense with me to make this image and my camera was still set at a fairly high ISO for lower light. It all worked out alright, I think.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm

1/2000 sec, f/10.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Spring Forest Trilliums”

“Spring Forest Trilliums”

“The vibrant greens and rust of new foliage competed with the pure white of the forest floor, carpeted in Trilliums”
– Ed Lehming

Over the past few days, which have remained cool and slightly overcast, I’ve taken advantage of my proximity to the local forests to spend my lunches on the trails simply enjoying the beauty of the spring forest.

Everywhere new life is appearing and the cool spring is taking it easy on the native wildflowers, prolonging their bloom. Plants that normally bloom in a bit of a sequence over a month are all blooming at the same time providing me with the opportunity to  enjoy and photograph them all at the same time.

Dominating this scene are trilliums. These beautiful flowers fill the forest floor in such a pure white that you can’t help but stop and admire them. Parts of the forest are literally awash with them.

I tried to capture that vibrance in this image, using my vertical pan technique. The slight movement and longer shutter speed adds a life to the image that is missing in typical static photos.

As I consider the image, I can imagine myself back in that place a few days ago, the smells, sounds, and colours of the spring forest return once more and I find it so peaceful.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90m
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Emergent Maple”

“Emergent Maple”

“Spring is the time of new birth, new hope, and a time to restart.”
– Ed Lehming

I simply love those first few walks in the forest as the ground warms and new life emerges from the recently frozen ground. From the compressed blanket of dead leaves plants press through this thick layer with surprising strength and abundance.

New and fresh leaves unfurl from small buds and tight clusters which can no longer contain them. These new leaves, freshly exposed to the spring air rapidly expand, revealing wonderful structures and textures.

Among the fresh and pale green of the forest floor are new maple saplings, leathery orange and striped with bright green veins. They stand out because they are such a different colour than the rest of the emerging plants.

Within the next few days, the leaves will be fully opened, deep green, and will start to drink in the sunshine for another season.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/9.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“Trillium Variations”

“Trillium Variations”

“Nature is filled with surprises. It’s the unusual that we notice. That’s what I love about being in it, there is always something new to make you wonder, How did that happen?”
– Ed Lehming

This is a new one to me, and as I stated in the quote above, nature always has surprises for me. Now, I have seen a single variant like this. Right behind our camper and directly outside the window, there is a single trillium which has blossomed green and white for the past few years.

Recently, I came across a variation of this where the entire flower was green. Here I found a bonanza, all the variations in one spot, though unfortunately, the white blossom had not opened fully.

Of course, once you spot a variation like this, in a forest filled with thousands of trilliums, you come to expect the unexpected and notice it far more often.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/9.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com