Category Archives: Nature

“Garlic Mustard”

“Garlic Mustard” - Alliara petiolata

Alliara petiolata

What at first glance looks like a scraggly weed, growing in profusion along railway tracks, turns out to be a beautiful, interesting plant close up. I find myself guilty, of late, of not taking the time to look at some of the more mundane plants that grow in my area, north of Markham, Ontario.

This is a prime example. I’ve seen vast patches of Garlic Mustard but never taken the time to really look at it.  I’m learning daily to appreciate the little things, which surprise me, when given time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/400 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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“Allegheny Foamflower”

“Allegheny Foamflower - Tiarella cordifolia”

Tiarella condifolia

The above is another of what I categorize as the ‘second’ wave of spring blossoms. This, like the others I’m posting are predominantly white. The foamflowers are quite abundant this year. I really had no idea how beautiful they were till I got in close.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/16.0 ISO 400

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“Broad Leaved Toothwort”

“Broad Leaved Tooothwort - Cardamine piphylla

Cardamine piphylla

With rainy days, busy workdays, as well as event filled weekends, I seem to have missed several days of spring blossoms. Despite this, the ‘next wave’ of blossoms is now starting to show. These tend to be primarily white flowers, starting with trilliums, which are well advanced as I write this.

These Toothworts are plentiful, yet I seem to have overlooked them in previous years, unless this is an exceptional cycle for them?

I’ve made a point, since photographing wildflowers, to research the names and habits of the flowers I photograph as well as to expand my ability to visually identify them. Fortunately, I have lots of books and online resources available, though I’m finding many books have sadly inadequate photos to help me identify the plants. I’ve also joined a local group of amateur field botanists, where I can post photos and ask for help in identification and hopefully, be able to provide good photos to the group for their own enjoyment.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/18.0 ISO 400

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“Wispy Spring Blossoms”

“Whispy Spring Blossoms”

“If only these treasures were not so fragile as they are precious and beautiful.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I got out for a quick walk at lunch today and came across these delicate blossoms. I’m not sure of the exact species, but it looks like some form of wild cherry, perhaps Pin Cherry. The light was just right to use my portable background to isolate the blossoms from the background, giving the whole thing the look of a Japanese painting.

One thing that poses a real challenge in outdoor photography, using this method, is movement caused by wind, even a light breeze, so there is an element of careful timing and a slightly higher ISO to compensate for the faster shutter speed.

It’s a very simple composition and I’m often left a bit dumbstruck at how wonderful simple can be.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.5 sec, f/36.0 ISO 400

High Resolution image on 500px

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Monochrome Mondays | Week 19, 2017

“Silence”

“Silence”

“The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”
― Christopher Paolini

I find myself constantly going back to my time with the whales of the Baja. It was a deeply emotional time. As the associated quote states so well, there are so many things about this experience that defy language. Leaving me in silent reflection.

To see these beautiful creatures, in their natural habitat, rising gently from the depths and gliding next to our boat ,with virtually no sound except a gentle bubbling of the water, was a profound and life changing experience for me. The photos, while making great memories, pale in comparison to the actual experience, the combination of sensory perceptions of sight, sound, and smell are needed; even that is hard to articulate. There is a spiritual sense here, among the giants of the deep that defies expression.

So, I joyfully go back to the images and allow them to rekindle those emotions, once more placing in on the surface of the Sea of Cortez, sharing a brief moment in time with these magnificent animals, and silence prevails.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 220 mm
1/400 sec, f/10.0 ISO 200

“Squirrel Corn”

“Squirrel Corn”

“The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid.

And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us.”
― Daniel Abraham

Several days ago, I posted an image of a plant known as “Dutchman’s Breeches” and mentioned that a similar plant also grew in the area. I recalled making an image of it and went in search of that image. Here it is. I’m also noticing, by going back a year, that my photographic technique and style has changed significantly.

I also noticed that it was a year ago when I purchased my Nikon D800 and I have become very comfortable with it. I’ve also updated lenses to be a bit more task specific. Last year I used my trusty 70-200 f/2.8 to make this shot, and now the rain has finally stopped, I’ll be heading back to retake this image with my 90mm macro.

The year over year comparison is interesting in several aspects: I can look back at how I photographed and what I photographed. I recognize that my knowledge of native plants and wildlife continue to grow, and I see the subtle seasonal differences in weather and growth patterns over the years. I thought last year was quite cool, but this year has proven much cooler and much wetter, with more than our monthly May rainfall coming down over the span of a few days, and now a brief cool down. I’m still waiting on trilliums which were plentiful this time last year.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/80 sec, f/2.8 ISO 220

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“Spring”

“Spring”

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda

I came across this small shoot, growing from the moss at the base of a tree earlier this week. Though I have no idea what type of plant it may eventually grow into, it was a curiosity to me, especially given it has, what appears to be, as single leaf. The sprout seemed out of place and there did not seem to be enough soil under the moss to sustain it, yet there it was.

Based on the nature of my subject and the colours in the background the image simply said “Spring” to me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/50 sec, f/4.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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