Category Archives: Nature

“Hepatica”

“Hepatica”

“Oh, the joy, the joy of Spring, a joy so grand, so absolute, so lavish and engaging, dipping my humble soul in magic, uplifting and exhilarating, instilling beauty and virtue into my days.”
― Amelia Dashwood

Here’s another one of my region’s ‘early bloomers’, Hepatica or Sharp Lobed Liver-Leaf. It seems to manage well in the cool spring temperatures because of the long hairs on the stem. As you may be able to see from this image, the leaves are just starting to develop.

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with my mother-in-law who’s approaching her 90th birthday and grew up in this area. She told me they called these May Flowers and that they were plentiful and sought after by the young girls for bouquets because of their long stems. And, of course, they were one of the first blooming flowers available in the spring.

These are quite a bit ahead this year and are just a few days ahead of their companion trout lilies, trilliums, and wild ginger, though I did spot an early Wake-Robin, which I will post tomorrow.

I had to shot at a slightly higher ISO than I prefer, since there was a bit of a breeze in the forest, forcing me into a higher shutter speed.

Can you tell, I love spring flowers?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/40.0 ISO 400

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“Trailside Periwinkle”

“Trailside Periwinkle”“It’s an odd thing, happiness. Some people take happiness from gold. Or black pearls. And some of us, far more fortunate, take their happiness from periwinkles.”
– Patricia A. McKillip

While hiking into the forest this past weekend, I came across a patch of periwinkle, still green even after the winter snows, though showing some wear. As I looked closer, I noticed a few blossoms had already opened. That’s a bit earlier than previous years. Though only a few blossoms where open, you can see plenty of buds waiting to open in the next few days.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Blue Cohosh Buds and Flowers”

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
― Anne Frank

A few days a ago I went to a large grove of these early spring bloomers for a few more shots of the unusual tiny purple flowers. This particular grove contains thousands of these plants and the forest floor almost looks burnt with the density of Cohosh growing here, interspersed with freshly emerging trillium and wild leeks.

I had no idea just how complex the structures were until I started shooting them with my 90 mm macro lens and can’t seem to get enough of them.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/50 sec, f/11.0 ISO 100

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“European Butterbur”

“Northern Sweet Coltsfoot”

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust

I found this interesting plant last year, growing in an isolated patch. There are no other instances of this plant in the area, so I’m wondering if it hitchhiked to its current location. It’s a beautiful but strange-looking plant. Like the common yellow coltsfoot which grows in the same area, it blooms before putting out leaves, though the one I photographed is showing a full leaf, just developed and another emerging from the ground.

The biggest joy for me, when exploring the paths and riverways around my home is discovering these little gems and getting to understand the incredible diversity of plants and wildlife in an area that many would consider mundane, even boring, from a photographer’s point of view.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/8 sec, f/32.0 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“First Trout Lily of the Season”

“First Trout Lily of the Season”

“Life is a first impression. You get one shot at it. Make it everlasting.”
― J.R. Rim

Another ‘first’ flower. This one was completely unexpected, which makes it all the more special. I had set out to make some more photos of the newly emerged bloodroot, which went quite well, despite wind gusts that interfered in my making the exposures as long as I prefer.

As I finished photographing a nice cluster of bloodroot, I noticed a small flash of yellow in my periphery. It turned out to be an early blooming Trout Lily. In fact, a very early trout lily. I was not expecting to see them for at least another week or so and this one is far more advanced than any of its neighbouring plants, which have just started to leaf out. Why it’s so far ahead will remain a mystery. Perhaps all the condition were just right and that small plot of soil got a bit more heat from the sun than the rest of the forest?

There was one more plant just starting to bud a few feet away but these two were the exception. I have a real fondness for trout lily, with their mottled leaves and delicate nodding yellow flowers.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/20.0 ISO 320

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“Virginia Spring Beauties”

“Virginia Spring Beauties”

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

One of the unique features about the area that I live is that it is surrounded by pockets of what is known as “Carolinian Forest”, that is, many of the plants and animals in the area can usually be found in the warmer climates of Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio.

This means that I have access to plants and wildlife not normally associated with Canada. I suppose to this point I have pretty much taken that for granted. But now, as I focus more and more on the complex ecosystems within this biosphere, I appreciate it more and more.

I have also become quite attuned to the progressions of these plants. Meaning; when I notice one blooming, I have a good sense when the next species will bloom and start actively looking for them. The sequence begins with Coltsfoot, the first yellow flowers of the season, followed by Blue Cohosh, and the Virginia Spring Beauty pictured above.

Spring Beauties are just that, beautiful, delicate plants with lovely flowers which vary a bit between pink and light purple. Around here, they seem to prefer growing at the base of beech trees. I enjoy them so much because they are the first real show of colour, other than yellow, to emerge from the cover of dead leaves.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/45.0 ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Reaching for Spring”

“Reaching for Spring”

“Treasure the people who are willing and able to help you reach your goals.”
― Jeffrey Fry

The title for this image came so easily. As I hiked the forest path, I noticed these small red leaves beginning to unfurl, backlit by the late afternoon sun. As I composed the shot, I could not help but envision them as delicate hands, reaching for something.

The wide aperture of my 90 mm macro lens also created a wonderful soft bokeh in the background, isolating the bud in the foreground, yet leading the eye back along the slightly blurred stem to which it is attached.

It’s a scene that’s playing out everywhere in my area right now. Though still cooler than I’d like, nature continues its cycle of rebirth and presents me daily with new experiences and treasures.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3 ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com