Category Archives: Nature

“Busy Bee”

“Busy Bee”

“Everyone is busy, yet we all have access to the same amount of time.” 
― Chris Guillebeau

The prevalent activity around here lately is bees and blooms. It’s so nice to see bees after a few years where bees, particularly honeybees, seemed to be quite scarce around here. I returned to my patch of Canada Thistle and simply stood for a while, watching all the activity, including the numerous species of pollinators.

From small to large, plump to thin, the bees, wasps, and various flies were busy collecting the bounty of nectar these wildflowers had to offer. It was not till I spent a few minutes standing there, observing, that I noticed the sweet smell emanating from the thistles. It’s something I had as yet been unaware of. As the fragrance drifted around me it is no small wonder that so many insects were drawn to this large patch.

Of all the harvesters, this mid sized bee is the one that caught my eye. Most bees and wasps would land on a blossom and spend quite a while going to each individual component flowerette and collecting the nectar. This bee, on the other hand, flitted from blossom to blossom, spending mere seconds on each. It truly was a busy bee. The image above represents a split second where it slowed long enough for me to capture a sharp image of it.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

High Resolution Image on 500px

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Up Around the Bend”

“Up Around the Bend”

“You can ponder perpetual motion,
Fix your mind on a crystal day,
Always time for a good conversation,
There’s an ear for what you say

Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re goin’ up around the bend. “
– Creedence Clearwater Revival

As I considered this image, the words to the Creedance Clearwater Revival song came into my head and I could not shake them and thus, the title came to be.

It was simply chance that I looked over towards the goldenrod plant and noticed the ladybug as it made its way up the bent stem, here pausing at a leaf node, considering the best path to follow. I don’t imagine that it climbed the entire stalk, but rather, landed at some nearby point and began its short trek. Yet, this moment is subject to interpretation, is it not? We don’t know how far it has walked or when it will decide to fly off to the next plant. It remains a single moment to enjoy and ponder.

I had another surprise as I was editing the image. The day I made the image was one of those days of variable sun and cloud and when I look closely at the ladybug’s shell, I can see the sun and cloud reflecting on them. Something I had not noticed before.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hover Fly and Canada Thistle”

“Hover Fly and Canada Thistle”

“Not everyone takes action to harvest the experiences of the seasons of life in order to enjoy their bounty.” 
― Andrea Goeglein

This image is quite similar to yesterday’s Bee and Thistle image, but the thistle here is white and the pollinator is a hover fly. I made the photo a few minutes after the bee image, and in a different patch of thistle. I was quite surprised to see white Canada Thistle and it’s the first time I have seen this variety in my many years of hiking.

This patch, as with the pale purple ones, was teeming with life, all anxiously drinking in the bounty of nectar. The hover flies seem ore partial to the neighbouring chicory but did not pass on the chance for a meal from the thistles as well.

Out of focus, in the background, the bright orange soldier beetle is only one of thousands partaking in the bounty as well. More to come from this hive of activity.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Ebony Jewelwing”

“Ebony Jewelwing”

A small black gem,
floating on gossamer wings.
Flitting and fluttering,
till the summer’s end.
– Ed Lehming

A member of the damselfly family, this ebony jewelwing floated from branch to branch around me for several minutes before finally settling on a leaf.

It required a slow and cautious approach to get within shooting range and I only managed a few shots before it took to the sky once more.

I really enjoy the way jewelwings float and flit, unlike dragonflies and their deliberate and rapid flight. The wings seem to be so pliable and ineffective but the random flight protects them from predators.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Over the Weight Limit”

“Over the Weight Limit”

“Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

This one just struck me as funny. So often I see birds landing on plants that can barely hold them, but I would not have expected it from a fly. After all, fly weight is an expression for very light, is it not?

After running short of material, I went for a quick walk with my son today, to the reservoir just north of me. On the way there we encountered lots of wildflowers and insects, including this fly balanced on a grass seed, which is bending under the fly’s weight.

A simple composition, but satisfying, nonetheless.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 ISO 200

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Coleus II”

“Coleus II”

“There are patterns which emerge in one’s life, circling and returning anew, an endless variation of a theme” 
― Jacqueline Carey

As humans, we are programmed to see patterns, and nature provides us much to see. This coleus, has been growing in my office since late October of last year. I see it every day, as I come to my desk or look out the window. The plant is quite large now, large enough that the weight of the leaves is enough to make it unbalanced in the small pot it was planted in and many of the leaves are very, very large.

So, yesterday, I considered what to do with the plant, which has been ever present these past few months. As I was considering this, I became keenly aware of the repeating pattern of it leaves, especially the bright, fresh leaves of new growth. Of course, I could not resist making a photo of it, so I could appreciate it even more. I did take it into my studio, as the light from the office window was not ideal.

Now, as I look more carefully at the leaves, and their patterns, I’m fascinated by not just the repeating pattern of the layered leaves but also the great texture and colour patterns. You don’t have to go very far to find interesting things to photograph, you just have to be aware of them, even if they have been in front of you for months.

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

High Resolution image on 500px

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Beginnings”

“Beginnings”

“Maybe I don’t have enough beginnings in my life because I fought against the endings that were about to birth those beginnings.” 
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

As I surveyed my gardens this morning, I noticed that several of my purple cone flowers were already in full bloom, a nice change from last year when heat and drought caused them to put out very small, underdeveloped flowers, just big enough to produce some scant seed.

The flowers and even the stems this year are quite large, though some of the larger flowers are showing some hail damage from a few weeks back. There are, however, several large blossoms beginning to form into flowers. They are quite pretty in their underdeveloped state and catch the light nicely.

I’ve left this one in its natural state, including the many spider threads between the petals. It seems every flower has its resident spider, but this one seems to have temporarily vacated the premises. I like this ‘natural’ look, including the webs as it documents all the detail we often miss from a distance or first glance, a recurring theme for me lately.

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

High Resolution image on 500px

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