Category Archives: Plants & Flowers

“End of Autumn?”

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” 
― Jim Bishop

I know, I’m a bit behind. This image was made on December 20th of last year. This image keeps popping up as I review my photos and I knew that I wanted to post it at some point soon. That time has now come.

This is actually an odd image in that the leaves are actually compressed by multiple snowfalls and thaws, three or four to my recollection, to the point in time when I made the image. The oak leaves, which dominate this scene hung onto the trees until early November this past autumn, which is odd as well.

The main reason I keep going back to this image is that most of my time spent on the trails is enjoying the scenery around me; the trees, the sky, the rolling hills, and such. Yet, I do spend even more time looking at the ground, as I navigate my way along trails, watching my step. Yet, I rarely consider the ground as a subject for my photos. I could actually create a whole series of interesting images documenting even a small section of the trail, since the composition changes so much over even a few meters.

The forest floor documents the surrounding forest so well. All the species of trees are proportionately represented here. In this case, it’s primarily red oak, with some sugar maple, and a smattering of poplar. There is also great variation in the colours of the leaves. Here the oak leaves vary from deep copper to pale yellow.

It’s like a painting made of leaves and I’m disappointed that I have not made more of these. They are so interesting and, if composed correctly, a very natural form of art.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/120 sec; f/1.8; ISO 40

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

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“Beauty in Stress”

“Beauty in Stress”

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” 
― Steve Maraboli

Some strange things happen when plants are stressed. One of those is a switch to dormancy and loss of the chlorophyl that gives the leaves their green colour. The result, is fall colours and shedding of leaves.

In one particular patch of forest, some of the poplars have started to drop leaves due to the recent heat and drought-like conditions, littering the ground with brightly coloured leaves, which really stand out against the dry, sandy soil. They are quite stunning, and even more so because they are so spread out and out of season.

For humans, stress manifests in different ways, and in most cases, they are far from beautiful. So, I need to spend some time, in my stress filled life to appreciate the beauty I find along my journey, where I find it, and seek out more, to balance my own life.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400

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

“My Shady Place”

“My Shady Place”

“It is in the shade that you look up at a tree and appreciate its efforts.” 
― Matshona Dhliwayo

The versatility and adaptability of nature is endless. Here, a small fern has found a place in the shade that allows it to grow, protected for the heat, and largely isolated from competing plants.

I often see theses mini gardens, some filled with ferns, others with small trees or mushrooms. It seems that all it takes is for a little soil to form and a seed to fall in the right place to create these private places of growth.

This one caught my attention along the trail as the sun was reflecting brightly from the fern’s leaves and the moss encrusted bark of the fallen tree in an otherwise shaded and green forest floor. As you can see, the moss is quite dry since we have had very little rain over the past few weeks and the forest is showing the stress of this weather. But, this little fern seems to be doing quite well init shelter.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/50 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400

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

“Pondside Tamarack”

“Pondside Hemlock”

“It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a reason to be happy or sad, you will always find it.” 
― Kamand Kojouri

In this hectic world, I am usually looking for things that bring me peace. I find this peace in simplicity and often in the most obscure things.

Last weekend I went out with the intention of going on an extended hike and make some photos of my experience. It’s been too long since I have been on the trails. Between extremely hot weather and a chaotic work schedule, finding the time and conditions to get out has just been a challenge lately. So when I found a few hours, I decided to take that time and get out there, simply to recharge. It was still hot and humid, but bearable. As I entered the familiar forest trail I was greeted by a cloud of mosquitoes unlike anything I have ever experienced. Despite a healthy application of bug spray, I was still overwhelmed by them and resigned myself to head back to the car.

Disappointed in the conditions, I decided to head to a different trailhead and try my luck. Despite this disappointment, my eyes are always drawn to something unique, some play of light, or interesting from, and as I walked back to the car I noticed this tamarack branch, covered in cones with a large pond in the background. I looked through my viewfinder, the composition formed nicely and offered me this image.

Such a simple moments brings peace to me and looking at the photo now, a few days later, it transports me back to that moment and the calm that ensued.

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

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

“Wild Basil – Clinopodium vulgare”

“Wild Basil - Clinopodium vulgare”

“My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist. I crave a more real and meaningful relationship. The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.” 
― Euell Gibbons

Every hike seems to bring a new discover. As I walk familiar paths, some splash of colour or unusual shape pulls me deeper into my relationship with nature. This past week, I discovered this wild basil plant. Frankly, I did not know it grew in my area and this is the first time I’ve seen one. Strange, it seemed so familiar but I did not make the connection till later.

Since I did not know what it was till I researched the photo, I did not take the time to test the smell or taste. That will have to wait for a subsequent visit. For now, I’m happy to have the photo as a reminder to return.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 320

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

“Prickly Goosberry – Ribes cynosbati”

“Prickly Goosberry - Ribes cynosbati”

“Beware of those who are bitter, for they will never allow you to enjoy your fruit.” 
― Suzy Kassem

The gooseberries are not just bitter, but well protected. I imagine birds would do alright with these but I’m trying to picture a squirrel or some other rodent trying to deal with these spiky berries.

This native fruit bearing shrub is a new one to me, even though I have hiked past this location hundreds of times. Why I did not notice something so unique puzzles me, as I’m always on the lookout for something unique along the way. Perhaps I’ve walked past before the fruit was formed or after the birds had stripped the berries already.

The image is quite green in tone, the result of a lush green canopy overhead filtering the sunlight. Rather than trying to colour correct the image, I decided to leave it as is, a reminder of this warm day among the greenery.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/100 sec, f/5.0, ISO 320

“Outstretched”

“Outstretched”

“When you reach for the stars, you are reaching for the farthest thing out there. When you reach deep into yourself, it is the same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you reach in both directions, you will have spanned the universe.” 
― Vera Nazarian

It’s late June, yet many of the plants are still growing. This fern along the trail is a good example of this. In the warm breezes of early summer the fronds are still unfurling, still reaching for sunlight.

I chose the quote to go with this image to align with the concept of reaching outwards as well as the growth I experience, internally, every time I partake in these moments on my hikes. I reach within myself, trying to understand what I am experiencing. There are always surprises and I enjoy these. All this life and movement is energizing to me, the solitary hiker.

In the image above, if you look very carefully, there is an insect lurking behind the terminal frond. I don’t usually notice these when I make the image, they reveal themselves when I process the image. It would seem almost every plant and flower has an insect lurking somewhere. This one seems to be deliberately hiding from my lens.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/400 sec, f/100, ISO 320 

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